I got the chicken yard’s top cover in early 2015 to replace the original, an old cargo parachute, which was in streaming rags in far less than two years. (pro-tip: cargo chutes do not withstand constant UV exposure for any substantial length of time.)
I got this one through Ian at a cost of something like $65 as I recall, and I don’t know where he got it. You can clearly see it’s too small: I left it open in front so as not to interfere with the gate (yes chickens can fly but they prefer not to – I’ve yet to have a chicken choose to fly through that hole though they could in an emergency) however it was also open over the coop and that swiftly became a problem. Some chickens prefer to roost on top of the coop in warm weather, and they could look right over the fence where there was no top cover. Once while I was slaughtering a hen I looked to my left and saw half a dozen horrified hens standing on their coop and watching me do it. Also sometimes they’ll casually hop over the fence from the coop roof and then freak out with agoraphobia until I open the gate and shoo them back inside. Hence the landscape fabric over the coop.
As for the open part in front – that could also be problematic. Not long ago I looked out the window because the chickens were squawking, and saw a red-tailed hawk standing on the gate like a fat guy looking at a smörgåsbord. This is why I keep a [legal, non-violent, totally PC object] at the cabin’s new back door.
Anyway – the camo netting turns 3 years old in a month or two. The net itself is fine and strong, but the camo material is falling apart. Hence this new addition, which solves one problem neatly and hopefully will address the other.
You want to know fun? Fun is trying to disentangle a camo net that’s had three windy years to thoroughly fuse with recycled chain link fencing. I spent more time releasing the edges of the net than I ever did stringing the new one. Since I had to still use the old net I couldn’t just hack it down with a razor knife. More’s the pity.
But having finally accomplished the task…
There ya go. Honestly if I even keep using this chicken yard for years to come, which is a little up in the air at present, I’ll end up needing to replace the whole thing. I think this new piece of netting came from an Amazon supplier and on every level its quality doesn’t equal that of the original net. So I don’t believe it’ll last more than a season or two, but in the meantime it buys me time as I come into the season when every dollar is needed for other things. So greatly appreciated!