Polypipe Chook Houses

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

  1. Jislizard

    Jislizard Junior Member

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    Quick question on materials, aimed at Grahame but if anyone else knows...

    I have been looking for options to build a 6m diameter polypipe dome shadehouse. I love the practicality of the Chicken Tractor designs over the hub and strut designs and this one doesn't need to move.

    I am guessing that it would need to be a bit stronger than the 4m one due to the longer span and extra weight of the material. But maybe that is not the case with geodesic designs.

    Is there a difference in rigidity between the rural pipe (measured in imperial measurements) or the metric pipe?

    From what I can see the 32mm (external diameter) polypipe has a wall thickness of 2.4 mm and the nearest equivalent to that would be the 1.5" rural polypipe (with an external diameter of 43mm.)

    32mm Metric pipe is $1.29/m and 1.5" Rural pipe is $1.25/m so there isn't much in it price wise.

    If the agricultural pipe used by Grahame for his dome was 1" rural then the wall thickness would be around 1.6mm, equivalent to 20mm metric pipe, which is less than 80cents/m.

    So...

    Is your dome rigid enough with the 1" tubing? Is it worth getting the cheaper 20mm metric equivalent.

    or...

    Would you like your dome to be more rigid and should I pay the extra money and get the equivalent of the 1.5" poly pipe.

    On a side note,

    I was thinking that sealing the ends would aid with rigidity, instead of slumping on a hot day, the air inside would expand and try to straighten out the pipe. My only concern is that if the seal gave way under high air pressure (they are rated to 1600kPa but only at 20C) then hot air would leak out. Come nightfall the remaining air inside would shrink and collapse the tube. I think sealling the ends would create more trouble than it is worth but seals are only $6 so I will buy two and experiment!

    Cheers for any help or advice you can give me from your own experiences.

    Mark
     
  2. lisa mahon

    lisa mahon Junior Member

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    We've used a Linda Woodrow dome for quite a few years and think it's brilliant. I can't remember if we had any trouble joining the top circle. Ours has a tarp and shadecloth on top of that for the roof. Without the shadecloth the tarp only lasts a year. With shadecloth on top of the shadecloth it will last about 5 years. I also found the baling twine tied in the criss cross pattern didn't really make it more structurally sound. My first dome I made from 2 inch black poly pipe and it didn't hold it's shape very well. The conduit is much better.
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hi Mark, Sorry I missed your post.

    The 1" High Density poly pipe (HDPE) is reasonably durable, but I have learnt that I can't put the weight of a perch on it without support. The domes eventually buckle under the pressure especially if the weather gets hot. I now have a few different versions of the roost - mostly completely detached from the dome. The key thing is the Density of the poly Ethylene and I think the 'rural' pipe is pretty much the same as the other but I could be wrong. Just don't get low density stuff.

    I've had mine for I guess about 3 years now and they are starting to look a bit worse for wear. They are not deteriorating as quickly as when I tried to have them bearing weight though.

    I will probably go for a design more like Linda's in the future because the geodesic domes give up too much height - I'm a bit over ducking down to get in and out.

    I have these fantasies of an aluminium dome with water droppers, roosts and stuff all built in. But then I guess that defeats the purpose.
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Purple Pear or anyone else who has built a Linda Woodrow dimensions dome...

    It's not clear on her instructions about how high along the 'legs that the top ring should go. The bottom ring is 75cm from the ground, but it seems that 75cm again is too low for the top ring. Anyone have a better measurement?
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    You need to size it to fit the individual who is getting in and out of the dome to get the eggs. Lower for a small person, higher for a big one.

    (Go on Grahame - you KNEW the answer would be "It depends...."!)
     
  6. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Yeah, I Kinda realised that Eco ;)

    Already been out to finish it off. It doesn't work so well with polypipe. But once I get the cladding on, a tarp over it and some chickens in there I will never give the wobbly look of it another thought. I'm looking forward to stepping into the dome rather than getting down and crawling on my hands and knees :)
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Eggsactly. All you'll see once it is done is your chooks going gangbusters on the weeds and fertilizing the garden.
     
  8. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Linda uses(calls for) high pressure pipe in 6 mtr lengths and this would make for a stronger and more ridid structure. (and more expensive but I have not seen a poly pipe dome go the distance. perhaps blue stripe ( mains pressure) poly would stand a chance.

    In the last rebuild we did Grahame we did 600 to the first (door) then 900 to the top - this allowed well for the wire which was small and heavy on the bottom and light and large for the middle and the top we did in shade cloth.

    Roosts are old aluminium ladders from the dump shop and we put a prop/ ladder under this for extra support in strong winds. The ladders are at a good height for a one man lift to the next dome site.

    Eco is not wrong in that the height of the first should be a comfortable entru height and the next is for a good door size. On one dome I added a top ring as well and it seems to have helped greatly though not necessary really.
     
  9. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Thanks PP, I thought I'd have a go with the polypipe, but I think this one will become an emergency/extra home for a broody chook or something like that, not an everyday in the mandala dome.

    I will probably try again with something more robust for the rebuild...

    So are you using the same pipe you alway have and suggested by Linda) or something new?

    Grahame
     
  10. Mirrabooka

    Mirrabooka Junior Member

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    "Reo", concrete reinforcing panelling, makes a great door for the chook dome, a rectangle cut to fill the doorway, itself reinforced with chook wire and tied with a polycord hinge at the top and ties at the bottom, is working well.
    Cutting Reo panels to produce a series of vertical "tent pegs" fixed to 2 horizontal runs of the Reo, then bent slightly to hammer down a short wire 10cm dome skirt, makes a secure fox proof structure which is also easy to dismantle when time to move the dome.

    I found lightweight pallet from the local mower shop an easy roost to install.

    I use food grade tiny water tank, food grade caravan water hose (the standard garden hose and standard Bunnings small garden water tanks might be heavy metal contaminating??) and stainless steel float fitted water bowl very effective dome water supply.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Thanks Mirrabooka - always great to see an old classic thread revisited. My dome has almost reached its fifth birthday and is still functioning.
     

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