We wrapped up work on the Chicken Mobile Home (truth be told, there are a few details to finish, but it probably is as finished as it is going to get). If we get a string of warm, dry weather we’d like to paint the plywood, but that’s a bit of finesse that is rarely lavished on projects around here.
We installed a used stadium dome cover we bought online. These covers cost about twice what the heavy duty tarps sell for at home improvement stores, but at 35 mil thick versus 10 mil for the tarps they are a better value. The only problem we had with the cover was that it seemed to have some built-in curvature and we weren’t able to stretch it as tight as we’d like. The resultant wrinkles are a little unsightly but they are unlikely to affect the performance or longevity of the roof. We don’t sweat the aesthetics too much, nor do the chickens.
All our equipment does double (or more) duty, so before we even started using this for its intended purpose of sheltering pastured laying hens, we repurposed the mobile home as a temporary brooder for 200 broiler chicks.
We put a delaminated scrap sheet of OSB under the chicks since we weren’t sure if they would have trouble with the slatted floor. Within a few days, they had all figured out how to manage with the holes and now they all freely venture off the solid floor onto the slats. Once these chicks start to feather out and toughen up, we’ll move them to the field pens and rehome the laying hens to this mobile home.