First time chicken owners preparing for Pac NW rainy season. Anyone ever use a "party tent/canopy" f

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by peacechikn, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. peacechikn

    peacechikn Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2016
    San Juan Island, WA
    First off-- this is my first post (aside from my intro), so hi everyone. :) We've never had chickens before and have spent all summer preparing for them. I'm ecstatic, to say the least, having chickens has been a dream of mine for YEARS.

    I live with my wife in NW Washington state, the beloved Pacific NW, and the "rainy season" is about to begin. We don't have our chickens yet, we're getting them in a few weeks (rescues), so I'm trying to find a solution to our inevitable rain issue before they get here.

    I did so much reading, research, etc. and thought we had a fantastic setup (for first-timers), until I realized I missed something so obvious: the rain is going to soak the exposed part of the coop floor (sand) and make the entire area unusable/damp/unhealthy. Here's the enclosure and the coop (I'm on the left):

    [​IMG]

    I've asked our small, local Facebook group about the best way to fix this and they said either raise the coop off the ground (and add a floor), build a different coop roof that covers the entire floor area, or get a new coop. While I would love to implement any of those solutions, we've spent so much money on the fence enclosure (my #1 priority) I can't afford any pricey modifications, not this year anyway.

    So I'm trying to figure out a temporary, affordable solution that can be in place before the chickens arrive (mid-October). Yesterday I was thinking about some kind of tarp fix, but then I wondered if one of those party tent/canopies would be even better, like this one? What if I put one of those around the coop? Yes, it would look very weird, but in theory it seems like it could work..?

    I'd love any feedback on this idea-- if anyone's tried it, if you think it'd work, etc. Thank you in advance! :)
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Yeah.....errr....Oops!
    Aframes have several disadvantages and that's a big one.

    Canopy might be a great temp solution to protect coop.
    Might be tricky to get it erected inside the run tho.
    Might not need the side panels, unless rain really blows in from the side(s).
    Legs on those usually can be telescoped, so you could lower it to just above the little Aframe coop to give better 'side' coverage.
    Slope of ground might still make water go into coop and soak it, but you could dig some trenches to help steer it away if needed.
    Would work much better than tarp, which would gather water and threaten the strength of the chicken wire run roof.

    Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would make so birds could retreat to an elevated location that is covered. Emphasis can then be directed towards drainage and getting sunlight to ground when where it speeds drying between rain events. Most of my birds have very little protection from rain and often do not use it even when provided. Emphasis is then on protecting nest sites and roost. During a protracted rainy season I would also be trying to setup up dry dust bathing area that gets direct sun after 10:00 AM. If the birds stay in good feather and otherwise good health then they are happy. Mine get very wet no and again yet dry out to be much happier than if they were to be overly confined.
     
  4. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    Schedule 40 PVC and a tarp would be better and cheaper than what you have linked. Make a frame for a roof from schedule 40 PVC use either 3/4" or 1" make bows over the area tie it all together and pull a tarp over it use wire or zip ties or both. I built a roof for a large dog kennel this way and it lasted for years I still have the PVC and use it for things every once and a while the tarp will last about 1 year before needing to replace it.

    Mike
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Great idea...wish we could see more of the run framing in the pic, spans look pretty large-might need more framing first.
     
  6. peacechikn

    peacechikn Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2016
    San Juan Island, WA
    Thanks everyone for their replies! I've been having second (and third) thoughts about the party canopy/tent idea. I wasn't super impressed by the reviews on Amazon, or about having a metal-based framed structure out in the rain full-time, or about how it would look (my wife has the job of decorating everything, and she wasn't happy).

    I did a search for camping tarps and found these "Noah's Tarp" products by Kelty: https://www.amazon.com/Kelty-Noahs-Tarp-12-12x12-Feet/dp/B009R9FUI2/. They're intended for backpacking/camping/outdoors and seem really versatile in terms of ways they can be set up. So I got one, along with some caribiners, and am going to give that a shot, it was way cheaper than one of those party tents.

    The run space is pretty big (and tall), but the coop is 5'x10' and that's what I'm focusing on in terms of coverage. We have the gutters that the previous owner took off our house (and we're not going to put back up), so depending on how much water flows off the tarp, I may dig a trench, put the gutters in it, and direct the run-off appropriately. Or maybe just leave out the gutters, I don't know. I'm not an engineer or a carpenter or anything even close, this is all new to me! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  7. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    I also live here in the NW and wind will tear that tarp down with those poles at least it would where I am at. A standard tarp is much cheaper and so is some PVC or 2x4's look at some of the simple hoop coops that is a design that would hold together better for the long term meaning all winter. Most of our green houses in this area are built using the hoop design and they also hold up good in the wind. You do not want to go out in the middle of a storm and try and secure something flapping in the wind to keep them dry. You really don't need much skill to put something together that will hold up. If we lived closer I would be happy to help but that is a little too far.
     
  8. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would it stand up to wind?
     
  9. RoPoCO

    RoPoCO New Egg

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    I would love those dimensions for the dog kennel roof! About to embark on building on myself!

    Chicken Lady, I love the camping tarp idea and was going to suggest when you then mentioned it. The gutter are a GREAT idea too. I just put one up over the end of my outdoor pin because ice builds up inside the wall of the pen if not. I like the burying them idea and think that will resolve most of the issue but not completely as that dry ground will suck up the surrounding moisture. My chickens don't really seem to mind rain too much but if the coop is wet, that's a very bad scene. Maybe you could slide in a small pallet of some sort. Possibly build it yourself, wouldn't have to be fancy if it is inside the coop or put a shelf or perches inside for them to get up and out of the wetness. Good luck to you!!
     
  10. Golden2

    Golden2 Out Of The Brooder

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    are there were better pics of the top/sides/framing of the run/coop. I'd say grab a few 2x4s and frame up some slanted rafters and cover them with some clear poly/steel corrugated roofing, allowing for some overhang on the front/back.

    quick google image search.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     

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