Kennel Covers

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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So we have 400 sq ft of cyclone fenced run that all the ladies and dudes go into at night, then they can decide which coop to hang out in. My only issue with it is the height. I'm quite the average height (5' 9" and whatever) and since this run is only 6" high that means at any point where the chicken wire sags is a great opportunity to grab that little nub on the top of your hat and take it right off to take a little nap in the chicken poo, or worse, in winter when an inch or two is added by snow and straw if you happen to be in there with no hat you'll get a new bald spot, and my hair is thin enough, thank you very much ;)

Anyways, we've been discussing adding a set of kennel covers to the run to help add 1.5' to the center and then a smidge to the outer edges, but either way it would help not give you a new bald spot. Well, the day finally came to do it and it was a full day's job. Oof. We had our eyes on the set that Tractor Supply has and I was surprised at the quality, honestly.

I knew doing this by myself was going to be some work, so I figured it might be a two day thing: (Day 1) - put covers on & (Day 2) pull back and then re-attach chicken wire. But, as with most things, once you get at it you realize your romantic idea of "oh, this'll be a cinch" are completely off base. I started by putting together one of the kits on the grass and then lifting it up and sliding it onto the run. I quickly realized it wanted to find every notch in the chicken wire to hold onto and not slide forward. Then, once I got it in place I came to the realization that there was no way I was going to be attaching it, clipping the chicken wire away, pulling it back, rolling out more chicken wire and then attaching that. That means I had to pull this thing off, remove all the wire, put it and its partner on then attach all the wire back. This was not going to be romantically simple :(

Removing the chicken wire was tedious. You never really attach something like that thinking "I'm totally going to be removing this at some point in the future" so you cinch that beast down with lots of wire strands (thin gauge used as twist ties). That took an hour and a half or so. Then, you see those two plants (well, it's actually three since there's a vine that we want to save among that tomato plant)? Well, we wanted to save those, so I needed to roll the chicken wire off, but not let it crack or kill those plants.

After that came the easy part of putting the frames up and attaching them to the fencing. This is when you find out where you 10'x10' kennel isn't exactly square ;), but whatever. After that came rolling the chicken wire back on and stretching it using some ratchet straps so it hopefully wouldn't sag at all and then cinching it down with wire. That was tedious, but at this point it was mid-afternoon and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, though I also had to go pick the kids up from two different schools.

Once the kids were home I had the final step of putting the tarps over and attaching them with the bungees (ball on one end with a loop of shock cord). I never really thought about how tough that was going to be, but luckily the balls fit perfectly through the chicken wire, which at least made things a tiny bit easier. That took probably another hour and a half and I still think I missed one because I found a bungee in my pocket when I came inside.

So, lessons learned: (1) should have put those covers on when we built the run as that would have been a lot easier, (2) the bungees might have been the toughest part of the whole thing (3) I'm not going to be touching a barbell for a few days after messing with chicken wire all day.

Worth it. This will save my scalp and back during the winter.
start.jpgchicken wire back on.jpgfinished.jpg
 

flowerbug

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my first thought was what is this hair ye speaketh of? ok, i'm not quite that far gone but the days of moppet hair of youth is long past...

buzz cut and remove the hat before entering? :)

looks nice... :) i'm sure the animals will enjoy their cover for the cold season and the shade in the hot season.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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my first thought was what is this hair ye speaketh of? ok, i'm not quite that far gone but the days of moppet hair of youth is long past...

buzz cut and remove the hat before entering? :)

looks nice... :) i'm sure the animals will enjoy their cover for the cold season and the shade in the hot season.
My hair is pretty short, but that chicken wire sagged just enough, partly because we didn't stretch it enough in the first place, that it scraped the scalp anyways.

Yeah, I hope it helps with snow pack in the run. We wrap the run in tarps for winter too.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Are you in snow country? Even 2 x 4 mesh gets loaded with snow, here... and I must knock it off several times/storm. It's a total PITA, that snow stuff. I need to make a duck house to keep the ducks wintered... but have no time to do so due to life matters taking the priority... then... there's 30+ roos to process, and 4 drakes! Best laid plans of filling the pantry with canned meat went down the toilet when life matters took precedence over food preservation.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Are you in snow country? Even 2 x 4 mesh gets loaded with snow, here... and I must knock it off several times/storm. It's a total PITA, that snow stuff. I need to make a duck house to keep the ducks wintered... but have no time to do so due to life matters taking the priority... then... there's 30+ roos to process, and 4 drakes! Best laid plans of filling the pantry with canned meat went down the toilet when life matters took precedence over food preservation.
Yeah, I'm in Minnesota, so snow for sure. I know what you mean about time; wife & 5 kids. Sometimes that means I get help.
 

flowerbug

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Yeah, I'm in Minnesota, so snow for sure. I know what you mean about time; wife & 5 kids. Sometimes that means I get help.
the help we often provided in the winter was in testing the depth of snow banks by jumping off the roof of the garage... :) as time went on we got drafted for more serious things like shovelling. good luck with all this this winter! i'm not ready at all yet to be contemplating that so i'll just reset my memory banks here and forget i said anything about the w-word or the s-word.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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I can really appreciate what a PIA that must've been - but congrats on getting it accomplished! Looks good and will hopefully do it's job for a very long time!
Or until my wife says "what do you think about moving the entire chicken run back 15 or 20 feet?"
 
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