Options for a simple covered run

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,313
17,101
806
Small town in Western Washington
My Coop
My Coop
Hello everyone, surly you've seen one of my threads about my coop and run setup. Most of the time it explains the problem, and I'm asking how to fix it, this thread is finally talking about building something entirely different, I don't think I can withstand another winter with my current setup.
I'll have to go take some current photos and post them here, but for now, its a circle of hog panels, probably about 30 feet in diameter? Theres nothing holding them up except for themselves, and the netting over the top. My chicken coop is built well, stays dry etc, but its way to small for anything more than 2-3 chickens. Its currently housing my rooster and a single hen, but will probably hold 4 chickens once I integrate them back together. The coop is 3 x 3 x 8.
The duck "coops" are wire outdoor dog runs wrapped in welded wire with roofing on top. One of them has an igloo inside for wind block and shelter. They get incredibly wet, and my bedding is a mess of mud in 2-3 days if its raining.
In a perfect world, I would get the builders in the fam to help me build a covered, sturdy, dry run, and dry coop, my vision is a setup that looks like this-
5042886005.jpg

During Covid when everyone wasn't working this would have been doable, but I decided to tackle building a chicken tractor my my Cornish X instead. I'm stocked in the final product, but now I'm faced with a problem I've been tolerating for much to long. Now that he's back at work, he doesn't have enough time to help me build it, and I highly doubt I'de be able to successfully build it by myself. He's willing to give it a go, but with hunting season coming up his free days are getting slimmer, and slimmer.
I'm trying to brain storm ideas that would require less of his participation. I can do the basics, but putting posts in the ground, or building a roof is out of my league. I've been looking into hoop coops, I thought that would be a pretty simple idea, and we could use the hog panels we already have. The only problem is covering it. It needs to hold a snow load, but I guess most snow would slide off a hoop coop correct?
I also know that tarps or plastic used as the "cover" isn't going to work, since the builders will disapprove. ;) I've seen some with roofing used as the cover, but all the roofing I've worked with is pretty stiff, how do you get it to bend over the frame?
Any other suggestions are welcome, I'm hoping to brain storm and find something that will work for my climate, and to improve my setup. Thanks so much!
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
187
438
116
West Texas
You bend it parallel to its ridges:
view

That is what's called R-Panel, but there's another type of metal building panel called "Ag Panel." It's meant for sidewalls and the ridges are not as pronounced and farther apart. It would be better to sweep snow off of. As far as snow load, if you look at my other pictures at the 2x6 center ridge, I don't think that'll be much of a problem.

In reality, this coop is so heavy, even moving it with a 40HP tractor is not fun, a less stout hoop coop could be used as a chicken tractor, but not this one. Here's a thread with all my pics together: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...r-a-chicken-coop.1466384/page-7#post-24438022

I built this coop, 4 other coops, and a 3 tiered brooder myself, I didn't even have someone to hold something up while I screwed it in. I'm 5'3". You can do this.

If you just want to make a run with your panels, you can drive 6' t-posts into the ground with about 4' sticking up, and bend your panels inside them, or leave the panels straight and secure them to the t-posts (kind of like how you have your circle now).
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,313
17,101
806
Small town in Western Washington
My Coop
My Coop
You bend it parallel to its ridges:
view

That is what's called R-Panel, but there's another type of metal building panel called "Ag Panel." It's meant for sidewalls and the ridges are not as pronounced and farther apart. It would be better to sweep snow off of. As far as snow load, if you look at my other pictures at the 2x6 center ridge, I don't think that'll be much of a problem.

In reality, this coop is so heavy, even moving it with a 40HP tractor is not fun, a less stout hoop coop could be used as a chicken tractor, but not this one. Here's a thread with all my pics together: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...r-a-chicken-coop.1466384/page-7#post-24438022

I built this coop, 4 other coops, and a 3 tiered brooder myself, I didn't even have someone to hold something up while I screwed it in. I'm 5'3". You can do this.

If you just want to make a run with your panels, you can drive 6' t-posts into the ground with about 4' sticking up, and bend your panels inside them, or leave the panels straight and secure them to the t-posts (kind of like how you have your circle now).
This is good info, I figure I would have to have something specific for the roofing.
I'de probably keep my hoop coop stationary. Once they kill the ground I hope it will be covered enough to put straw down and keep it dry.
I figured making a chicken tractor big enough for 10 ducks would be very complicated.

Thank you! I bet I could figure it out, building a hoop coop would be much easier than trying to attempt building the covered run pictured in my fist post by myself.

My biggest issue currently is our climate. The ducks have of course, ruined teh ground were teh run is currently located, and in the fall and winter its a muddy mess along with the coop, and in teh summer its rock hard. I can't put straw down in the summer though, because when it does rain its gonna be a mess.
I'm really hoping for something covered, it would make having ducks SO much easier. :D
My next question is about material. I know that no one is going to approve of using wood for the frame, since it will rot after a bit in our wet climate. In our last build we made the tractor completely from steel for that reason.
The issue is that using steel is going to require welding, and I'm not really sure how we would make the simple hoop with that design. So I started to consider PVC pipe.
Its not to expensive, and could be screwed in and make teh simple hoop. Though I can't imagine its going to hold snow for very long, I'll have to sweep it off immediately so nothing breaks. That could be tricky if we have to go out of town or something in the winter. :hmm
Toughts?
 

Iluveggers

Free Ranging
Jun 27, 2021
1,694
5,291
506
NYS
You bend it parallel to its ridges:
view

That is what's called R-Panel, but there's another type of metal building panel called "Ag Panel." It's meant for sidewalls and the ridges are not as pronounced and farther apart. It would be better to sweep snow off of. As far as snow load, if you look at my other pictures at the 2x6 center ridge, I don't think that'll be much of a problem.

In reality, this coop is so heavy, even moving it with a 40HP tractor is not fun, a less stout hoop coop could be used as a chicken tractor, but not this one. Here's a thread with all my pics together: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...r-a-chicken-coop.1466384/page-7#post-24438022

I built this coop, 4 other coops, and a 3 tiered brooder myself, I didn't even have someone to hold something up while I screwed it in. I'm 5'3". You can do this.

If you just want to make a run with your panels, you can drive 6' t-posts into the ground with about 4' sticking up, and bend your panels inside them, or leave the panels straight and secure them to the t-posts (kind of like how you have your circle now).
Any ideas on something similar yet winterized? I get lots of snow & occasional temps down below zero. This would be a simple solution to add on without too much labor!
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
187
438
116
West Texas
@Weeg

PVC hoops will not bear the weight of snow for long, and PVC degrades in UV. Plus, you're back to using a tarp with PVC.

That coop originally housed 8 chickens and 11 ducks, that's why it has ventilation at the bottom on each side. I tried to make a separate duck tractor (scroll down a few in that thread I linked to), but it went over like a lead balloon.

They were totally trained with "All ducks go to bed" and "Release the Quacken!" to that coop. When I tried to force them out to use the other one I built, they revolted and decided they didn't want a coop anymore. They've even started sneaking out of the fence at night to go roaming around like teenagers.

The wood for that coop is pressure treated and painted to prevent it from rotting. If it's going to be that wet all the time, your metal will rust just as fast as the wood will rot, and chunks of rusty metal are especially appetizing to ducks.

Also, pelletized horse bedding (~$8 a bag at TSC) is awesome for ducks. I only use that if I have to have ducklings in an enclosed brooder now.

@Iluveggers
Same thing, Ag panel down to the ground on your prevailing wind sides, open at least halfway on non-wind sides (the window on my coop has been removed). You can make a strip in the middle that's open if you need to deal with snow drifts. The #1 absolute most important thing about winterizing is ventilation without drafts. Closing up a coop to keep it warm is an invitation for sickness. Keep them dry and out of drafts, they can keep themselves warm.

If we somehow get another freak polar vortex at some point, I can tarp the whole thing and leave the sides open, put some hay bales on the inside around the base, and the surrounding fence is already set up as a primary wind block.
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,313
17,101
806
Small town in Western Washington
My Coop
My Coop
@Weeg

PVC hoops will not bear the weight of snow for long, and PVC degrades in UV. Plus, you're back to using a tarp with PVC.

That coop originally housed 8 chickens and 11 ducks, that's why it has ventilation at the bottom on each side. I tried to make a separate duck tractor (scroll down a few in that thread I linked to), but it went over like a lead balloon.

They were totally trained with "All ducks go to bed" and "Release the Quacken!" to that coop. When I tried to force them out to use the other one I built, they revolted and decided they didn't want a coop anymore. They've even started sneaking out of the fence at night to go roaming around like teenagers.

The wood for that coop is pressure treated and painted to prevent it from rotting. If it's going to be that wet all the time, your metal will rust just as fast as the wood will rot, and chunks of rusty metal are especially appetizing to ducks.

Also, pelletized horse bedding (~$8 a bag at TSC) is awesome for ducks. I only use that if I have to have ducklings in an enclosed brooder now.

@Iluveggers
Same thing, Ag panel down to the ground on your prevailing wind sides, open at least halfway on non-wind sides (the window on my coop has been removed). You can make a strip in the middle that's open if you need to deal with snow drifts. The #1 absolute most important thing about winterizing is ventilation without drafts. Closing up a coop to keep it warm is an invitation for sickness. Keep them dry and out of drafts, they can keep themselves warm.

If we somehow get another freak polar vortex at some point, I can tarp the whole thing and leave the sides open, put some hay bales on the inside around the base, and the surrounding fence is already set up as a primary wind block.
This is really great info, I'll chat with my handy man tonight haha, and see what he says. 😁
I'll have to look through the thread that you linked, thank you!
I knew there was gonna be a problem with PVC, definitely strength I knew would be one of them.
I'll keep you all updated, this is great information and I think it will really help my plans for the new setup a ton. Thank you!
 

Iluveggers

Free Ranging
Jun 27, 2021
1,694
5,291
506
NYS
@Weeg

PVC hoops will not bear the weight of snow for long, and PVC degrades in UV. Plus, you're back to using a tarp with PVC.

That coop originally housed 8 chickens and 11 ducks, that's why it has ventilation at the bottom on each side. I tried to make a separate duck tractor (scroll down a few in that thread I linked to), but it went over like a lead balloon.

They were totally trained with "All ducks go to bed" and "Release the Quacken!" to that coop. When I tried to force them out to use the other one I built, they revolted and decided they didn't want a coop anymore. They've even started sneaking out of the fence at night to go roaming around like teenagers.

The wood for that coop is pressure treated and painted to prevent it from rotting. If it's going to be that wet all the time, your metal will rust just as fast as the wood will rot, and chunks of rusty metal are especially appetizing to ducks.

Also, pelletized horse bedding (~$8 a bag at TSC) is awesome for ducks. I only use that if I have to have ducklings in an enclosed brooder now.

@Iluveggers
Same thing, Ag panel down to the ground on your prevailing wind sides, open at least halfway on non-wind sides (the window on my coop has been removed). You can make a strip in the middle that's open if you need to deal with snow drifts. The #1 absolute most important thing about winterizing is ventilation without drafts. Closing up a coop to keep it warm is an invitation for sickness. Keep them dry and out of drafts, they can keep themselves warm.

If we somehow get another freak polar vortex at some point, I can tarp the whole thing and leave the sides open, put some hay bales on the inside around the base, and the surrounding fence is already set up as a primary wind block.
I never realized chickens could have a half-open side in the winter without getting too cold! Even in below zero temps!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom