We have a mini coop that we brood chicks in and plan to modify for possible broodies at some point. Our yard gets quite a bit of sun which shines through the front of this coop during certain times of the year. Eventually a tree in the front yard will be large enough to help with this. Until then I told Igor I needed some adjustable shades and this is what he came up with. I love them!
Shade cloth, we purchased a 6' x 15' roll at the hardware store and cut to size.
Duck Tape in your favorite color
2 pieces 1" PVC pipe, cut to size
4 Bungee cords, small
4 cup hooks big enough to hold the grommets
Drill/bit, not pictured
I'm not including specific measurements. These screens were custom made for the door and hardware cloth wall of our mini coop. You can easily adjust these based on your needs. We had everything but the shade cloth and cup hooks on hand, and we have plenty of shade cloth leftover. I spent about $35 for this project, but with excess materials it cost less. Animals come first regardless.
**There are a couple of suggestions for other materials that can be used at the end of this article. We used what we had around that was light weight.
This is the mini coop before we put the shade screens on
We started by measuring each area, length and width. Igor then used a hack saw to trim some 1" PVC we recycled from another project to match the width of each area. The scissors were used to trim the roll of shade cloth for length and width.
The top of each screen was trimmed with Duck tape to provide some strength for attaching grommets. We don't suggest using it to trim the sides though. It becomes brittle with time and disintigrates. Moving it around a lot tends to make this worse.
The PVC was attached to the bottom of the screen with Duck tape to provide weight and a way to roll up the screen. The clamps held the screen to the PVC while Igor taped it. I suspect there will be a mod for this due to the aforementioned disintegration issue. For now it's what we're trying and we're on a budget.
The baling wire was cut the length of the PVC pipe plus enough to make a loop on each end and twist the ends to tighten it. I would guesstimate 6" longer than the pipe. One end was wrapped around a corner piece of PVC to form the loop. The pliers were used to hold the ends and then the corner piece was turned clockwise like a knob to twist the ends and form the loop. Pull the straight end out the other end of the pipe and repeat, but turn the knob counter clockwise. This helps tighten the wire so the loops are close to the ends of the pipe. Use pliers to close the metal end of the bungee cords around the loop of wire.
The grommet placement was marked with a sharpee and then we used scissors to cut a hole in the taped area at the top. Grommets were then tapped together with the hammer.
Igor used a drill to make pilot holes for the hooks and the screens are hung.
Here they are full length
And partially up on one side
This project could have been done by stapling the bottom of the screens to wooden dowels. Drill pilot holes and add eye screws. Use tree branches if that's what you have. Anything relatively straight would work, just make sure it's not too heavy. Then attach bungee cords or whatever else you find appealing. Lightweight materials are best.
Remember when I mentioned there would be a mod for the way the PVC was attached to the shade screen? Two days in the sun and one of the pieces had detached. I knew that would happen, so I was prepared and fixed the screens this morning.
I used the clamps to hold the screen to the pipe and some leftover wire from a roll of chicken fencing. Threaded the wire through the holes of the screen and around the pipe, then twisted it down tight with pliers and folded the ends over.