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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Oz chic, Sep 16, 2019.
Did you get snow today? It snowed at Perisher.
No we didn’t, got down to minus 1.5 C and that was it.
I saw that Perisher got a fair bit, was so happy it stayed there. No where round here got any.
I had used deer netting in the past that made it through the first winter it was up. It had been a mild one with mainly lightweight snow up to 6" deep. That was 2016-17. However winter of 2017-18 was a different story. February 2, 2018 we got a heavy wet snow of 6-8". The weight was heavily sagging the overhead netting. So there I was at 1am, trying to clear the snow off the netting in 3 degree temperatures with 30 mph winds. I had 4 pens (28' x 9', 24' x 9', 24' x 18' and 11' x 18') with 6 coops. Luckily damage wasn't real bad, looked worse than it was, it was repaired after daylight. Middle pen netting was on the ground but not badly damaged and was able to be put back up once snow was removed. That was the first major storm. Enter March, I had to have emergency surgery (3/4/18) that was to lay me up for 4 weeks after a week in hospital. Three days later (3/13/18) after being home an even worse blizzard hit overnight and there was nothing I could do to try n save my pens. I wasn't allowed to walk down the hill to them yet. I prayed all night for their safety and got up to a pen disaster. 3 of 4 pens netting had collapsed and were buried under a foot or more of very heavy wet snow. Thank God I didn't lose any ducks or chickens, just major damage to their pens. I called a neighbor to dig them out. My ducks didn't seem to care, they were walking on top of everything. He did the best he could in temporarily repairing them but I had very little netting overhead left Luckily the pens are somewhat under the tree line and it did offer some overhead protection. I finally got medical clearance to do things (light duty) and started fixing the netting better from what was salvaged, enough to keep pens separated. Dang, another blizzard hit 2 weeks later and that was it for netting. I had to tear it all down this time. (No photos of 3rd storm damage)
Now, they have one large pen approximately 40' x 40' with a 12' x 10' main coop, a mid-sized coop for my pullets and a tiny coop for my ducklings. The fencing is 7' on the back side but only 3-4' on the other 3 sides. I usually only get the poor unfortunate frog or mouse in the pen. I put my 2 outside dogs kennels next to the pen for vocal protection, so far so good.
2/2/18 blizzard (photo #2 is netting on ground, #3 divider between rooster and banty/duck pen mangled)
I could only take photo from window as I was full of staples in my stomach.
Middle pen netting is on the ground under 12 plus inches of snow. (above photo)
My new pen with coops. Dogs kennel right next door.
Don't have one of duckling coop.
You definitely need stronger support to prevent what I had happen. Maybe even add some center supports as well.
I no longer use anything overhead but placed umbrellas (some with eyes painted on them) out not only for added shade but to deter hawks - it works. We've got woods on 2 sides of property and lots of unwanted critters but only have problems with a fox trying to dig up my lost babies graves - so far. 2 dogs next to pen and 1 in house are great deterrents.
Here is my netting sagging low after an ice storm. Yet it didn't tear, and it bounced back to original height after the ice melted. 2nd pic is a close-up:
This a a 25' expanse, held only by zip ties on cattle panels at each side.
WOW Mother Nature can be quite brutal when she wants to be. Glad you have got it all sorted out. I thought outs was bad with the small amount we got, you got heaps!
I am slowly getting my run sorted, I have treadle feeders now - that stops the wild birds, have removed the mess left by the snow and have decided to plant some trees, now that I don’t have a height restriction - that is this weekends job.
What is the bet we never see snow again, now I have decided on no top
I hope all works well for you. Sounds like a great idea.
Even with having the low fence, I rarely get an escapee. If I do, they stay close by the pen and my dogs will nonstop bark and whine to get our attention. Also we installed baby monitors (our coops all had/have power). Little noisy in mornings (roosters start at 3am crowing and I have 7) but if they get spooked at night we know it immediately and check it out. Caught several critters attempting but none were able to enter. Just last night I added a deer camera facing where I made a pet cemetery, something is trying to dig up a few.