Covering for chicken pen - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gardenfinds, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. gardenfinds

    gardenfinds Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    I've been trying to come up with another method of securing the area where I keep the chickens, the top of their pen. They've got a nice coop that sits against the house on one side and then that and the surrounding area are enclosed with privacy fencing and the front entrance with chicken wire and a framed chicken wire door.

    I've always used bird netting across the top, starting at the house side and running across, stapled on to the fencing. It's worked pretty good over the years but have had to replace and/or repair holes so critters/predators can't get in and the chickens can't fly out. It's fairly flimsy and I've never been happy with it.

    Today we had a horrible rain/snow storm, it rained nonstop for 2 days straight and then a snow blizzard all day today. The netting collapsed under the weight and came undone, some of it froze to the ground. Tomorrow is supposed to warm up and here in Oklahoma, all the snow will probably melt off. I need ideas for something I can use as a cover for the pen where the chickens run around. I have a tractor for the yard so they get out often but while inside the pen, need something for cover. Any ideas?
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I overlap clear corrugated plastic panels. I put a pipe under the center so there is a slight slope, and zip tie down the end to the chain link. My run is only 6'x6' so this works well for me. They've been up for 6 years now and no sign of deterioration. I do need to clean off the moss this year though. Unless the wind is blowing it stays dry underneath during rain. Hope this is some help for you. Good Luck.
  3. gardenfinds

    gardenfinds Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    You know, I've looked at those and considered it. My area is 9'x27' and I can't remember the lengths they come in but it might work. I thought I'd read here somewhere that the plastic panels make it too hot in the Summer, heat coming down through the plastic, etc. I have a couple of tarps stretched across under the netting to keep it dry. The tarps work fine for weather. We've had possums, racoons, hawks, etc. so I have to have something across the top to secure the chicks. I'm going out later to check on supplies and will look at these. Thanks for the suggestion.
  4. elliemay0305

    elliemay0305 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    i dont know if it would work for you but i got some ducks from a lady and she had a pen made out of pvc pipe and then she had it covered in netting and wire. maybe you could construct a top and then cover it in poultry wire? if you already have sides you might be able to connect it to them or maybe just add some legs.
  5. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    With the corr. plastic at our Home Depot they have 12 16 and 9.

    Might I suggest deer netting? It's 7x100 and runs about 15 dollars
  6. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    I have used that green nylon netting, stronger than the plastic and not too bad looking. It is often used to cover ponds from critters and leaves falling in autum.
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    You are very right about the heat in the summer. The climates are very different bertween Tulsa and Seattle. I think our summers are like your winters. [​IMG]

  8. JCfans

    JCfans Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2008
    Central Illinois
    our run is 10 by 16 and we have it covered with chicken wire. I have posts set in the ground for the side fencing and ran 2 by 4's across the tops of these posts to support the chicken wire. I also started with the netting and the first really heavy snow we had just tore it all down. We had a big snow last night and the run was covered with snow but it didn't sag the chicken wire any. I just went in there this morning and hit the wire and the snow all fell out. I love it and will be putting more up when I extend the run this year.
  9. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Chicken wire works well for me, of course it never really snows where I live.

    P.s good luck!!! [​IMG]
  10. gardenfinds

    gardenfinds Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    Checked the plastic panels, too costly for as many as I'd need. As predicted, the snow is melting like crazy, nice sunny warm day today. At least I'm getting tons of water for the rain barrels and didn't lose any chickens. Guess they were too traumatized to fly away! Oklahoma weather, go figure. Resorted to two 14x14 sheets of netting and the job is done and everything is secured. We shouldn't have anymore snow this Spring so I'll be good for a while. The new netting ought to hold up, perhaps the old netting was weakened by the weather and the snow did it in!

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