Making a Simple Cow Shelter

Here is a step-by-step process for building a simple cow shelter to provide animals protection from wind and rain.


We got the design for the shelter from

Step 1: Obtain materials


We collected our pallets from a local hardware store for free. The rest of the materials were purchased for about $100.

-Recycled pallets

-3 "cattle panels" for roof

-Metal T-posts

-Zip ties


Step 2: Install Metal T-Posts and Pallets


Hammer the T-posts in between the pallets. You can screw the pallets into the T-posts, or you can zip tie them together. We used the thicker T-posts (without wholes) because they are much stronger and don't bend like the other styles.

Step 3: Install Cattle Panel for Roof


This is definitely a two person job. Zip ties were very easy to use to secure the cattle panel to the pallets (compared to fence nails) because the cattle panel is strong and has a lot of tension. Once you get the initial side of the cattle panel secured, you can tighten the zip ties as needed.

NOTE - be sure to try and unbend the cattle wire if there are kinks or large bends in the metal. they often come bent from the store.

Step 4: Install Tarp


We use a waterproof cotton tarp treated with natural beeswax and olive oil. You can also use plastic tarps. We used simple bungee cords to secure the tarps down so the wind won't blow them off.

Step 5: Invite the Cows Inside!


We lured the cows in with their favorite treats. We also placed their salt blocks and water in the shelter so that they know it's their space.

NOTE : For colder weather, you can fill in the spaces in between the wood on the pallets, or just add ply wood to block the wind. We also plan on stacking bales of straw on the side walls to provide insulation if necessary. And finally, adding a 4th wall (with a door) will also help enclose the space to further keep the animals warm!!