How to Build a Pig Pen or House

Housing which is usually the open-sided type in the intensive system of pig production is more sophisticated and capital-intensive. The pig house will generally comprise a concrete or hard floor, adequate shelter, shade and floor space, and adequate feeding and watering facilities for the pigs.

Pig Pen Siting and preliminary considerations

Pig houses cost a lot of money. It is, therefore, necessary to give careful thought to the right design in order to justify the investment. The following hints are useful when building a pig house.

  1. The site chosen should be dry and well-drained, which will help the effective disposal of effluents.
  2. Ideally, the pig building should be on a slight slope to facilitate drainage and disposal of effluent.
  3. Siting should be done to avoid obstruction of air movement by other buildings.
  4. Sites should be accessible to vehicles and other transportation means for delivering feeds, and animals and for pickup of pigs for slaughter and for proper effluent disposal.
  5. The buildings should not be located in areas where traffic is high.
  6. The buildings should be built near a good source of clean, fresh and constant water supply.
  7. Pig houses should be placed in such a way that they are protected from extreme sun rays, rains, and wind draught. Placement of building such that the longest side runs from the east to the west would prevent most of these problems. Ground temperatures will be lower under the East-West orientation because the ground will be shaded for a greater part of the day. Large evergreen trees planted around the house serve as shade and a windbreak.
  8. A suitable plan for the house should be drawn up and the size of the house decided before construction begins.
  9. The house should be well-ventilated, easy to clean and allow plenty of sunshine. Construction of pig houses with open sides, which may be screened or protected with iron protectors, will provide ample ventilation.
  10. The house should have a good foundation, be solid and should have a good roof that provides shade and protection.
  11. Pig houses should be properly spaced and located away from other animal houses and abattoirs.

Pig sheds or houses must be properly designed and built for the good health and well-being of pigs for maximum performance and saving labor costs. Keep in mind that a good house or shed cannot improve the health of pigs, but a “poor” house or shed will certainly increase the risk of diseases, thereby incurring expenses. If the environment is uncomfortable, the pig undergoes stress, which makes them prone to infection.

Factors to consider in the construction of a pig farm

Site Selection

Selecting the place to start a pig breeding farm

The first step in laying or expanding a pig farming project is site selection. It is important to note the following during the selection

The availability and accessibility of essential services, such as feed milling, water and sources of electricity.

The environment must be suitable for the construction of drainages and manure disposal, therefore the distance from neighbors and other farms should be wide. The site must comply with local policies and environmental laws.

The possibility of expansion must also be considered.

Zoning and Permits

Check out local zoning laws and regulations for a proposed location. If it is divided into agricultural areas, the situation must be carefully studied before building the pig facilities or the pig sheds or houses. Secure all necessary permits, such as construction, environmental and other government-required permits, before building.


Check the availability and cost of feed, water and electricity. The water source must be able to supply the peaks of water demand and future expansion. Note that the demand for water is three times the weight of the feed consumed plus waste (15%) and water for cleaning (30%). If electricity isn’t reliable, a standby generator may also be considered. A farm should also have an accessible path to facilitate the transportation of feed and pigs throughout the year.

Distance to Other Farms

The ideal distance from other farms and neighbors is approximately one kilometer. This will serve as a natural screen in disease prevention. The distance from neighbors is important to avoid future complaints about pig odors, flies, noise and pollution.

The factors to consider in the planning of pig houses are:

  • Environmental control
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Minimum labor requirements
  • Durability of construction materials
  • Dryness
  • Sanitation
  • Rodent and bird control
  • Security
  • Future expansion
  • The orientation of the shed and ventilation

The orientation of the pig house or pen

The front of the house should be facing east and the rear should be facing west. This would prevent the animals from having excessive direct exposure to sunlight. This would ensure equal distribution of sunlight throughout the day.

The health of pigs can be affected by the weather in a specific pig house. Any changes in the weather can cause respiratory and intestinal diseases. The comfort zone for pigs in the temperate region is between 18.5-20°C. It is very important to ensure that the animals are comfortable by designing pig houses or pig houses with high roofs and adequate ventilation.

Ventilation has the following purposes:

  • Replacing stale air with fresh air or removing odors
  • Moisture removal
  • Elimination of excess heat
  • Pig houses or pens should be well-ventilated, however, also avoid cold drafts and direct drafts.

For proper ventilation, consider the following:

  • The entrances serve as a conduit of fresh air in the pens.
  • Insulation must be available to keep the pens warm when necessary.
  • Supplemental heat during cold weather.
  • The presence of vapor barriers.
  • The evacuation of humid air.
  • Natural, automatic and artificial ventilation systems

The normal movement of air inside the sheds or sheds is very important. Therefore, pig sheds or houses should not be built too close to each other. To make full use of the land, trees must be planted between pens. This design is suitable for ecological balance and for maintaining the environment. Where possible, walls should have holes, GI tubes, steel bars, or railings to ensure airflow. High perimeter walls are necessary for security reasons.

The construction of pens or very large buildings does not prevent ventilation problems. On the other hand, the width is not very efficient in the heat exchange since the heat accumulation of the body by the pigs increases the temperature inside the shed or shed. To be effective, the width of the house should not be more than 10 meters.

In the construction of a pig pen or house, it is “obligatory” to give special attention to the different parts of a pen and the materials that will be used. The construction of pig farms involves costs; however, not sacrificing the quality of the materials or their useful life should be an important consideration.

Floor Construction: There is direct and inevitable contact between the pig and the floor. Thus, texture and slope are two main considerations during construction.

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Akinbobola A.

I'm a livestock farmer, certified animal scientist and agro consultant. You can follow Livestocking on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to send me an email
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10 thoughts on “How to Build a Pig Pen or House”

  1. Good morning. very interested in a pig house design because am about to start one soonest (07085806726)
    I intend to start a large piggery farm and will need a Consultant. The farm will be at IKORODU VIA IJEDE LAGOS
    State Nigeria.

  2. I find your article quite interesting, I would like to know more about starting a piggery, I stay in jos, plateau state. Can we talk via email? Thank you.

  3. can you send the complete manual in rising a piggery. i am the first timer to rise a pig in my backyard. Also the best feeds to help pig grow easily and away from any deceases. The vaccinations procedures from day 1 to sow and the proper maintenance of the pig house. Thank you and more power


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