We are gearing up for LBH this year and would like some advice on building a shelter for them. What is needed? I have been told that this breed does very well in the cold. Do they need a heated unit? We live in Alaska where the temps can be a bit cold.
The LBs do well in all sorts of weathers, but they like any pig would prefer to be warm in the winter. The important thing is to make sure they are out of the wind and wet. In summer they will want to have a wallow to keep cool.
We have found that Porta-Huts are ideal. Around here you can pick them up on Craigslist for $50-$100. We put a bunch of hay on the bottom hat they can bed down in and that will keep them dry.
You can build something fairly simply as long as it keep the weather out and has something to keep them warm. I know someone that puts out round bales that the pigs burrow into and make their own shelters.
We used to live in MT and our LBs handled that OK, down to -40F. Some of them only had a broken down homestead with hay to shelter in.
There are a couple of people in AK with LB’s. Take a look at the member’s list to find contact information. Have fun with your LBs!
We used 2-16′ cattle panels, 6 t-posts, a heavy duty tarp and some rope to build ours. We made two-one for the sow and gilts (6) and one for the boar and barrows (4) and they all fit under them, so far. I have pics but they are too big to post. I can e-mail to whoever wants to see them. Cost was just over $100.00. We couldn’t find any used Port-a-Huts in our area, but did end up buying one anyway. They work great and are easy to move, but are expensive.
Hi Brian, We have built wooden huts with the pigs liking the A-framed ones the most. I think they like the slanting walls and probably the heat stays in there better. We don’t put a wooden floor in ours and as long as they have deep bedding of straw they handle the maine winters just fine. Our first winter we put doors on them but the pigs would run out as soon as they’d hear me coming at night to close them in. The steam would pour out in the morning when I opened the doors so I stopped that. They are truly very hardy and I’ve never had frostbite issues. We just had a blizzard with high sustaining winds. It was the first time in 4 winters that the pigs wouldn’t come out of their huts so I fed them inside . They were running around today enjoying the 20 degree weather and sunshine! We have pictures of the huts and construction info. on our website if you’d like to visit it at largeblackpigsofmaine.com. You will love your lb’s. Sincerely, Jean Rouillard