Polypipe Chook Houses

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Fee, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice job, Jon!

    Did you have any trouble getting that smallest ring to stay together?

    Sue
     
  2. Fee

    Fee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    success!

    We built the chook dome just like the photos from Linda Woodrows book.
    We have a tent cover (the tent had been disposed of but we had kept the cover) which is a perfect fit over the top. It is silver one side and green the other. So our chooks have the protection from the elements. We have two older gals and 6 pullets in there, I personally would not want to put more in the space available. Thanks all for your comments and great photos.
    Cheers
     
  3. Franceyne

    Franceyne Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That is a great dome Jon, the view in the second picture is lovely - what a wonderful part of the world you are in :D
     
  4. Warwick Rowell

    Warwick Rowell Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chook houses

    Fee have you done your project yet?

    Email me if you haven't..

    Warwick
     
  5. Kirti

    Kirti New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Hi Fee. We have made the chook dome from Linda Woodrow's fantastic book, as have some friends near by. Our's is a little smaller than 3 meters as we only have 3 chooks and a smallish yard. Our friends have made their's according to Linda's measurements (they have found it a bit too big for one person to move easily). We found it easy to put together with her instructions. Cost us about $100 all together and it was worth it. It's really easy to move about and we have 3 circular garden beds that the dome fits atop. The only aspect we have had trouble with is putting in a sturdy roost but time of late has the been the main issue there. I can recommend making the dome! good luck.
    Kirti
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Bump!

    Are any of the original posters of this thread around? I'd like to know how all the chook domes are doing now that it is some time down the track, and if you've any tips for someone who is about to tackle the Linda Woodrow chook dome design.
     
  7. Mudman

    Mudman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Hi there eco...
    We built a dome about 9 years ago now and have used it on and off in that time.
    The thing was a challenge to make, round dome with straight wire but after a while you get the hang of it.
    The top ring is a bugger but if you get a smaller diameter poly pipe and sleeve it in, glue it and then put some galvanised bolts in, 2 each side. Will work a treat.
    The bracing was the first thing to fall apart and we never replaced it, no need. When it gets moved it bends out of shape and you jus tput it back again.
    The wire we used to hold the poly pipes together fell apart after the bracing and we have rewired it several times. I wonder if puttin ga galvanised bolt through would make it easier.
    Door is shadecloth and would like to improve that as the kids can't close it and the rooster and 1 of his girls is out in an instant.

    It is very important to have no part of the tarp over attached to the dome as the whole thing will fly away. Currently the pumpkins growing over the top are weighing things down. We put a searate skirt around the bottom as we have problems with foxes. This is a pain if you plan on moving the dome as you have to rip it up when moving. If I were to continue using it as per teh book I would build fox proffed garden edges and just slot the dome into them.

    We have built a small door at a low level as we let them free range every now and then.
    The grass catcher works a treat for eggs and some lattice or similar is good for a perch. We have had to put a step up there for some of the older chooks who are getting a bit on now. A couple were put in the dome in the first year.

    We have been very happy with teh dome and it is a talking point with any visitor that comes. it just looks right in a permaculture garden.
    We haven't lost any chooks to foxes or snakes so we must have constructed it OK.

    Cheers
    Kurt
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    How exactly did you make the main door with shade cloth?

    It's amazing to hear that yours has lasted 9 years. That's pretty impressive!

    I'm also struggling to find a grass catcher to use as a laying box. Anyone out there have one? Or a suggested alternative? Have been thinking a large plastic water barrel (the sort you take camping) with the bottom half removed...
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    I'm as pleased as punch as I've successfully finished my chook dome and have photos to share. It took myself, my 2 kids and the brother in law with the tools about 6 hours. There were no major problems and we all still like each other :lol: I reduced the size by 1/4 so it is a 3m diameter. It was going to be too big for my garden otherwise.

    To avoid the problem with the top rail we took the strain off the join as it was drying by tying the hoop into a flat oval and leaving for about an hour while we did other things. It did take 2 adults and a 13 year old to get it to close but once it was tied off it stayed that way and the join was tight once it had its hour of rest.
    View attachment 2 IMG_5583.jpg[/attachment:ef7n9eb7]
    This is it at just over half way. We used cable ties rather than tie wire. No sore fingers from silly bits of wire, and it was easier to get it really tight. The only holes we drilled were at either end of the vertical bits - I figured they create a weak point and the fewer the better.
    View attachment 1 IMG_5590.jpg[/attachment:ef7n9eb7]
    Here is the finished work!
    IMG_5591.jpg[/attachment:ef7n9eb7]
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Ohh and I'm still looking for a laying box...
     
  11. Nick Ritar

    Nick Ritar Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    We ended up building one based on a geodesic design we found on the net... it is heaps stronger than the classic Woodrow design and easy to build. Photos and full documentation here. https://milkwood.net/content/view/83/30/
     
  12. Noz

    Noz Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    We made a chicken tractor which was a bit heavy and not big enough - from an old table, with a nesting box from an old coffee table attached to the back. These days we have two extended runs and swap the 'tractor' between these two. Next time, I would do a permanent structure with 'rotational grazing'. ie. central chook house with multiple runs coming off it, that way you don't need to move anything, just restrict access.
     
  13. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Hey Nick,

    I had a crack at making one of the smaller domes out of 3/4 inch ag. irrigation pipe today...

    I won't say it was a complete it was a complete flop but it was certainly a little floppy. I reckon the pipe was at it's outer limits of holding the structure upright. Actually when I was doing it and putting the small arcs in, the top of the dome was actually convex rather than concave - but I decided to finish the thing of and see how it went for others to experience through my efforts. When all the pieces were in I decided to pick the center up and see just how floppy it was. It stood up! in an almost dome-like fashion. I am now thinking that if I pay particular attention to putting the mesh on tight I can get it to stand up pretty nicely (In your experience did the whole thing become even more solid when the mesh went on?). The frame itself is incredibly light, as you can image, so I am going to persevere and see how we go. I poked a long piece of bamboo through it to test it as a perch and pushed down pretty hard so it seemed to carry a good load.

    By the way I decided to use little nuts and bolts to hold it together - it took about 55 or something which is about $8, mostly because I couldn't be bothered fiddling with wire (I have enough fencing to do as it is!). So, so far it has cost me $8 as I had some pipe already lying around.

    Thanks for the plans...

    I was also thinking that I might have a go with some 1inch irrigation pipe, but the cost goes up that little bit :wink: . I think it would be pretty solid though and still quite light. I also thought it might be nice to try out the designs with some good long thin pieces of bamboo.

    I'll let you know how the cladding goes when I get around to it.

    Grahame
     
  14. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Grahame,
    with the domes at purplepear we used electrical conduit and Screws n Nuts. A few years later we have screws rusting through and domes falling apart. The one I did with fencing wire is still going strong. The 20 mm conduit I used has broken several times in strong winds but is easily repaired using a piece of 25mm conduit which slides over the 20mm well.
    Hope this helps.
    Regards purplepear
    intent-observation-intuition
     
  15. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Yeah purple, I reckon the electrical conduit would be just that much more rigid than the irrigation pipe. Is it expensive stuff? I was really hoping the irrigation pipe would work with this geodesic design, because it really is easy to put together and the irrigation pipe is pretty cheap too.

    Good point on the fencing wire vs. screws!

    Did you use the Woodrow design? because I reckon you wouldn't get the geodesic design breaking in the wind.

    Anyway I'll put the mesh on and see how well it holds together. So far it has definitely been worth a few hours work just for the experience. I think I want a bigger dome so I might use one of the other pipes and just wire it together. It's funny because a week ago I was thinking I needed to make a new a-frame tractor, but I like the dome now just because they are so much lighter and surely cheaper.
     
  16. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Yes Grahame, I have used the woodrow design but have since added simple props under substantial roosts to combat the effects of winds.The conduit is quite cheap (buy it wholesale in bundles of 10 lenghts 4 mts long)You can see the roosts and props on the purplepear website in the photo gallery. If I was clever I would post a link but we need not dwell on our inadequicies (spelling for one)Conduit does become a bit brittle after some years but if care is taken in moving the dome it is fine and repairs are simple as previously described.
    regards purplepear
    intent-observation-intuition
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    I was lying awake in the rain (lovely rain at last!) last night wondering about what I'll do come cyclone season. Even if the dome holds up to the wind I'm pretty sure the tarp will end up at the neighbours place. So I figure I'll have to find a secure temporary arrangement for the chooks once we get a cyclone warning, or I'll have damp windswept chooks.

    I have space under the house - but it is open so the chooks could get out and foxes could get in. Would they be clever enough to stay put in a downpour anyway though? Or should I try to come up with some sort of smaller cage to hold them that I can stick under the house? I'm sooooo challenged when it comes to construction that I really hesitate to try building anything myself! The ground under there isn't level either so I might need to suspend it from under the rafters.
     
  18. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    OK, so as an update...

    When the sun hit the dome today it just slumped. hehe. So I reckon the 3/4 inch irrigation tubes doesn't work. So being the trooper I am, I decided to have a go at a 1inch tube dome. It is heaps better! I just tied it with wire and no probs. I'm pretty keen to get the wire on it tomorrow and move the chooks in to their new work place.

    I can't believe I am so excited about a dome of tubes. :D

    Grahame
     
  19. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Hi guys, can anyone tell me what the diameter of the standard Woodrow Dome is? The geodesic dome I've made is about 3.7m across.

    Cheers
    Grahame
     
  20. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Re: Polypipe Chook Houses

    Thats about right grahame it is roughly four meters across the domes.
     

Share This Page

-->