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Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Scoop on the Hoop Coop!

My husband is awesome!  The poor man has more work than he can possibly keep up with as it is when I mentioned to him that I would like a Hoop Coop for my new birds.  I got a few "grumbles " and a few "I don't know how to do that" comments at first.  So,  I began looking up hoop houses on the Internet, showing him the designs, and encouraging him with how simple it would be to make one!Much to my pleasure, when I went out of town for the day, Mike surprised me when I got home with a new Hoop Coop! (He's the best!  He knows improvements to the farm rank higher on my list than flowers and dining out!)  

The only thing that has held us up from using the new coop was that we could not decide on what plastic to get to  cover the house.  Mike and his friend Sam were talking one evening over supper and they decided that a silage bag would work and they were right! (Aren't they genius?)   

I have a permanent building for a chicken house but I am not quite ready to retire my old birds until these new birds get a little bigger and start laying.  I did not want to put the young birds in with the older birds due to (a) lack of space  (b) the larger birds picking on the smaller birds  and (c) because I wanted to clean the big house out, disinfect it and let it air until fall before I start using it again.  The Hoop Coop was a perfect solution for temporary housing for these younger birds that would not cost us a fortune.  In fact, Mike used lumber that the men had sawed on our saw mill so the lumber didn't really cost us anything.  Then, he used two cattle panels we had to make the "hooped" portion of the building at a cost of approximately $20 per cattle panel.  The roll of chicken wire we used on the lower part of the construction to keep predators from being able to reach through and grab the birds was $30.  The old, heavy duty wooden door (complete with horse shoe for good luck) was donated by my father in law and the silage bag for the cover was donated by our friend, Sam.  So, for less than $100 we have us a nice place for the birds!

A horse shoe on the door for luck and a Great Pyre that barks all night we hope is enough to keep the predators away and our birds safe!  Hopefully the darker, camouflaged colors of the birds will help keep the daytime predators away such as the hawks, eagles and falcons that love to feast on our birds! 



Back of hoop house has plastic over it now but we have a "window" there for when the weather is warmer.  Mike used shredded wood that the highway department has been dumping at the farm (with permission) for the "floor".  The birds will soon be turned out to free range once they get use to the hoop house as home.  In this manner, the hoop house is more of a permanent dwelling while the birds will be allowed to roam at will over our property. 

Currently, I am keeping them in until they get use to their new home and then I will begin turning them out to free range on our 50 acres here at the house. 

In addition to the wonderful, big hoop house that Mike built, I found a small hoop house on Craig's List that was made by a young man still in high school. I can use as a small chicken tractor for my roosters that I am raising.  Considering what it cost us to make the large hoop house, I am sure that I paid more than I should have for the smaller hoop house. However, as Mike is really too busy to build me another one right now I decided to go ahead and get it.  ( Besides, it's really cute!) 

Too cute with that star cut out in the door!  Small, lightweight and easy to move.  This hoop house was built using pvc pipe which is much lighter than the cattle panels used on the big hoop house. 




Currently, because McMurry sent the roosters  mixed in with the hens, I am not able to tell the difference.  Hopefully I will be able to tell in the next few weeks. At that time, I will put all the roosters together in the smaller coop.  They will be allowed to either free range or be pastured with electric poultry netting during the day and fed a diet of clabbered milk to supplement until I get them to butcher size. 

And that, my friends, is the Scoop on the Hoop Coop(s)!

2 comments:

Lucky Lizard Ranch said...

Nice hoop house!! Love it!!

Deb said...

Nice!! Sometimes I think we need one of these. :)