Blocking wind/rain question/UPDATE used burlap/pictures post#29

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LaurelRidgeDreams, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I attached plastic to the north and west sides of our run to try and block wind/rain. The wind ripped it off. The run is made of 1/2 inch hardward cloth. Someone suggested to put plastic on the outside of the hardware cloth and then cover this with chicken wire. The thought is that the chicken wire would keep the plastic from blowing around. Does anyone have a different idea?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    If you are covering with plastic, then using chicken wire or any metal wire on the other side of the plastic is your best bet. The stiffness of the wire will keep the wind from whipping it off. I personally hate working with chicken wire but it's much cheaper than hardware cloth and you really don't need more than that to hold the plastic down. Best, too, is to use wood strips like 1x2's over the supports/studs/whatever that you staple the plastic onto so that it doesn't rip there.

    However, depending on the size of the coop, maybe an inexpensive tarp would be a good idea. You then wouldn't need the extra wire to hold it on. Not the canvas ones, but the ones made of a sort of woven plastic. They're heavy duty but not heavy weight and don't rot or mildew. I'd still use something like 1x2's on the supports it's stapled to.
    Just using the grommets on the edges will work but not as well. It'll whip around in the wind if you do that, it just won't tear. If your coop is small like a rabbit hutch then it'll be easy.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    First, make really awfully sure that there is no risk of the run fence itself blowing over ot "leaving", when you make it solid with that plastic. This happens more often than you might think.

    If you are absolutely certain the structure can stand the wind load, then yes you can try it the way you propose, but a stronger method would be to use crisscrossed rope or a section of plastic snow fence (= construction fence) instead of the chickenwire. THe drawback of the chickenwire being that it will bag and stretch somewhat, making it a lot harder to get the plastic attached taut (and stay that way) than with the plastic fencing or ropes. (I use the very heavy-gauge baler twine from the 600+-lb roundbales we get for hay, which works very well and is free, but actual storeboughten light rope would work fine too, as long as it is a type that does not stretch much)

    Another option would be to go with burlap rather than plastic, for some or possibly even all of the windbreak. I know that the landscape burlap they sell these days seems so flimsy and see-through that it would not do much for wind, but I used it last winter on my turkey run (because of wind-load issues with solid materials) and was astonished at what a good job it did. There was still air movement on the other side of the burlap but not *wind*, it was really quite pleasant back there even on a windy day. They sell it this time of year for people to wrap their evergreen shrubs for winter.

    The other other option would be to construct some kind of windbreak *separate from* your run fence, but I would guess you've already discarded this as impractical in your situation. (Indeed, it is best suited to situations where you have access to some cheap or free straw or mulch hay, preferably in big bales and with equipment to use it; or other 'found' materials)

    (e.t.a. -- if your plastic is whipping around and flapping itself to death I would not recommend just switching to a tarp. Tarps will do the same thing, albeit not necessarily as soon. Indeed tarps *can* rip apart, or the grommets can rip out, or they can just sort of disintegrate into shreds. I mean, of course you can use a tarp as your plastic but you will still need to attach it more securely across its middle so it doesn't flap, along the lines of what you've suggested or the ideas above.)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I think the idea here is that either tarp or plastic should be attached to something at least every 2 feet. If it's a big coop, there'll normally be studs every 18 to 24 in., and you'd staple or better put a screw through your covering 1x2 (or both) about every 8 inches. A smaller coop won't have supports spaced this way so that's why I said it depends on the size of the coop.

    But I think attaching them to something at least every 2 feet is a decent guideline.

    Yes, tarps can whip themselves apart, it just takes longer and it takes more wind. Personally I'd try to secure either so they don't whip at all. And if the coop can't withstand the wind pressure when covered this way, improvements are in order.

    What I like about the plastic weave tarps is that it's cheaper and easier to cover that way. The drawback is that they block the light. Just depends.

    Quote:This statement confused me at first. What I do (or did - don't need to now) is have a wire - plastic - wire sandwich. The original hardware cloth first, the plastic over that, then the chicken wire over the whole mess. In any event, having the plastic be the outer layer would sort of defeat the purpose of having the chicken wire on there to support it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I cover my chicken run every fall, once the weather starts getting really bad, with those blue tarps. I really wrap it up like a package. I cover all sides and the top. Now we had severe winds for the past two days, and only a very small corner of the tarps was loosened. The framework of my chicken run is wood, so I use a staple hammer to attach the tarp. Make it very very taut, and you shouldn't have many problems with the wind.

    I've done this for two years now, and all is well.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    THe drawback of the chickenwire being that it will bag and stretch somewhat, making it a lot harder to get the plastic attached taut (and stay that way) than with the plastic fencing or ropes.

    This statement confused me at first. What I do (or did - don't need to now) is have a wire - plastic - wire sandwich. The original hardware cloth first, the plastic over that, then the chicken wire over the whole mess. In any event, having the plastic be the outer layer would sort of defeat the purpose of having the chicken wire on there to support it.​

    My point was that instead of chickenwire on the outside of the plastic (which is what the o.p. proposed) it works better IME to use crisscrossed ropes or plastic snowfence on the outside of the plastic. So you have, going from outside of run towards inside, a sandwich that is "plastic snowfence -- plastic -- actual chicken run fence material".

    If the outer layer is chickenwire, the drawback is that the chickenwire tends to bag and distort *after installation* and allow the windbreak plastic to loosen over time. Plus rope or plastic snowfence are often cheaper.

    Sorry if I was confusing!

    Pat​
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Instead of going to the expense and trouble of plastic and wire or rope, I'd spend the money on SOLID material that could be reused every year.

    No matter how well you put up plastic, it's a temporary fix that wind and Sun will soon destroy
     
  8. HarlansHollowFarms

    HarlansHollowFarms bana-bhuidseach anns gára

    Jan 16, 2009
    This is more of a long term solution, but personally I would start planting shrubs, bushes and trees for a perminant and wildlife freindly wind break. I live in a very windy part of the country and any plastic or tarp solutions are very short term and wind up being more costly over the years then planting a natural barrier.
     
  9. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Here's the run I want to cover . The wind/rain comes mostly from the north and west. The run now has a roof on all of the top.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  10. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What kind of solid material?
     

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