Chicken yard finished... for now ;) **more Pics Added- details**

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by arlee453, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    What a wonderful day here in the piedmont of NC - gorgeous blue sky and nice temps.

    I spent this afternoon finishing up the top of the chicken yard. I'm paranoid about my dogs getting the chickens - especially until they are full grown.

    AND, I got this incubator thing going now - awaiting my silky eggs from Jen this week, so it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finish up the chicken yard.

    You can see the yard in my avatar. I'll post pics of the finished product in the morning - it was too dark when I finished this evening to get good pics.

    I have the chickNBarn, run and attached pen, where the girls are living now. They are quickly outgrowing that space. Before we went on vacation, I ran a length of chain link fence to divide the yard into a dog area and a chicken area. The chicken area is about 20' by 80'.

    I didn't want the chickens to fly over the fence either into the dog part of the yard, the dog pen where my collies are OR out the back into the woods/brushy area. So, I took 3/4" PVC pipes and connected them 3 together to make a 30' length. Then I used those wire hose clamps to clamp the PVC supports to my fence posts to make arcs over the chicken area.

    I used deer netting to run over the tops of the arcs and attached the netting to the fence, PVC arcs with cable ties. I also used cable ties to attach the lengths of netting together.

    Total cost of the cover - about $60. I had to use 3 rolls of the netting (it was 7x100 feet), plus part of a roll I had left over from putting the top on the existing pen. I made 8 arcs.

    Keep in mind, the intent of the netting is to keep the chickens IN, not to keep predators out. They will be shut in their coop at night. The netting is surprisingly strong, but would not keep out a determined pest.

    I'll take some pics of the finished area tomorrow in the daylight. I'm very pleased with the results so far. Now, I need to work on moving the girls into the new coop and run over the next couple weeks while we are waiting on the eggs to hatch. Any successful hatched silkies will move into the ChickNBarn.

    OK, here's the pics. You really can't see the deer netting over the top - it's just too fine a mesh to show up on the camera.

    From far away so you can see the size of the pen.


    A little closer up so you can see the PVC supports.

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Great day!! I cant waite to see the pics! Congrats.
  3. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    I am looking forward to your pictures. I have several pens to build and no clue where to start.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    We let the girls out for their first day in the chicken yard and they are having the best time scratching in the leaves and eating the grass.

    I have posted pics in the first post in the thread. If anyone needs more info or close ups, let me know

  5. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Now that's CLASS!

    I'm wondering if the PVC hoops would work over our garden (which I'd like to fence for the chickens). I'm concerned about wind. It's really gusty here. Do you suppose that would be a problem?

    Also, does the PVC bend to any diameter? Or does it have a natural arc it likes to find?

    (edited for typos)
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2007
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    If you connected the hoops by running a "spine" down the middle to brace them, it would be strong enough to handle strong breezes.
  7. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Great job. I will have to do something like that to give the chickens more room to run. Looks great. [​IMG]
  8. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    We've had some pretty hard thunderstorms the other day with high winds and the PVC held up fine. I had no problems with the wind.

    The deer netting is VERY lightweight, and air passes easily through it. PLUS it stretches a bit so I am not anticipating wind to be an issue. It never snows here enough to make a difference, so I'm not worried about that either.

    The leaves are the only thing that may cause a problem, but I can take a broom and bump up on the netting to get them off.

    The PVC does have a shape it likes to take. If you pull it too far it will buckle. I had one span that was the longest and it wanted to keep buckling. I finally just took that one off and the netting is held up fine with the remaining supports.

    Since the deer netting is very light, I think that's what makes it work OK. If you used bird netting made of nylon that was less stretchy and heavier, I don't know if the PVC would be sturdy enough to support it as well.

    Plus, now that I have the netting zip tied to the PVC and the fence, that will help it keep its shape also.

    So far so good - and best of all I can stand up and move around freely in the yard area and I don't have to worry anymore about the chickens getting eaten by the dogs since they can't stray over the fence.
  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, the deed is done. We moved out the chickens of the ChickNBarn and into the larger coop. My daughter helped me hang the food and waterer in there and to round up the girls who were NOT interested in going in that new coop.

    I'm going to leave them in there a couple days to get used to it. Would two days be enough for them to find their way back? I suppose I can always do the chicken round up a few days to 'remind' them where their new home is.
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Good job, Arlee! That could be my solution if I decide to top my pen in the future.

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