Winter Animal Shelter

Yesterday we finished putting the roof on the house end shed for the animals. This is in a raised up area along the south side of the farm house. The sheep and pigs have always liked that spot because it is so sheltered from the wind and it gets good light to warm them in the morning. Turning it into a winter open shed seems ideal. Our summer bedroom is just off of it but now with winter here that part of the house is closed off so I won’t have to listen to the pigs snore.

The lumber for the shed came from the scaffolding of our tiny cottage and virtually none of it had to be cut so one can think of it as simple storage. I did buy brand new roofing as I had used up all the salvaged metal we had on last year’s winter dens. Instead of going with all metal roofing we decided to do the translucent solar roofing to let light in. This will allow that shed to double as a greenhouse in other times thus justifying the higher cost of the fiberglass roofing. Much debate and waffling went into that decision since the fiberglass roofing costs about 25% more. In retrospect it was the right decision.

The shed is 26′ x 12′ which more than enough space for all the bigger pigs in the herd. The lumber was free since it was left over from another project, thus salvage. If I count the cost of the lumber then it is $94.30. The roof used 10 sheets of 12′ fiberglass roofing at $26.32 (24″) each (delivered) and two sheets of metal roofing at $29.46 (36″) each. Total cost was under $420 including screws if the cost of the lumber is included. Not bad.

The basic plan is simple, just triangles cantilevered against the house. The two end units go back along the building to get support. I designed it so that it could have been a free hanging cantilever but in the end I ended up putting in two posts and a beam along the outside edge simply because I have them. The roof is floating over the beam by a tiny bit but it is there if needed. It will be interesting to watch the loading.

I will likely add some wood along the north east corner to block the wind, other than that the shed is done and four sows have already moved in and made nests. None too early as one of them is bagging and will farrow piglets in the next week or so.

Something I would change in the design is to raise the shed 12″ to 18″ higher. That would make it easier to roll round bales in under it as the bedding pack increases.

Our big project on the tiny cottage today was to get the windows inside and warming up so we can reputty them. These are the big windows we got on salvage from IBM several years ago. Just for fun we put one window in place to see what it was like. Beautiful!

Outdoors: 25°F/5°F Overcast, Windy, 4″ Snow
Farm House: 68°F/50°F three logs
Tiny Cottage: 49°F/43°F Windows in to warm

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Winter Animal Shelter

  1. Jon Crane says:

    Nice lean-to Walter. Did you abandon some of your winter dens this winter? Did they not work out or is that now garden space?

    Do you use GRK structural screws (or equivalent) for these type of projects?
    They are incredible for projects like your leanto and for guys who change their mind, like me.

  2. We haven’t abandoned the old dens, in fact we made another this fall, but we needed more space quickly and that spot which the animals favor, wasn’t right for a den type shed. Next year we plan to make more earth sheltered dens. They are ideal.

    We did use screws, although not that kind. They look interesting. Thanks for the link.

  3. Jon Crane says:

    Regarding the screws…
    Pros: stronger than lags (break at much higher torque; generally don’t need to pilot(selft tapping); reusable (don’t strip); built in washer
    Cons: expensive
    Watch out for cheap imitations

  4. Mia says:

    The pigs sure seem to be enjoying their new shelter. I enjoy seeing what you are up to at Sugar Mountain every few days. Thanks for sharing with us all.

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