Larger cattle panel hoop house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by theycallmefix, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. theycallmefix

    theycallmefix New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Charleston Ill
    A few years ago I got some ideas for a cattle panel hoop house from this forum. I built two of them and they work great. I recently needed a larger enclosure due to some extra turkeys and ducks.

    I'm not sure if this has been tried before, but i thought I would share how I made a larger hoop from the cattle panels just in case it hasn't.
    The finished enclosure is sixteen feet wide, sixteen feet long and a bit less than eight feet tall. The length is dependent on how many panels are added.

    I first cut a cattle panel in half and wired it to the end of a full panel. Probably could have used hog rings, but the wire made a connection that didn't move when I later tried to hoop the thing. I overlapped the panels by two of the square holes and wound wire around the spots that matched. I only did this for about four spots (very hard on the hands. When hooped the panel is a little floppy, and not a stiff as a single panel. I tried two complete panels and they were just too floppy to work with by myself.

    I then flipped the panel on the long edge and used a peice of rope to bend it into a hoop (the doubled up section required a bit of kicking to get a nice curve. I added a sixteen foot 2x4 to the bottom, across the flat of the hoop, and drilled a few holes in the 2x4 near the ends. I used the same wire (electric fence wire) that I used to wire the panels together, and fed it through the 2x4 and around the edge of the cattle panel. This will be the bottom of the hoop and the 2x4 will sit on the ground tying the ends together.

    I then grabbed some 1x4 I had laying around. I cut two pieces seven feet long and one piece eight feet long. I counted up 13 of the squares on the panel from the bottom (where the 2x4 was now attached, and fed the eight foot 1x4 through the 13th square from both sides. I then put the seven foot 1x4s into the number twelve squares and used a framing square to ensure that the connection was square before I screwed the seven foot boards to the eight foot board making a corner.

    I then attached the bottom of the seven footers to the 2x4 also making sure that the connection was square. I had to measure a bit to make sure the joints were equal distance from each end of the 2x4, but after a few tries I got it figured out.

    I then stood the hoop up and drug it over to attach to the others.

    That's it.

    I only built one "frame" per elongated panel. I attached each panel to the unframed end of the next. For the ends I used a complete panel and just hog ringed it to the new hoops. I added weld wire to the top to fill in the ends, and drove a couple of stakes in around the bottoms of the new hoops. I also added some chicken wire to the bottom for the little birds to come, and if the racoons come back I will probably cover the rest of the hoop with weld wire.

    For less than a hundred bucks I now have a hooped pen that is 256 square feet. It isn't a strong as the smaller hoop houses, but could be if I wanted to add more lumber (I sort of ran out of scrap lumber).

    I hope this helps somebody. I really like the hoop houses I built from this forum, I just needed to go a bit bigger.

    I might be able to get pictures if the explanation isn't good enough.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
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    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    This sounds great - do you have any pictures? I am always kicking around the idea of building a hoop house from cattle panels but haven't got to it yet.
     
  3. theycallmefix

    theycallmefix New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Charleston Ill
    The actual hoops seen here consist of three full panels and three half panels ( I had half a panel just laying around). There is an additional panel at the open end. The other end connects to my existing kennel. For a free standing kennel, you would need six and a half panels.
    [​IMG]
    I took these with my cell phone, so I appologize for the quality. The first picture shows the tops of the frames, and the full panel (new galvanized) tied to the old half panel (rusty). I only tied them in eight places.
    [​IMG]
    This is the finished pen. 16 by 16 feet. I only have to frames in there because one end ties to an existing kennel, and the other has a cattle panel serving as an end. If it were to be free standing I would probably add a frame for each end as well. One end would need a door.

    [​IMG]
    Hopefully a better picture of the panels wired together. I used electric fence wire to tie them together. Just twisted a loop around the two panels and then wrapped the extra around so it didn't stick out. It is a little difficult to get a smooth bend where the two panels overlap, but with a little persuasion it comes out pretty good.

    [​IMG]
    The real strength in the frames comes from connecting them to the cattle panels. I found this to be true with the smaller single panel hoop houses as well. I attach mine by drilling holes through the frame (hope you can see that in the pic) and twisting wire through the boards and around one of the wires of the panel. I twist these very tight with pliers so that the wood and panel move together.

    [​IMG]
    I do the same thing for the 2x4s that make up the bottom of the frames. It's hard to see, but there are two wires through that 2x4. One connecting it to the panel, and one going under the panel so that the board doesn't ride up.

    I built each section in my front yard and was able, with one helper, to carry them over to the kennel and attach them. If you do this, you might want to tie a rope around the open end, so that it can't flop around while you are carrying it.
    There are no bottom boards like the more traditional cattle panel hoop house. This means that it can't be moved around without taking the sections apart and moving them one at a time. I plan to move this kennel once a year. I should be able to accomplish this by cutting the hog rings that hold the sections together, moving the sections and then reattaching them. I will install any further weld wire or chicken wire so that this is possible.

    The previous hop houses have stood up for all predator attacks except for weasel. With the addition of chicken wire the hoops provide a lot of predator protection.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, or if you need specific photos to get a better idea. It's the same basic idea as the standard 8 by 10 hoop house, except I've lengthened the panels so that it can stretch out to 16 feet.
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
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    My Coop
    Wow, thank you for all those photos and explanation. How many birds do you have in this size hoop house?
     
  5. theycallmefix

    theycallmefix New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Charleston Ill
    There are no birds in the pictures, but this will be the exercise area for four ducks,seven turkeys, and eight chickens. I have a lot of predation since the kenel is surrounded by woods on three sides. I used to free range, but lost birds even during the day. This allows room to exercise without providing free snacks for other critters. I do move the old kennel once a year, and may have to do so more often now that I added the ducks and turkeys.
    so far it seems to work. I put my garden where the kennel used to be every year.the total floor space for the whole kennel is about 600 feet, but this still seems a bit small for so many birds. The ducks, turkeys, and chickens have separate coops, although the chickens are the hardest to separate, as they sometimes want to live with the turkeys, and the ducks are messy enough to wreck all the coops.

    I used lots more support wood for the small hoop houses that I drag around with the tractor, but since this one will be carried by hand, and in sections, I tried to keep it light.
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Oh boy, this sounds familiar. My flock also consists of chickens, ducks and turkeys.
     

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