Does anyone have a picture of a hover?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BCMominMD, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    The article The Cold Coop in the last BYC newsletter refers to use of a hover over the perch in winter to help the chickens stay warm. Has anyone used this to help with winterizing the coop?
    I have an 8x10 shed coop and 12 chickens. We have one long roost. I'd like to figure out how to build something like that over half the roost. I'd like to see hear what others have done.
     
  2. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I have one that is still being built. But here is a pic as it is now.

    [​IMG]

    Above the perch is the insulated "hood". It has 4.5" of styrofoam insulation built into it and will have a reflective insulation skirt along the front. This will hopefully help to hold in a nice bubble of warmer air around the birds on the perch and in the nests. I'm thinking of this like what spruce grouse do when they perch in an evergreen during the winter. You can see the storage space I have created above the perch area. Six bags of bedding plus feed and building supplies are on there right now.

    I'll add the rest of the insulation this weekend. The other thing I will be doing is adding an inch of styrofoam to the underside of the large flat perch. Might as well make the perch as comfortable as possible.
     
  3. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    Thanks Klorinth. That is really nice. I'm having a hard time imagining the reflective insulation skirt along the front. Would that wing out from the top? or come up from the bottom (if so would they have to jump up and then down unto the roost). What are the areas to the right and left of your picture? Can the birds get in there?-looks like plastic bags in there now?
     
  4. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I guess a little explanation would be helpful.

    The plastic under the perch area is just some uncovered vapour barrier. I just haven't finished sheathing the inside yet. It's a new coop.

    The reflective insulation will be covering the inside of the hood then coming out to hang down at the front. The birds walk up the ladder in front to get onto the perch. That perch is actually 4' off the floor. The hover is at 6'. Once the insulation skirt is finished there will be about a 6" skirt hanging in the front. The birds will still be able to just walk right up. I should clarify... the reflective insulation I am trying to keep out of reach of the chickens. I don't really want them deciding to eat it.

    On the right and left ends of the perch are nests.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe this will make it look a little clearer...
     
  5. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    Yes - much clearer! Very nice and thoughtfully done. Thank you for sharing:)
     
  6. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    you could also probably build a hover out of cardboard boxes. Heck, if you have a big enough box and few enough chickens, you could just put the box upside down on the roosts and see if they will walk up into it. I would worry though that there is not ENOUGH air circulaton in that setup. I am using cardboard panels to create a draft free area in my 12x20 of which half is used as a coop for 7 chickens - like a hover (cardboard is permanent at roost level but i have some removable panels secured with bungee cords at floor level), and will at least insulate the corner they roost in, also have a drop ceiling for the chicken area (which could also be made of cardboard. I like cardboard for its recycling and noncommital fashion. Its like a mock up of future plans. Nothing in my coop is permanent hahahah) I had considered putting my large sized plastic doghouse(unused by the dogs) in there - up on roost level, as a coop within a coop, but decided against it.

    Home depot has a handy $20 wooden screen door that we mounted outside the metal door, of course I covered it with hardware cloth. I like having both doors. The metal one blocks out alot of afternoon heat in the summertime.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  7. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    Funny - I was just thinking about card board boxes and how I could use them. It seems like if it was open on the bottom, resting on the roost that there would be air circulation from below - maybe too much though.
    I was also thinking of an old, large plastic dog crate. Did you decide against in because it would be hard to clean out the poop?
     
  8. ScottM

    ScottM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bump, any other pics out there?
     
  9. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    One thing that I've experimented with last winter was using an old beach towel hanging over draft areas - over the open windows - either fully covering them when its more windy or hanging it over the bottom half when its not. You want to make sure you aren't just channeling the wind (I used bungie cord across the bottom of the window to hold the towel against it so the wind wasn't just blowing thru at the bottom) I really like the fact that there is air coming in, but not blowing on my hens.

    Someone here had mentioned using burlap to cut down on drafty areas (I also have used sheets hanging with gap at a good height above chicken level as a breeze block) Granted, my coop is really a shed, so I have room to work with but I think you can use this technique in alot of scenarios. If you can keep fresh air circulating that's always a good thing....
     

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