Okay, so I do have a master question thread post and should really post this there to keep track but it's gotten limited responses (though great responses, thank you) and never posted this particular one so posting here. Plus I figure this is more universal and may help other people. I can always put the link to this one in there anyway so I can find it.
I've heard of plenty of people making "hoop coops" with these cattle panels and I briefly considered it then thought I settled on something else. Well, now I'm back thinking about it and have come up with several questions, hence the making of this thread.
So first and foremost is WHAT cattle panels?
I'm pretty sure I know which ones (seen tons of people mention the 16 foot around $20 ones) but I was realizing while going through TSC's website that there are actually several different ones. There's not like 20 pages and hundreds of results or anything like that but it seems that there are about 9 or 10 potential options.
Here is TSC's cattle panel page and would any of these work or are there specific kinds? Obviously the solid metal bar horse corral ones wouldn't work and definitely wouldn't bend but even just cattle panels there's so many. Feedlot panels, horse fence panel, utility panel, etc. etc. are they all the same? is there a difference? again, here's their page.
I also noticed that there seem to be different ones for different animals but that some are more expensive?
Next question, which kind of goes along with it, is has anyone ever used the 8 foot ones? I know to bend it would create way too short and narrow of a run but maybe someone has used it or just used it straight and not hooped?
Which leads me to my next question: do they have to be bent into a hoop coop? would it be possible to, say, connect a few and just make a normal run from it? Perhaps using, for example, two 16 foot panels for the long end and an 8 foot panel? Or connecting the two 16 foot ones? Probably too long for me but wondered if anyone had done it. And if it is possible to do this, has anyone ever put two on top of each other? Or just put a roof on it as is at 4 foot? for connecting to each other, I simply mean like you might with HC, either tying the panels together or getting a piece of wood to screw it to in order to make it say 8 foot instead of 4. At that point though I suppose it may cost about the same or be about as much work as just getting HC or welded wire.
Another question, and the main reason I actually thought of this, is has anyone ever used one as a brooder?
Wondering because I've been trying to make a brooder in the garage, just a larger kiddie pool than their current one with welded wire around it then trying to tie HC to it but it's a pain, and it's not fun and I know they will outgrow it fast so I have been trying to think of new ways. I was thinking of just making a traditional wood frame for the HC but we don't really know how to operate much and that's more permanent. Someone also recently in the other thread suggested PVC pipe and plastic HC or even normal HC but just the PVC making it easier to adjust and move. I like idea but that seems like work too. I don't know, I'm just trying to think of the best and easiest way possible because they really need to move out and really need space.
Another potential thing that I thought of that we could do either with traditional wooden framed HC or welded wire, our chainlink dog kennel, or the cattle panels, is to make an area next to the garage. We decided we don't want the coop there since it's so close to the neighbors but I figure setting up a temporary brooder would be fine and that would provide tons of room to run and fly. There's also a fence piece on one side and obviously the garage on the other (complete with a door) so we would only really need 2 fence pieces, maybe 3 or more depending on how big they are. The area is 9 feet wide by 26 feet long but we don't have to use the full area. I thought that might be great, especially with HC on the ground in the area. However. my mom is still insisting they are way too little to be out there and that a coyote would get them the first night. I say not if it's secure but she says we don't konw how/can't do that by ourselves. Well, we've never tried but I could guarantee I'm a lot more careful than my dad (I'm pretty positive I'm OCD/also just weird and precise and stuff so I'd be really careful and also follow recipes exactly, etc. etc. hah) and with something like cattle panels it really would not require any special skills. And if it can keep cows, horses, hogs, sheep, goats, etc. etc. in, I'm pretty positive it can keep coyotes out. Or at least I would hope. But that said, I too am nervous about putting littles that little outside but if it is secure, I don't see the issue. Perhaps though I will make a garage thing and then move them out there when they are a wee bit bigger, say at 3 or 4, maybe 5, weeks. I do like the somewhat "sheltered" thing of the garage though but I could provide that outside too surely?
And also, surely something bigger would need less cleaning? I would still clean it regularly obviously, especially being as they're so little still, but I just mean it might smell less/poop would be more spread out instead of in one tiny little area?
I'm rambling now and making this post wayyy too long so I am going to end this post right now but any and all input would be greatly appreciated, even if you don't have the answer to every question, as I'm sure most people don't.
Thank you in advance.