Hog house smells mouldy
22nd September 2021 at 8:59 pm #34121
My hog house that I lovingly made in the spring smells of mould. I checked it was empty (via cameras) and cleared out the hay and leaves which were surprisingly compressed.
What should I do? I have washed it out with boiling water and dried it in the sun. The wood has that grainy look of mould on it and still smells a bit mouldy. I am worried this may cause respiratory problems if a hog hibernates in there. I heard painting with Cuprinol Garden Shades or other similar products was not good. Should I dismantle and replace with new wood – I think it’s plywood as layers starting to separate (I’m a novice DIYer) should I get some proper hardwood and remake it or paint over? It is partly covered in felt (roof, base and tunnel) so should I just felt all of it too. It did get rather wet in the Monsoon that was spring and know they are wild animals but want to provide a house to help rather than cause health issues.22nd September 2021 at 10:02 pm #34128
Sorry to hear that char2020. That sounds very frustrating. Is it off the ground at all? It must have been getting properly soaked to get mouldy.24th September 2021 at 2:05 pm #34145
I suspect proper (untreated) wood would make a better hog house, but make sure you put in plenty of ventilation otherwise condensation could also become a problem and lead to mould. So for that reason, as well, it’s best not to have it completely covered in waterproof material.6th October 2021 at 10:00 pm #34319
Thanks for your advice Kitty and Nic. I have now retired it as upgraded my other house- added a tunnel and felt. I am interested in your comments regarding not to make it completely waterproof. Would the tunnel not provide enough ventilation? I have put shed felt on the outside of the walls and roof, have 3 hogs using it and it’s filled with the straw from their pen at the rescue and some fresh clean straw.7th October 2021 at 12:10 pm #34327
It could be that the original box became mouldy through lack of ventilation. If the wood is completely waterproofed, it can’t dry out properly. If there are animals inside a box, there will be a certain amount of moisture from their breathing, apart from any moisture they may take in – if they are, say, damp when they go in.
Well made hog boxes will have ventilation holes in them as well as the entrance tunnel. Once a nest is built inside, the tunnel is likely to be partially blocked as well. But if you think that in the wild hogs would build their nest in i.e. the bottom of a hedge They have plenty of ventilation! But they are able to make their nests waterproof and well insulated. Any damp would be able to escape. Ideally, hog houses for nesting would be built from as natural materials as possible. Which is why untreated wood is good.
Personally, I would only put felt on the roof, but make sure the roof overhangs a bit. (that is partly because a hog would probably not be able to make the nest as high as it would ‘in the wild’ and rely to some extent on waterproofing from above).
I would leave that box as it is now – especially bearing in mind it’s already occupied, but if you make any others, maybe provide more ventilation. A few small holes just below the overhanging roof on the opposite wall to the entrance might help.
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