Why I hope to never again build a PVC run or tractor...pics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Life is Good!, May 7, 2011.

  1. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    It's done! The '4 hour' project that turned into many many more hours - it's done!

    I can build just about anything, pretty well I think, for someone with minimal professional experience.

    But this PVC portable run just about did me in. I like zip-ties, I really really do. But I don't care to see another one for quite a long time, thank you! [​IMG]

    I hate hardware cloth. I hate very little in this life (life is too short for it) - but, hardware cloth and I simply do NOT agree. I wanted it to bend right - it went left. I needed it to be straight, it went the opposite direction. ARGH. [​IMG]

    But I perservered and it's done.

    It's 8'3" one way and 8' the other. Used 1/2" PVC for the framing members with electric conduit holders for the pvc-to-wood connectors. 1/4" hardware cloth on the bottom 36"; 1/2" hardware cloth for the second layer. Ordinary tarp for a top. No, this is a fair-weather only kind of set-up at this time. As my chicks are 6wks old, they don't need much for 'furniture' or nesting boxes or such. I bring their waterer from the coop and liberally sprinkle chick crumbles for some foraging fun. They've not figured out bugs yet - won't eat 'em. The ground is much too moist to dust bathe in. But oh, grass is GOOD! And since weather here is very cool, they've only been out for about 45min daily (temps are 55 - 60 degrees - ok, but not as nice as that great brooder light!)

    Enjoy the pictures.


    Yes, that's a tarp for a top. We've got 4prs of red-tailed hawks who use our neighborhood for their hunting grounds. Wanted to protect from the hawks, yet still be able to forage. (When the tarp gets ripped up, it's simply $2.99 at Ace Hardware to replace. Did I mention I HATE hardware cloth? Couldn't imagine being that high up and dealing with it.)

    Door detail thumbnail (click to enlarge) - sorry, it's sideways:

    Found the 'handle' at Menards - it's a 3/4" piece of pvc that's been 'bent' to shape already. Cool, eh?!

    Hinge detail thumbnail (click to enlarge) - sorry this is sideways too:

    The hinges are a pair of 'T' connectors - the one on the door itself is 1/2" all the way around, so it's part of the door, the one on the 'frame' is 3/4" straight with a 1/2" T, and the 3/4" straight fits over the 1/2" doorframe piece of pvc and 'floats' - well it would, if it wasn't for that hardware cloth! But it stays in place pretty well.

    For a lock, at this time, we're using two green garden 'twist-tie' wire, it's quick, easy and I have a roll of 1000 feet!

    Hope I gave you some ideas! Hardware cloth is my nemesis!
  2. calista

    calista Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2010
    I admire your creativity and perseverance, but what are your plans for protection against digging predators?

    Will this be the permanent position to where you could put cinder blocks around the periphery, or had you planned to move it about the yard as a sort of chicken tractor?

    Never underestimate diggers, especially if dogs run loose in your neighborhood or you have raccoons. [​IMG]
  3. TopHatChic

    TopHatChic Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2011
    Brush Prairie, WA
    I love this! Great job. To bad you weren't closer and would hire out! lol

    Need to see if my teen son would do this for me. Was it really hard? It looks kinda difficult.

  4. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    It looks really neat [​IMG] Excellent idea how you shaped it to a pointed peak! I wouldn't have thought of doing that & it gives you so much more head room without having to make the whole frame higher.

    I would be concerned about the PVC of the frame being sturdy enough if a large neighbor dog came charging--maybe could collapse in a wall or door??
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  5. andrea98

    andrea98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    in my barnyard....ohio
    I could see this working as a tractor !!
  6. suzyQlou

    suzyQlou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Dillsburg, PA
    My Coop
    Cool. I especially like your door and hinges.

    I'm using pvc, too, and it's funny how the details (like the door) fooled me. It's tricky to get something both portable AND sturdy. Hope yours works out for you!
  7. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I also HATE HATE HATE Hardware cloth and zip ties, almost got me divorced!

    Here is what we did!
    Mewzikl likes this.
  8. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    Wish I could make do with somethign that flimsy. Between the field rats diggign under, the bobcats and coons smashing thru I doubt that run would last a week on our place. We've learned to our sadness the predators don't wait until night when everyone is safely locked into a run to attack.
  9. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Quote:yes....but it is outstanding protection
  10. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    To the OP.....I understand. I really do. I enlisted my SS last fall while my DH was out of town working. We raided his trailer that he had brought home from a remodel and got all the 2x4's off that. The main cost to me was the hardware cloth and zip ties.

    And I feel the same way about hardware cloth. You have to have on a long sleeved shirt and gloves to handle it to get through without too many wounds!!! And I love zip ties. And I understand they will degrade over time and plan on checking them on a regular basis and replacing them....but they made it easier for me.

    The real advantage of yours is that you can walk into it. I understand it is for putting your babies into to 'free range' and is not for long term....and they won't be 'living' in it.

    I do have a pair of cochins living in mine for now that I am getting ready to move but it served me well in an emergency. I have placed cinder blocks all around and it is secure. I also have a tarp on the back 1/3 that gives them a place to get out of the rain and there is a roost inside and a 'nest box'. Mine has wheels so it can be moved.

    After moving the cochins my 6 weeks old chicks will go in for a short period of time until the new, 3rd, coop are run are built.

    Good job on yours....I really wish I could stand up in mine!

    Mewzikl likes this.

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