8 Reasons why trampoline pens don't work

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenannie, May 22, 2008.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    OK, I saw someone on BYC had a picture of this "great" trampoline pen -- an old trampoline converted to a movable poultry pen on grass. It seemed like a good idea, especially since I'm not much of a carpenter. So I found a used trampoline for $20 on Craigslist. I wanted to give some feedback on why I dislike this pen so much in case others are considering it. The best part is that it IS easy to assemble, however:

    1. When you lift it to move it, it falls apart. It's easy to assemble because the legs just slip together, but that also makes it fall apart every time you move it, even a little bit.

    2. The trampoline stretchy top is NOT AT ALL waterproof. Therefore you have to add a tarp or waterproofing.

    3. When it rains, even with a tarp the stretchy top sags in the middle. After a heavy rain, mine was so low, the turkeys couldn't pass under it! Plus water that leaked through the tarp poured into the middle of the pen through this lowest point.

    4. It is too low for easy access. Backbreaking.

    5. It can blow away with a strong wind so you have to anchor it which goes against the whole idea of a movable pen.

    6. There are gaps between all the springs (that hold the stretchy top on the frame) that 2 week old chicks can fly out of and cats can jump down through, so you have to do another layer of wire or protection there.

    7. It adds a certain hillbilly appearance.

    8. I could've put more work into a door, but I didn't, and the door is therefore just wire that I pull open and closed.

    I've had too add a lot of work to deal with the above problems and honestly, it just wasn't worth it. I may convert the darn thing back to a trampoline for the kids after the poults have grown.
    Brahma Chicken5000 and bzombie like this.
  2. augiedranch

    augiedranch Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    hi. this was helpful

    i am actually in the process of making a trampoline chicken tractor.. i didnt know other people did that too!

    i just have the poles. there isnt a trampline top thingy connected

    i taped and screwed the poles together so when i move them, they might not come apart that easy

    i put chicken wire around the circle. and all on the top.

    i have the door left to figure out.

    i have a big dog house for rain protection inside of the trampoline

    so i hope this works... i dont have the money to make a wood one, and being a girl. ill prob kill myself tryin to attempt to make a small wood one...
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  3. debbyluvschickens

    debbyluvschickens Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    eastern arkansas
    I had never even thought of that!! I have a really old rectangle shaped trampoline with no mat or springs, with a little work that could be an inexpensive tractor!!
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  4. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * lol!!! Never thought of using a trampoline-- but for 2O bucks, I might could afford to brainstorm some modifications-- Let's see: skids, bracing, center pole, just for starters. Roofing it IS a quandry!!!!
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    glad to see others are making it work out. Some good ideas too. There are tons of used trampolines out there for sale. I had no problem finding them cheap. good luck to everyone...!
  6. BlackSilkey

    BlackSilkey In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2008
    If rain leaks throu the strechey part flip it over, put chicken wire around it, make a small shelter in the middle, put a tarp on half of the top, and more wire on the other half (when it rains un fold the tarp to cover the wire). The stecthy part will let pee out and keep litter in when moved.
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  7. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Quote:OK, I'm the one who LOVES her tramp/tractor. But mine is not a coop. My understanding of tractor is that it's a TEMPORARY holding device. I put my girls in the tractor in it to allow them to graze on grass. At night they're in their "real" coop. And if it's raining, I don't put them in it.

    As far as falling apart and blowing away are concerned, all I can say is that you must have gotten a really cheap trampoline. Mine is solid as a rock, and wouldn't move in a tornado. We have gale-force winds coming from Lake Michigan, and there's no way that tramp would ever budge. And the frame is solid, so moving it is no problem.

    I would never put a tarp over the tramp mat, precisely because the tramp mat is SUPPOSED to let water through. Otherwise you'll have the problems you experienced.

    I will conceed that it's "too low for easy access." But when I want to put the girls away, I just open the door at dusk, and they happily return to their coop.

    You're also right about the gaps between the springs. But my cat gets along just fine with the chickens. I probably wouldn't use it for tiny chicks. And I don't put my hens in there unless I'm home.

    edited for spelling.
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
    Lowrider likes this.
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    horsewisher, I was in no way critizing your tramp coop. I was just detailing what happened with mine. I'm sure you have a sturdier type -- the one I got for $20 on craigslist is made of bars that slip into each other without any other attachment (it WAS cheap). That is why it falls apart when you lift up. putting weight down on the top (jumping) doesn't affect it.

    My hens are free-range all the time. I thought this tramp coop would work well for my turkey chicks as a semi-temporary coop (8 weeks) and my plan was to move it around. At any rate, once I realized I couldn't move it around easily, I divided it in half and made it into 2 separate chick pens.

    As you see, other folks have adapted theirs much better than mine. I didn't have the tools to drill/screw the legs together, and honestly, we've had several weeks of stormy rainy cold weather which have made the water issue worse than it would have been if the weather had been nice. A little rain wouldn't have mattered.
  9. josh_bigler

    josh_bigler Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    windsor, missouri
    i know this thread is old, but what i did was put mine all together then took a drill and drilled where every peice that connects and put a bolt and nut on it, no more problems moving! and for the top yea it leaks water on mine to but i have half of it tarped and its only used for when i got new chickens, but i dont buy adult chickens anymore so i dont even use it anymore!!
  10. Quote:Very well researched, documented, and written! Very educational.

    *note to self.. no trampolines...

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