Published Jul 15, 2016

Niche Pork: Farrowing Hut Designs (A-Frame and E-Hut)

By Meghan Filbert

Many PFI members farrow on pasture in huts designed by fellow farmers. Two common styles of wooden huts are the A-Frame and E-Hut (the E stands for electronic, because the design was meant to be shared electronically). These mobile huts are designed to be moved with a tractor, yet heavy enough to withstand outdoor elements. Both hut designs, with all the lumber and hardware, can be assembled for around $300 to $350. You can find detailed sketches of both designs by clicking on the links below.

A-Frame design, used and designed by John Gilbert.


A-frames aligned in a pasture of clover at the Gilbert farm.

E-Hut Plans, used and designed by Dan Wilson and Tom Frantzen.


Dan Wilson stands next to a E-Hut, designed by himself and Tom Frantzen.

Pasture farrowing tips:

  • Orient your huts to the southeast, so they catch early morning sun
  • Place huts upslope, to avoid moisture pooling. Gravelly soils provide better drainage.
  • Choose bedding like oat straw or ground corn cobs, not corn stalks or other materials that can lacerate the navels of piglets and cause them to bleed to death.

For further reading on farrowing, read this blog post from 2012 and keep your eye out for the summer 2016 newsletter article titled,”Experienced Hog Farmers Share Their Knowledge of Farrowing,” which we be published in August 2016.

Come and see pastured pigs, farrowing facilities and visit with farmers at two upcoming field days! Check the guide for field days on August 5 at Crooked Gap Farm and August 13 at Seven W Farm.

Please contact Meghan Filbert, 515-232-5661, with any questions or if you’d like to speak with the farmers who built these structures.