Protecting our Chickens with PVC piping

A year or so ago we bought chickens and I built the girls a run in which to place their coop and provide protection against predators. As is my wont I built it without plans and soon it became fairly clear that we would need a cover to keep out the rain and snow. As I had already put a mesh roof on it to keep out raccoons this was no mean feat, and after trial and error,  I ended up cobbling together a makeshift sloping roof by placing a couple of upturned buckets on the top with a wooden pole between them and then draping a tarpaulin over this. It served us fairly well over the last 12 months as I struggled with motivation on how I was going to come up with a longer term solution.

This year we restarted out raised bed garden and I used PVC piping to make hoop covers for my new plants. Then it hit me – why not apply the same approach to the chicken run? After all, all I need is to put a slope under the tarp so that water runs off and doesn’t pool on the surface.

After a few hours work here’s my current set-up. I used 3 x 10 ft ¾ inch internal diameter PVC pipes and 4 T-joints. The T-joints form “feet” for the poles which are bent to provide a dome shape. The feet are connected to the top of the run using cable ties.  The whole frame cost $12.

I have a similar arrangement on the adjoining chain link chicken run, but that has the advantage that I can use bungee tarp cords to put the tarp under tension. On the original run the mesh is ½ inch and so I cannot do this. Therefore, I modified the design a bit by using nylon washing line from corner to corner to add some tension. Now we wait for the rains…

PVC tubing bent to form a dome
Nylon Clothes Line used for corner tension
Final tarpaulin cover


Leaving my Mark

In  bygone days, when builders constructed or repaired buildings they would often leave a symbol on the property to indicate who had completed the work.

Today, I intended to spend a few hours repairing the loose stucco on one of our chimneys and then enjoy the rest of the beautiful sunny day. However, on closer inspection of the chimney I really had little choice but to strip off all the stucco and repair the whole stack above the roof line.  

Six hours later I was feeling fairly self-satisfied with a job well done, given this is not my profession, and so I thought I would add my own little symbol to my work.

I had made a few of these during my pottery with spare pieces of clay and really have no use for them, but now one sits fairly discreetly on our chimney.


Egocentric behavior? Oh yes, but it appears ’twas ever thus, so why not? 🙂


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