Cattle panels?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KDOGG331, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nice paragraphs...for most of it anyway ;-)

    The livestock panel is just the structure for the hoop coop, a curved roof/walls is sturdier than using them in the flat.
    Then that is covered with smaller mesh for predator protection anyway, yes some folks just use plastic or a mix of mesh sizes.
    So buy the cheapest panels as the mesh size openings on the panels doesn't really matter in a hoop coop application.

    The panels are probably too hard to bend into something small enough for the pool brooder...and I think you're pretty set on that anyway.
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeahhh, there was that one really long paragraph. :p

    But wow, that's really interesting, I never realized it was sturdier. Yet people use them the "normal" way.. They should all make hoop coops :p well, not coops for other animals I guess.

    I'll definitely buy the cheapest one though, good to know it doesn't matter.

    Although, I'm wondering, since I've seen people use the plastic and you confirmed it, and now hearing about the HC, couldn't predators just rip right through the plastic? I don't get why people do that? Unless it's wide enough they can get away?

    But oh yeah, I wouldn't bend it around the pool; I was thinking of not using the pool and just making it. But I was thinking you were saying they were happy with it/don't need new adjustments but then I just realized maybe you meant like I really like the idea/not changing my mind on that, not sure which one haha but either way, it's true that they've been happy and healthy so far but they've outgrown it and the garage one isn't done yet, which is why I thought maybe I could restart, leading me to point 2, I'm good with any idea. :),

    Anyway, thank you for your help and stuff. :)
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think that folks who just use plastic have other means of predator protection, like hot wire and/or LGD and/or other fencing.

    'Chasing space'...is what you're doing with your chicks, common for newbies who don't realize how much room they need and how fast they grow.
    You start small for the cute tiny chicks then a week or two later they're huge and you scramble to get a bigger space set up.

    Can't remember what your whole story is and what your plans for a coop are.
    I always advise to get the coop built before you even get chicks...often too late for that by the time folks come here going ......gaahhhh!

    So is the hoop coop something you're contemplating for your adult bird coop...or another intermediate brooder/growout coop?
     
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  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If your brooder is in the garage, do you need hardware cloth? Isn't your garage predator proof?


    I don't know about different types of panels. Our Grange doesn't carry that many, I guess. there's hog, cattle and horse. You want flexible, and lightweight is fine. You're not fencing hogs or cattle, just using it as a framework.


    I've used panels wrapped with chicken wire to fence a grow out pen. It worked very well for us. One side was the barn, two sides were 16 foot panels. The third panel we cut down to make a 4 foot gate. T posts at the corners and for the gate. Wrapped with chicken wire to keep the chicks inside, cause they can go right through the holes in the panels. I put netting over the top of the whole thing to keep the flyers inside. Nope, not predator proof, but I have a dog for that so my individual pens aren't predator proof.
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Ohhhh that makes more sense then. I'm not sure we could really do those other ways though plus I'm paranoid about predators so I guess I'll probably have to do the HC.

    You definitely got that right... xD hah

    It's okay, I've made a lot of various posts and changed my mind so probably hard to keep track. For building the coop though, I really probably should have but I didn't think I was getting them and then ordered them in September and was trying to save up for a bit plus thought I had time so didn't think to build and yeah.

    Anyway, basic thing of the story is I was thinking of building it with all new wood (hence the saving) then recently realized thst wss stupid and picked up some pallets to build a pallet coop. Well now I was thinking about just expanding our dog house. I may still use the pallets though for the addition or something.

    Anyway, as for the hoop coop idea, I was thinking possibly both? Not sure if it will fit in the garage and may just go for two pools connected but not sure. For outside though, I'm back to thinking the hoop coop is a great idea. I'm thinking though I might just use it for the run and still have the other coop but I'm not sure



    It's true the garage is predator proof but we have mice I think, which is the reason for it, so they don't get into the feed and stuff. Plus I might use the hoop coop/run thing for adults outside too so they'd need it or something else and yeah.

    Yeah, those are about the same as ours but then there's also a sheep one I think but.it's way more expensive. But that's really true that it's just the frame, forgot to think of that haha thanks

    That sounds like a great idea and similar to what I was thinking of. May have to try that except make it more predator proof
     
  6. paintedChix

    paintedChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow. Difficult to follow all that you are trying to accomplish.

    What kind of chickens did you get? How big will they be? How many? That will determine basic size of a coop. In MA, if you aren't doing the coop part for the birds in the garage, you will need a large enough coop to keep them in during your snowstorms (doesn't all of MA get snow?).

    Cattle panels are WONDERFUL things!! The page you showed from TSC had all kinds of livestock fencing. The reason hog, sheep and horse panels are more expensive than the cattle panel is simple. Smaller spaces between the squares = both more vertical and more horizontal pieces to be welded in. Material and time to build - even in mass quantities = higher $ amount. For our Shetland ponies and eventual goats - I'd love to have the 2"x2" horse panels - but at almost $60/panel (and at the TSCs here in NC it's $69/panel) - I can get 3 panels of the cattle (now a combo panel w/ smaller squares on the bottom - used to be all the same size and 52" tall rather than the 50" tall it is now) and cut it myself.

    Don't know that you could bend an 8' panel around a kiddie pool or into a coop or run. Seems would be too short to me after I've used the 16' ones. BUT you could try. Cheaper to purchase the 16' ones and cut your own. Gardeners cut them all the time to use as trellis in combo with raised beds.

    Our mature chickens can go right through a cattle panel by itself - whether it is in the regular setting or in an upright, curved hoop coop setting. Chicks can go thru that much faster. We didn't have problems with predators here (NC) on our previous property and not so far on our new set up either. SO - chicken wire works great - no HC on the sides OR as an "apron" on the ground. We covered our hoop coops completely with the chicken wire, then cover that with tarps to provide shade during the summer and cover during the rain, bit of snow and freezing precip we get. Eventually, our hoops will get covered with corrugated panels - think greenhouse type.

    The link already shown has a fantastic set up by a fellow NCer. Made me drool! If you go thru the info on deep litter method, you'll see other hoop coops - BeeKissed has a great one and so does a woman in NY (I think). Also, Blooie (in WY or the Dakotas - wind, snow, cold) uses hers as a run with a connecting tunnel to their chicken coop. There are many others using the cattle panel hoop coops in different formats. Ours aren't fancy, but works for us. Still have some tweaking to do and things to build!

    We currently have 3 different hoop coops - each made with a wooden base about 8'x10'. Each is slightly different in design, though not by much. To move them, though that was the original plan, is difficult! They are HEAVY - w/o added pop doors, hanging feeders, waterers, nesting boxes OR roosts. And ours don't have any wood sides/backs on them either. Also, we followed one design with the boards all the way around level and square. We have rough land and that makes it hard to pull them around - even if using a tractor, lawn mower or truck - both the front piece and the back piece "catch" on uneven areas, cacti (yep, got lots of that here on this new property), weeds, tufts of grass separate from other grass & brush. The "catching" is hard on whatever is used to pull it (think transmission/engine/clutch repair or painful shoulders/backs) AND also on the coop itself - each jolt works loose something somewhere.

    Lots of pics to follow!

    Building our first hoop coop -

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    After seeing several versions of a cattle/stock panel "hoop coop", I wanted one or several! So here is our first attempt - Juli and I are doing the build. It's already been a long day and this is turning out to be some work. Good work, but work. We get the panels zip tied together, then get them stapled to the 2x6x10 boards that will make the sides, then reverse it and stand it up. Then comes attaching the front and rear boards - hmmm... pre-drilling holes is wonderful!

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    Our granddaughters are checking it out! The bucket to the right side is the "pop" door. The end on the inside of the pen is cut out and to let chicken in/out, you just pull off the bucket lid (which can't be taken away as it's attached by a cord made from braided hay string). The front and back of this pen is 8' wide. The 2 cattle panels are 50" "tall" - so joined is 100". That's a little more than 8'. Say "coop" or "pen" is 8'x8'4". If it was made 3 panels long, it would be 8'x12-1/2'.

    Who says you can't brood chicks in it?? These babies have been in the "coop" for a month already - these 3 were only 1.5 weeks old when I brought them home on October 17th. The first night, they spent in my feed room, then they were in a dog Xpen, covered in chicken wire, in this coop. They had the baby chick waterer and feeder, a "crate" they could bed down in w/ shavings, 3 sides blocked in so that heat could be retained and a warm light hanging from above. That whole thing is now out, they are eating/drinking w/ the two big girls (Australorps) but still have their light hanging. Will be putting in a baby roost for them this weekend near the light - they keep flying up to the buckets and feeder. The blue bucket ("pop" door) isn't open yet... No nest boxes yet here either - one of the next projects - soon - as the two black girls are about to start laying. We've started deep litter method with this coop - will be adding both leaves and pine straw again this weekend. Our property is predominantly sand - no way to remove it, so we are amending it thru the DLM.

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    pic is the other 2 coops. They will need to have more tarping done before winter hits here or I might have problems. But that will come - probably over Thanksgiving. They have since had quite a number of loads of pine straw and leaves added to them and need many more... They are sitting on top of hay/horse manure that happened when we didn't clean this section of the horse pen for 8 months. We shifted the horse pen, and put the hoop coops here. The bucket pop doors are now open and both the boys and the girls have learned to go out/roam and return at dark. Sometimes we find a boy in with the girls - I move them back... They are doing a GREAT job of aerating the horse manure NOT in their coops - YAAAYYYYY! Got 2" of rain today. They didn't drown and are quite happy.

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    The pen before "blue horse pen" moved over and chicken coops put on top of manure hay where Jazzy/Taff are standing in pic. You can see the blue horse pen in pic above - behind the coops.
    That hay "rack" is a cattle panel wrapped around a round bale of hay. Jazzy has reached over (doesn't work so well w/ full size horses) and bent/folded up the panel. I removed these (had 2) and used these panels to hold the trash/bonfire burn pit instead.

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    We also have 2 sheds built from wood pallets and cattle panels (on our new property). The pallets are all the same size - 4'x4'. Then I hooped the panels for the ceiling/roofs. These aren't for the chickens right now, so no wire on them. But they'd work well for chickens. This was the first one we built when the ponies in temporary, leased quarters on 3 acres of land between where we moved from until we closed/moved into the new property. Worked great for 60+ days! Easy to put up and easy to take down and held up during snow, ice, rain and WIND. Cozy, too.

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    This is the first shed that we put together on the new property. It's about 10' wide x 8' deep. Reusing panels that have been moved/hauled long distances 2x means we now get some "funny" shapes... Right now it's connected by hay string. Plan on bolting it together eventually. Maybe before the pallets disintegrate...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    This shed is 12' wide x 8' deep. It will be expanded this winter to 16' wide x 12' deep. It is also temporarily tied w/ haystring to hold it together. when we expand it, we will use bolts on the pallets and fencing staples on the panels to hold them in place. This area is much more level than the boys' area is.

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    And then we use them in the "traditional" way - for fencing in our ponies. Ponies are notoriously hard on this fencing - but it's so much easier to put up and also to replace if a pony "gets stupid"...

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. paintedChix

    paintedChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The two hoop coops that I have the boys and girls in? They are also only 8'x8' (2 cattle panels). There are 12 girls (didn't get exact hatches - O didn't know) - ranging in age from June 24th thru August 19th (I got them in September - all were feathered in) in the one (need to do at least 3 nest boxes - will probably do 4) and there are 9 boys in the other one. They are all 1/2 Brahma Xs - the boys are getting HUGE (like mini turkeys!!) and we plan on processing all of them by Christmas. There are currently 2 roosts in each coop - about 6 girls on each in theirs & some of the boys still sleep on the ground... Since they are free ranging now, and I don't really expect to have to close them up permanently, I feel that they should easily be able to live in that size coop. Don't know that that would work if I was in a colder climate or where they needed to be closed in for several days at time. I think, especially with their sizes, that we would see problems with fighting (not just the boys)/pecking orders, boredom and habits there of.

    I was going to point out something else, but now can't remember what it was. AH - once the boys are processed, I could split the girls and do 1/2 in each coop. Then if they have to be locked up for any reason, shouldn't be a problem so much.

    ***Edited to add*** - The coop with the chicks in it has the two big Australorp girls (just now 5 months old), 2 lite Brahmas, 1 GLW & 5 wheaton/blue wheaton Ameraucana. None of the chicks are sexed and I still am not certain what I actually have - hoping to have at least 1 roo w/ the Lite Brahmas and 1 Ameraucana roo..

    Here are pics of our other "short coops/pens". These were here when we moved in - I am taking the wire off the tops of these pens this winter and will be using cattle panel to build roofs for them. Will probably do them interlocked rather than separate hoops, but haven't made up my mind on that one yet. layering the natural bedding into them is fantastic! NO smell, and the birds are happier - good thing as I'm not really in a position to free range the birds every day.

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    What we started with when we moved in. The "hut" needs to have ventilation opened up on the bottom - about 1 foot off the ground. And I need to figure out how to get the window on the back of it opened. That SHOULD be enough ventilation to allow us to have the 7 hens & 1 roo that are in the pen/coop now closed up in the coop if absolutely necessary, The pen is about 16'x16'. These chickens aren't pets and if our 4 oldest (hatched Feb 2011) have quit laying by next spring, they may go in the freezer.


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    ***Edited to add - too funny!! I didn't know about DLM at the time we were cleaning this area up. I could have put what we were cleaning up/out into each of the pens I knew I was putting chickens in and just continued it all summer. SIGH. Well, that's ok, I know now what to do!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thank you so much for all the great suggestions and details! So sorry I never replied back but I wanted to take the time to read it fully, which I'm still working on, and reply plus busy with other stuff but now I'm back. Thanks so much for all the detail. :)

    My dad found this coop on Craigslist last night so my brothers are getting it tomorrow however I think I will still use this hoop idea because we are going to need a bigger run.

    http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/grd/5326854823.html

    (Forgot the link)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If it's not too late, I'd rethink that...it will not hold 8-9 chickens as the ad says...I can't remember how many birds you have.
    Barely 4' x 4', no nests, the wood used on those is pretty fragile......nice ventilation cupola at the top tho.
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I tried to tell him that but he thinks it's good for the price plus it doesn't help my mom agrees/keeps saying we just need something for now (which I say is dumb because why buy or build two things) but I guess I'm going to have to make it work because he emailed her last night and said he wanted to see it and asked if Friday (aka tomorrow) morning was good so my brothers are going. You would think I would have more of a say given they're my chickens.. Haha

    But yeah, I figured it was something like that for size but wasn't sure since the one side looks bigger. The nests I'm not sure if they have elsewhere or if we'd have to add them or what but they won't lay for a while anyway so can always deal with that later. But yeah, I'm a little worried about the wood too since it's probably a kit or something right? I agree though that the ventilation part is great. :)

    We have 8 and this would probably only be big enough for like 4 max, right? But they are also only 4 1/2 weeks old (will be 5 weeks on Monday) and are currently in a smaller thing in rhe garage so until they grow out some more I am hoping it could last a little while and by then maybe my dad would be better and we could add something. Or maybe make a bigger run or hoop run thing.

    There's a lot of BIG birds though so probably won't work eventually. 1 BR, 2 BA, 3 BO, and 2 EE. Mostly concerned about the Orps.

    This thing is probably really only good for like 4, right? I don't wanna downsize so will need to figure something out. Will more outdoor space help?
     

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