Suspending top netting from trees?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Pico de Gallo, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo In the Brooder

    Jan 18, 2012
    ABQ, NM
    Finally putting a lid on my 15x20-ish, trapezoid-shaped run! Naturally, I am looking into the cheapest/fastest/most efficient + secure/least hassle method, and being a realist I'm quite willing to compromise on 1 or more facets if that's what it takes.

    I already bought a 1" square, 25' x 25' piece of netting. I could've cheaped out and bought 2" square, but for two considerations:

    1. When there's a tear, I'd rather contend with a 2" hole than a 4" hole. And overall it's stronger due to better force distribution. Theoretically.

    2. Also theoretical...I like to think that the sparrows will have a harder time squeezing into the run and munching all my feed. Anybody else think this'll work?

    I considered building up my already overbuilt fences with 2x4, adding cross bracing and penning the entire area in a netted frame. It'd look great, but waaaay too much work on top of Spring gardening chores.

    Complicating factor: there's a 30' elm inside the run, along the W fenceline, at about the midpoint. I could take it down, and I would if I were extending the netting over that fence to pen the adjacent (former goat) run. As it stands now, shouldn't be a problem (asides from fallen branches).

    But then I realized that this tree could be used to my advantage, if I just apply some rope skills...

    My Plan:
    Rig a horizontal line about 15' up in the tree, spanning across the run, to another tree beyond the run's E fence. Tie a midline suspension point in the line where it crosses the E fence. Attach 4 eyebolts, one at each corner of the run. Rig two more lines, under the netting, spanning btwn eyebolts above the N-S fencelines: SW corner -> NW corner, and SE corner -> NE corner. I'd then lift the center of each line up and clip it the horizontal line. If the middle sags, I can always add extra N-S lines.

    The netting would be entirely supported along its E and W margins, and the longest unsupported distance is much less than 20'. Should be adequate.

    I originally thought I'd use 1/8" plastic coated wire because it's no-stretch, but then I considered the trees blowing in the (sometimes REALLY high) winds and realized that a less static line might be more appropriate. I've got 100's of feet of retired climbing rope that I could use, which is stretchy, but given the fairly short span and the fact it's only wet here in NM like a few hours every year, it might actually work pretty well. Heck of a lot easier, for sure. For the tree tie-ins, I'd rig a loop of webbing in each crotch and clip the rope in with a quicklink or snaplink.

    I'll be sure to prune the tree back to minimize branch hazards. I'll also need to frame out the top of the two gates, but I think that's it for prepwork.

    If I decide to cap the adjacent run later on, I've already got my high tie-in and boundary on the E side.

    This just feels too simple! What am I forgetting? Who else here has adopted rigging/lashing topcover options over a framed square, and how has it worked out? What would you have done differently?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I think it would be a LOT less touble to just build an A- frame over the area you need to cover.

    All that experimental rigging and roping will just present more problems you didn't foresee as you go along

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