Wind Breaks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tdgill, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. tdgill

    tdgill Overrun With Chickens

    what do you all use

    been outside messing with a big tarp in gusting winds...not working. haha. thinking privacy fencing would be cool. anything else besides this tarp.
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I use tarps and big round hay bales.
  3. tdgill

    tdgill Overrun With Chickens

    oo big round hay bales are cool. wish i had some of those....
  4. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    We use outdoor window shades - you know the plastic roll up kind (cheap at Lowe's - less htan $20 per shade). Zip tie to the top of the run and roll down and zip tie the bottom. Air can pass thru some and are heavy enough they don't blow around. Then if need be can be rolled up on sunny day - we just leave ours down for added shade.
  5. tdgill

    tdgill Overrun With Chickens

    Interesting! I've seen those shades - decently affordable too.
  6. tdgill

    tdgill Overrun With Chickens

    thinking of parking the cars back there for the moment. lol. no, I'm serious.
  7. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    We use the small straw bales, stacked where we see the wind is most bothersome. Our coop is raised about 3 ' and is set against the east end wall of our barn. We've filled in the margin below the coop on the north and east sides with the small bales to make a sheltered wind baffle and rain/snow baffle for them. It's not unusual to go out and see all of them nested under the coop, out of the north or east wind. When a south wind blows, I find them on the north side of the coop, no longer under the coop but still undisturbed by the wind. Simple solution so far. I'm still working on getting them a run inside the barn with a pop door entry from the chicken yard to the indoor run set under the coop on the east barn wall. This will really give them protection from the wind and weather...IF they will choose to use it! ~G
  8. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    I am trying heavy mil ( .10) viscene , plastic stapled to the North and west sides. Not sure how it will hold up. I have a couple of old wood doors i could set along side to block wind also.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There are two ways to approach a windbreak.

    One is to attach something to the run fence. If you do this, you'd better be pretty darn sure (and pretty darn *right*!) that your run fence will withstand the resulting wind load, which can be quite considerable. This is especially a consideration if you have dampish ground. A short fence will stand better than a long straight run of fence (b/c its middle is unsupported by corners); a low windbreak will stand better than a tall one, since it will catch less wind and have less leverage. A somewhat permeable windbreak -- the vinyl woven stuff mentioned in previous posts, or shadecloth, or burlap, or privacy lattice, or that sort of thing -- will also catch less wind (and cause less wind turbulence behind it) than something solid like a tarp.

    If you attach something flexible to the fence -- and again, I repeat, if you attach something solid like a tarp, you had better be REAL SURE about your engineering, you might be surprised how much wind force that arrangement can develop and how easily things can snap, keel over, or come apart -- I would suggest crisscrossing tightly pulled ropes, or boards, across it so it does not flap. Permeable fabrics don't flap nearly so bad as tarps, but it is still worth doing this to extend their lifespan.

    The other way to construct a windbreak is to have it be a freestanding structure just on the outside of your run fence. That way, unless the windbreak blows over entirely, your run fence is not endangered. Roundbales or big square bales (the 700+ lb ones) of hay or straw -- it can be rained-on unusable hay or straw, which is cheaper -- work very well for this purpose, if you have access to equipment to move them. Regular small square bales can be stacked to make a windbreak, though make sure that it is stable enough not to fall over. Other arrangements can be rigged, e.g. your firewood supply, a 'fence' made of saplings or rotted deck boards attached to well-set posts, a pile of brush, a pile of all the Xmas trees you can scavenge from the neighborhood after the holidays, etc. Some of these things can offer predators shelter as well, so you want to make sure you've thought about the security angle, but as long as your run is good, it's probably worth it to provide the windbreak.

    I use 6 mil plastic on the runs on the usually-downwind side of my chicken building; I have a few tarps on the usually-upwind side runs, but cannot put very many on (can't make the end or side of the runs solid) because it changes the airflow pattern so that my roof threatens to blow off [​IMG] (Will try burlap next, but am unoptimistic). But, I am in a *very* windy location, and other people will be able to get away with a lot more.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. tdgill

    tdgill Overrun With Chickens

    Oh I had fun today....playing in the wind and cold air with this huge a** tarp. I can still feel it in my shoulders. hahahha.
    I will be grindin the gears on this one. Thanks for input. Good info as always

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by