What is an animal shelter?

Prior to popular belief, an animal shelter is not a place you drop animals off whether stray or to be cremated, rather a true animal shelter is a building that shelters animals from the elements. In Central Oregon, animal shelters are very popular. Regardless if you believe the economy is in a recession or not, many people have been building their own chicken coops, animal shelters and pens for raising their own eggs, meat and produce. There are several types of animals shelters and this article gives you an idea as to what to look for if you’re in the market for an animal shelter.


According to Wikipedia, “A barn is an agricultural building usually located on farms and used for various purposes. In the North American area, a barn refers to structures that house livestock, including cattle and horses, as well as equipment and fodder, and often grain.” There are several types of barns. Pole barns (post frame), post & beam barns, modular barns, steel building barns, gable barns, gambrel barns, shedrow barns, run-in barns, lean to barns, storage barns, chicken barns, pavilion barns, bank barns and monitor barns. We could write an article all about barns in itself, but we need to stick to animal shelters. It’s important to know the types of barns there are as there are not that many lists out there to choose from on the internet. If you’re interested in a barn, just google one of the barns we listed and do more research on it.

Round Stable

A round stable is a solid round building with a roof that has a dirt center and stables inside the walls in circumference. It’s a style that is favored outside of the United States as there are not that many here. The design is for horses mainly.


A shed is a roof structure made of wood or metal used as a storage space, greenhouse, a shelter for animals, a mini house or a workshop. There are several types of sheds. Better barn, cascade shed, classic gable, economy shed, economy barn shed, greenhouse, lean to shed, loafing sheds, pacific sheds, premium sheds, rustic sheds, tall shed and walker shed. Most used sheds are turned into an animal shelter.


A gable is a part of a wall that encloses the end of a pitched roof. It’s a roof shape style that is generally triangular – points. These types of animal shelters are perfect for places that pack a lot of snow because the design helps the snow fall off the roof easier so there is less stress on the frame.

Animal House

An animal house is a design of barn, shelter or shed that mimics the home owner’s house. The design is all about aesthetics and home value than for real comfort for the animal itself. Although they all come with a roof, the inside of it is where the owner must

Chicken Coop

Wikipedia, “A chicken coop or hen house is a building where female chickens are kept. Inside hen houses are often nest boxes for egg-laying and perches on which the birds can sleep, although coops for meat birds seldom have either of these features.” We wrote an excellent article about how to build one here.

Horse Barn

A horse barn is a stable or barn that keeps livestock – mainly horses. Commonly made with separate stalls for each animal. There are pole barns, cedar barns, two story barns, or metal barns. Scroll back up to “barns” and read more about the kinds of barns there are.

Feed Bin

There are several types of animal feed bins. Flat pack bins, front access bins, bulk storage bins, hopper bins, equine feeders, foal feeders, horse feeders, drinks bowls to water troughs. They come in plastic, galvanized (coating of iron or steel with a layer of zinc) to wood sheds. Some animal shelters have feed bins that are built inside.

Panel Shelter

A panel shelter is a makeshift arch way that bows from one side of the ground to the other. At first glance it would look like an arch. Really simple to build and cheaper than anything out there but not suitable for harsh environments.

Pallet Shelter

A pallet shelter is exactly what it says. A shelter made by wooden pallets. It’s really a brilliant economic way to make an animal shelter because pallets are usually free.

Pig Pen

A pig pen animal shelter is a simple enclosure for pigs. Some have roofs and some do not. It depends on the environment.


A pavilion animal shelter doesn’t have walls but a roof only. Usually they require four posts and a sturdy roof. The word “pavilion” stands for decoration so usually when a pavilion animal shelter is erected, they are expensive and pretty.

Round Pen

Wikipedia says a round pen is, “…sometimes called a bullpen is a round enclosure used for horse training. They range in diameter from a minimum of 30 feet (9.1 m) to a maximum of 100 feet (30 m), with most designs 50 to 60 feet (15 to 18 m) in diameter. Footing is usually sand or other soft dirt…”

Indoor Arena

And finally, an indoor arena animal shelter is an arena is an enclosed area, often circular and/or oval shaped, designed to showcase horses.

These above are a complete list of all types of animal shelters. This should give you a huge opportunity to choose the right kind of animal shelter you would like for your home and/or farm.