Date: January 1, 2007
Subject: dome strength
Hello, and a happy new year!
i have been enjoying surfing around your website and learning all sorts of things, but have so far been unsuccessful in locating an answer to my question.
I am pondering adapting one of your structures, say one of the greenhouses, to be used as a portable bottomless chicken pen. This is to allow the pen to be moved frequently as part of a gardening system (‘chicken tractoring’!). Having looked at some of the pictures eg ‘dome in the air’ , I have no doubt about ease of portability, but I have a specific question:
If I wish to suspend light timber or bamboo perches that will eventually house between 10-15 hens, and a water feeder (say 15-20 litres making equivalent weight in kgs), will the structure be able to support this sort of weight suspended from it? The perches are made in a grid shape to distribute the weight more evenly, but the waterer is a ‘lump’!
Depending on the size of the dome you can hang 5 to 18 lbs from each of the connectors located inside the dome where the poles cross. So if you spread the weight out I would think they would work fine. You may also want a shade for part of the dome in warm sun.
If you make your own shads be sure to use the woven shade cloth that lets the air and wind through. Asolid tarp will flap in the wind and collect rain and may cause the dome to collapse.
On Jan 3, 2007,
Yes, a tarpaulin or somesuch would certainly be necessary to shade the birds. perhaps could even be adapted to anchor the whole structure…..
With thanks for your prompt response,
all the best