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Covering for chicken pen - any ideas?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I've been trying to come up with another method of securing the area where I keep the chickens, the top of their pen.  They've got a nice coop that sits against the house on one side and then that and the surrounding area are enclosed with privacy fencing and the front entrance with chicken wire and a framed chicken wire door.

I've always used bird netting across the top, starting at the house side and running across, stapled on to the fencing.  It's worked pretty good over the years but have had to replace and/or repair holes so critters/predators can't get in and the chickens can't fly out.  It's fairly flimsy and I've never been happy with it. 

Today we had a horrible rain/snow storm, it rained nonstop for 2 days straight and then a snow blizzard all day today.  The netting collapsed under the weight and came undone, some of it froze to the ground.  Tomorrow is supposed to warm up and here in Oklahoma, all the snow will probably melt off.  I need ideas for something I can use as a cover for the pen where the chickens run around.  I have a tractor for the yard so they get out often but while inside the pen, need something for cover.  Any ideas?

Our 9 bantam chickens provide us with plenty of eggs for family & friends, fertilizer for our gardens, fun personalities, and love & education for our grandkids who are quite attached.  Also have fish, frogs, a parakeet and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, we have resident hawks who visit from time to time so chickens can't free range anymore but get to get out and play in their chicken tractor.
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Our 9 bantam chickens provide us with plenty of eggs for family & friends, fertilizer for our gardens, fun personalities, and love & education for our grandkids who are quite attached.  Also have fish, frogs, a parakeet and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, we have resident hawks who visit from time to time so chickens can't free range anymore but get to get out and play in their chicken tractor.
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post #2 of 14

I overlap clear corrugated plastic panels. I put a pipe under the center so there is a slight slope, and zip tie down the end to the chain link. My run is only 6'x6' so this works well for me. They've been up for 6 years now and no sign of deterioration. I do need to clean off the moss this year though. Unless the wind is blowing it stays dry underneath during rain. Hope this is some help for you. Good Luck.
Imp/Russ

 

 

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

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If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

You know, I've looked at those and considered it.  My area is 9'x27' and I can't remember the lengths they come in but it might work.  I thought I'd read here somewhere that the plastic panels make it too hot in the Summer, heat coming down through the plastic, etc. I have a couple of tarps stretched across under the netting to keep it dry.  The tarps work fine for weather.  We've had possums, racoons, hawks, etc. so I have to have something across the top to secure the chicks.  I'm going out later to check on supplies and will look at these.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Our 9 bantam chickens provide us with plenty of eggs for family & friends, fertilizer for our gardens, fun personalities, and love & education for our grandkids who are quite attached.  Also have fish, frogs, a parakeet and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, we have resident hawks who visit from time to time so chickens can't free range anymore but get to get out and play in their chicken tractor.
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Our 9 bantam chickens provide us with plenty of eggs for family & friends, fertilizer for our gardens, fun personalities, and love & education for our grandkids who are quite attached.  Also have fish, frogs, a parakeet and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, we have resident hawks who visit from time to time so chickens can't free range anymore but get to get out and play in their chicken tractor.
Reply
post #4 of 14

i dont know if it would work for you but i got some ducks from a lady and she had a pen made out of pvc pipe and then she had it covered in netting and wire. maybe you could construct a top and then cover it in poultry wire? if you already have sides you might be able to connect it to them or maybe just add some legs.

post #5 of 14

With the corr. plastic at our Home Depot they have 12 16 and 9.


Might I suggest deer netting? It's 7x100 and runs about 15 dollars

Leah; owned by Willow, the world's best dog, and three buff rock bantams (Yams, Ginger, and Pumpkin.)
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Leah; owned by Willow, the world's best dog, and three buff rock bantams (Yams, Ginger, and Pumpkin.)
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post #6 of 14

I have used that green nylon netting, stronger than the plastic and not too bad looking. It is often used to cover ponds from critters and leaves falling in autum.

Best darn kid in the world, and some great fowl too.
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Best darn kid in the world, and some great fowl too.
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post #7 of 14

Gardenfinds,
You are very right about the heat in the summer. The climates are very different bertween Tulsa and Seattle. I think our summers are like your winters. sad

Imp

 

 

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

Reply

 

 

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

Reply
post #8 of 14

our run is 10 by 16 and we have it covered with chicken wire. I have posts set in the ground for the side fencing and ran 2 by 4's across the tops of these posts to support the chicken wire. I also started with the netting and the first really heavy snow we had just tore it all down. We had a big snow last night and the run was covered with snow but it didn't sag the chicken wire any. I just went in there this morning and hit the wire and the snow all fell out. I love it and will be putting more up when I extend the run this year.

post #9 of 14

Chicken wire works well for me, of course it never really snows where I live.


                  P.s good luck!!! big_smile

2 dogs, 3 cats, 17 ducks, 2 geese, 1 turkey, a lot of  chickens, several tropical fish, and 3 goldfish! This is one crazy little farm!
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2 dogs, 3 cats, 17 ducks, 2 geese, 1 turkey, a lot of  chickens, several tropical fish, and 3 goldfish! This is one crazy little farm!
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Checked the plastic panels, too costly for as many as I'd need.  As predicted, the snow is melting like crazy, nice sunny warm day today. At least I'm getting tons of water for the rain barrels and didn't lose any chickens. Guess they were too traumatized to fly away! Oklahoma weather, go figure. Resorted to two 14x14 sheets of netting and the job is done and everything is secured.  We shouldn't have anymore snow this Spring so I'll be good for a while.  The new netting ought to hold up, perhaps the old netting was weakened by the weather and the snow did it in!

Our 9 bantam chickens provide us with plenty of eggs for family & friends, fertilizer for our gardens, fun personalities, and love & education for our grandkids who are quite attached.  Also have fish, frogs, a parakeet and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, we have resident hawks who visit from time to time so chickens can't free range anymore but get to get out and play in their chicken tractor.
Reply
Our 9 bantam chickens provide us with plenty of eggs for family & friends, fertilizer for our gardens, fun personalities, and love & education for our grandkids who are quite attached.  Also have fish, frogs, a parakeet and lots of birds.  Unfortunately, we have resident hawks who visit from time to time so chickens can't free range anymore but get to get out and play in their chicken tractor.
Reply
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