Moveable Poultry Hoop House
Buckeye Moveable Hoop House for pastured poultry or backyard flock.
2 8ft 4X4s treated
2 6ft 2X4s treated
5 10ft ½ inch inside diameter schedule 40 pvc conduit (UV resistant)
1 8ft galvanized electrical conduit 3’4 “
28 ft poultry netting, galvanized wire or UV resistant plastic or netting, 5ft wide.
14 ft rope (for towing hoop house and staking it down)
16 3” or 3-1/2” coated self tapping screws
10 1-1/2” coated self tapping screws
Electrical tape or other UV resistant tape.
UV resistant plastic ties 6-8” long
Tarp and tarp straps
Galvanized electric fence wire
Insulated connector wire to connect two or more hoop houses
Phillips driver bit
7/8” wood drill bit
1-1/8” wood drill bit
On a flat surface place the 4X4s parallel to each other 6ft apart, then screw the 2x4s into the ends of the 4x4s to form a 8x6 foot rectangle, (use the 3” screws), you might want to drill through the 2x4 first to make it easier to run the screws into the end of the 4x4. Keep the screws away from the middle of the end of the 4x4 because you will be drilling through this junction soon and you don’t want to hit the screws with the drill bit. Four screws connecting each 2x4 to each 4x4 should be enough, or lag screw them together with coated lag screws. The new pressure treated wood requires the coated screws (check the box) since the screws will rust out quickly otherwise.
Now starting at the end of the 4x4s measure every two feet and mark the top middle of the 4x4. You will have 5 marks including the ends of the 4x4. Now drill out each mark with the 1-1/8 inch bit on one 4x4 and the 7/8 bit on the other (or cut off the female side of the conduit and use 7/8” on both sides). The holes should be at least 1-1/2” deep, make them all the same depth. Mark each pvc conduit at the halfway mark. Now match the larger end of the conduit to the correct side and push it in as far as it will go, then bend it and stick the other end in the smaller hole across from it. Be careful that one end doesn’t come out and hit someone. You can hold the conduit in by running one of the 1-1/2” screws in from the outer side of the 4X4 or angled in from the top so that the ends of the conduit are held in the drilled holes. Now mark the metal conduit (pvc might work) every 2 ft., then tape it to each bent pvc (underneath) at the highest point, which should be where your halfway mark on the hoop pvc is. Electrical tape works well for this and is UV resistant. You should also wire each connection with galvanized wire as this metal conduit may be used to hang the feeders and waterers from. Cut the 5ft wide wire/netting into 8ft lengths and fasten to the sides of the hoop house so they meet on top. The netting can be fastened to the 4x4s with coated staples or bent nails. Fasten the netting to the pvc conduit with the plastic ties and connect it to the other piece of netting where they meet on top, probably every 6 inches or tight enough that predators can’t squeeze in. It’s much easier to have two people to attach the plastic ties, one inside and one outside the frame. Cut the remaining wire/netting to match the ends of the house and fasten in place. It may be best to have your door on the side, probably just by cutting a two foot flap between the pvc conduit. Leave the top of the flap uncut so it will drop closed behind you as enter or cut a larger door from a separate piece of wire to cover your opening. The door can be held in place with several tarp straps or just by wire. A more expensive alternative would be to have one end of the cage made from outdoor plywood, you can then cut a door into it and hinge it. This is a nice system and firms the cage up a bit.
To prevent rain from entering use a tarp over at least ½ of the house, including one end, face the tarped end into the prevailing wind. Hang the feed in this end. One of the main problems of hoop houses is that they can blow over in high winds. You should probably have at least two diagonal corners staked down to guard against this. You might want to use a loop of rope (nylon) at two corners to run your stakes through. Use a fairly long metal stake (err on the side of caution) but make sure you have a means to pull it out, perhaps a good size wrecking bar or crow bar and a piece of 2x6.
A loop of rope fastened to the 2x4 at one end will give you something to grab on to so it can be pulled to a new location when needed. Watch the birds as you do this so they don’t get injured by the other end of the house.
By wrapping 2 or 3 loops of galvanized electric fence wire around the hoop house at 6” and 12” high you should be able to control most predators. If you use galvanized chicken wire instead of plastic netting the hot wires will have to be installed on stand out insulators to keep a short from developing. It may be helpful to install a loop around the wooden base (on insulators) if skunks start digging in. Many of these hoop houses could be lined up and connected to the same fencer as needed using insulated clips to join the houses.
This basic design could probably be modified for larger sized pens also.