The “Practical Farrowing Box”: DIY Sow Nesting Boxes

Tuesday, June 15 | 2-2:45 p.m.

Host: Tom Frantzen

IMG 1817Tom Frantzen has used many styles of pasture farrowing huts over the years, and he keeps experimenting. Last winter, Tom built a new style of farrowing hut that combines all the best elements from huts of his past, dubbing it the “practical farrowing box.”

In this virtual tour, Tom will describe the process of building the box, the materials required and the cost, and we’ll see a completed box from all angles. As a bonus, viewers will also get to see sows on pasture. Building blueprints and a materials list will accompany this virtual experience.


  • DIY construction
  • Pasture farrowing

DSC 6094Tom and Irene Frantzen farm on 320 certified organic acres north of New Hampton, Iowa, raising corn, soybeans, winter annual hybrid rye, small grains, hay and pasture, as well as 40 brood cows and 40 brood sows that they farrow-to-finish. They also recently installed a 15.3 kW solar unit on the farm.

The Frantzens are longtime members of PFI with years of experience conducting on-farm research. They are recipients of PFI’s Master Researcher Award, and have shared their experiences at numerous field days throughout the years. Tom is also a past president of PFI.


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