Pallet and Tarp Calf Hutch

When we decided to get the calves I knew I needed to make some sort of shelter for them so they could get out of the rain and late afternoon sun.  I didn’t want to break the bank to build it, so I started looking around at what I had to use.  I had made the sheep shed out of pallets, so why reinvent the wheel?  I set off to make a pallet shelter.  This one was going to be temporary.  At some point I plan to make a little more permanent, bigger, and maybe cement floored shelter, but not yet.  The pallets would be held in place by T posts.  So I found a few pallets the same size and some T posts.


In order to hold the pallets securely, I need to add a piece of scrap wood to each pallet, like this…



Once I had the pallets in place, I took a piece of cattle panel and bent it into an arc.  I attached it to the pallets one side at a time using fencing staples.



IMG_6623 IMG_6622

Once both sides were attached I added the tarp.



I used exterior grade zip ties to fasten it into place.  It is up against the fence, so the back side didn’t need any extra support.

It isn’t pretty to look at, and it won’t win any awards for engineering, but it works andit only took an hour to build.  It was free to make, as I had all the supplies already on hand, and most of those supplies can be reused again if I am careful with them when I take it apart.

I think I posted on the Facebook page a while back something to the effect of, “Pallets and cattle panels are the duct tape of the Homestead.”  Pretty accurate I think.

This entry was posted in building, Cattle, DIY, Family, Farming, homesteading, Preparation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Pallet and Tarp Calf Hutch

  1. Dude you’re so handy. Very cool! 🙂

  2. Dan says:

    Nice! I like the way you seek out stuff that’s lying around for projects. That’s my favorite building method.

  3. Ticks all the right boxes. Well done.

  4. Andy says:

    Yea, a person must resourceful with their animals. Good job. Instead of a brooder for my baby quail, I’m using chicken wire and a baby pool. Ugly, but effective.

  5. valbjerke says:

    Just a note from experience with calves – keep an eye on the tarp – calves (and cows too) sometimes like to eat all manner of things. Plastic, electrical cords, tarps etc.
    They’re not discerning eaters (like horses who will spit foreign materials out), or ‘particular’ like goats. Last year I found our dairy cow had managed to fiddle with a knot on a rope holding a gate open, untie it, and had contentedly ingested about four feet of it working her way towards the gate. I’ve never had a calf around that didn’t like eating plastic. Anything other than feed, can cause serious problems in the digestive tract 🙂

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