For the first summer, our guinea hogs called a patch of earth under a tarp home. It was not a fancy house, but it gave them shade and they were thrilled to have a shady spot with glorious dirt to dig into to cool themselves off in the summer heat. When fall arrived, we built them a proper house so they would be warm and cozy for winter. While it was a major step up from the rigged up tarp, their new house is still nothing fancy. Their winter house worked so well that I built another one this spring so that I could split my guinea hogs into two groups living in two separate paddocks, each with their own house. Here's how to build your own guinea hog palace.
Materials you'll need:
- (2) 2x4x12
- (5) 2x4x8
- (3) sheets of corrugated sheet metal, 2 feet wide and 8 feet long
- 2 1/2 or 3 inch deck screws or galvanized nails
- 4 bolts with nuts and washers
- roofing screws or nails to attach the corrugated sheet metal
- exterior paint
Tools you'll need:
- Miter saw (you could use a circular saw instead but it will take a little longer to make the cuts)
- Power drill or hammer
- Paint brush
- Tape measure
- Cut each 2x4x12 in half to get (4) 2x4x6 boards
- Cut (4) of the 2x4x8 boards in half to get (8) 2x4x4 boards
- Cut one end of each of the (8) 2x4x4 boards to make a 41 degree angle
- Cut the other end of each of the (8) 2x4x4 boards to make a 48 degree angle; when you do this, make sure that you cut the angle in the right direction, so that your board looks like this when both ends have been cut
- Prime all the boards and then paint them with exterior paint on all sides; you can skip this step, but the paint makes it look nicer and last longer
- Screw or nail the (4) 2x4x6 boards together and add a bolt to each corner for added strength, if desired.
- Screw or nail the rafters to the base and to the ridge pole, leaving one foot of the ridge pole sticking out on each end for handles
- Place the sheet metal on the rafters, bending it in the middle, and screw or nail it down
- Carry pig house to pig pasture, using handy handles
- Add copious amounts of straw or hay if the weather is cold
- Watch happy pigs in their new guinea hog house
The red pig house is currently open at both ends to allow for airflow and facilitate summer cooling. In the winter, I'll add a wall to one end to make it warm and cozy, so that it looks like this.
Advantages of this design:
- Easy to build
- Lightweight and easy for one person to move around
- No floor means that it is lighter, easy to clean (just move to a new spot), and the guinea hogs can use the earth to cool themselves in the summer
This pig house has a 6x6 foot footprint. It has been a good size for three half grown guinea hogs to live in for the winter. It's just big enough for two small to medium sows to lie in together to nurse piglets. It would be big enough for one large sow with piglets. While the house is not spacious, the cozy size is actually an advantage because that helps the pigs to stay warm in the winter, as long as it is filled with copious amounts of straw.
If you've used a similar design, or a different design alltogether, I would love to hear your experiences as I am always looking for ways to improve our facilities here on the farm.
I'm now adapting this design to make a portable sheep house for rotational grazing, so look for a blog on that coming soon!