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efwellywoman



Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 11:21 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Has to be said that though I had expected it to be a complete and total pain, my birds are actually loving it in the polytunnels - mainly strawed down, but I'm digging a patch a day in each tunnel for them to scratch in & have been able to keep them in their normal groups (42+26+23) so not getting any social issues so far. They are so happy that I'm even beginning to think of doing the same thing again next winter - no mud, no torrents....I even sat in with my Welsummer flock this morning for a teabreak (yes I was properly footbathed....) Does anyone else over winter their birds in polytunnels? Any thoughts or experiences to share?

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4267
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I know they're used in some permaculture places to clean up in between cropping periods. Don't see why overwintering inside would be a problem, given sufficient ventilation and predator security I imagine the natural light would be good for them over winter?

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10498
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 17 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was going to put my ducks in the polytunnel but for me it was to complicated - I'd need to fox proof the outside and clear a lot of thing out of there that would otherwise get pooped on. How do you deal with fox security efwellywoman?

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4267
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 17 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Extended to end Feb

https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html

chickenlady



Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 402
Location: Dorset
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 17 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    


efwellywoman



Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 17 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Green Rosie wrote:
I was going to put my ducks in the polytunnel but for me it was to complicated - I'd need to fox proof the outside and clear a lot of thing out of there that would otherwise get pooped on. How do you deal with fox security efwellywoman?


I've netted around the tunnels (that really was a complete pain!) and close up all ventilator flaps at suppertime. The tunnels themselves are made of the reinforced material that has a pretty heavy mesh in rather than just straight plastic (chosen because even good quality thermoplas gets shredded by the wind very quickly here) so thats a bit of an advantage tho I'm still checking every morning for any signs of fox attempts. If I had any money, my first choice would have been to use electric netting....but I don't , so I've just had to work with what I'd got. I did have to clear everything out of the tunnels and now have piles of pots, staging and the like to store somewhere else, but I have some very rare birds that would be devastating to lose, so have just had to accept the chaos. I'm also doing the footbath thing in and out of the tunnel area too which another complete pain

efwellywoman



Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 17 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

NorthernMonkeyGirl wrote:
Extended to end Feb

https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html


Hey ho, I guess we were all expecting it.
What does really worry me is what on earth I'm going to do if this is still going on when the weather warms up. Even if I make fine mesh doors for both tunnel ends to max the airflow I think it will still get too warm for the birds in the spring. I guess I could try green house shading....hmmm. Really hoping this will come to an end before I have to deal with that one...

gythagirl



Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 1430
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 17 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our 7 hens are in our tunnel, with the electric net round the outside. They're enclosed within, tho not the whole area as we have strawberries in a couple of beds, and although bored, (I imagine!) it's nice to have them protected from the winter weather.

However, OH has been counting the days til we can let them out as omg there is a thick layer of dust over EVERYTHING - from the interior walls to the stored dinghy and every nook and cranny. OH thinks he'll have to power wash the walls. Also we've had an attack of red mite AND now have rats in the tunnel, despite the bait box that has had to be introduced.

I do think the main problem is going to be the rising temps though - so we'll have to be sorting out a compromise solution soon...

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32877
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 17 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

having had a quick look solar power fans are available and might be a lot cheaper than building a new defra approved isolation unit hen house.

a few quids worth of cheapo space blankets and some gaffer tape might work quite well but would restrict the primary use of growing veg quite a bit.

best hope is that the problem burns out before the weather warms up too much

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10498
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 17 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

[quote="efwellywoman:1472035"]
I've netted around the tunnels (that really was a complete pain!) /quote]

Electric fencing would be my only option. It would be hard but not impossible to put up but getting electricity there would be nigh on impossible. Plus I will want to start using the tunnel soon so whilst ducks in the polytunnel sounds like a nice idea in theory I am not so sure about it in practice.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13487

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 17 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rosie, foxes will go through your poly to get at your ducks as though it wasn't there. I have a friend living up the road who lost the lot.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32877
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 17 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if you use cardboard mulch and trimming to keep the weeds from earthing the fence a 12v battery and smallish pv panel will power quite a large distance of electric fence with no battery swapping

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 17 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

efwellywoman wrote:
NorthernMonkeyGirl wrote:
Extended to end Feb

https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html


Hey ho, I guess we were all expecting it.
What does really worry me is what on earth I'm going to do if this is still going on when the weather warms up. Even if I make fine mesh doors for both tunnel ends to max the airflow I think it will still get too warm for the birds in the spring. I guess I could try green house shading....hmmm. Really hoping this will come to an end before I have to deal with that one...


Ironically, although I did spot it as BS, as yet another attempt to stop home/small scale food production, under the flimsy guise of . . . health and safety? (Is this one even supposed to be one of the 'more likely to mutate to lethal human' versions? I haven't heard anyone say so.) I thought it would be lifted once the AI passed. . . I guess not enough people have given up to increase agroindustry's share sufficiently, but seeing as they want 100% that's not really surprising.
Oh, I know, don't tell me . . . the AI hasn't passed yet. . .

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 17 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
if you use cardboard mulch and trimming to keep the weeds from earthing the fence a 12v battery and smallish pv panel will power quite a large distance of electric fence with no battery swapping


Cardboard - The 'waste handling by licensed people only' has finally shut off my last supply of cardboard

For this particular purpose, I can still get alternatives, but it's a lot trickier, and not biodegradeable which I did actually like, despite the fact it meant I had to keep replacing it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32877
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 17 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re the waste handling thing a chap i know buys the "waste" as his raw material thus avoiding the problem for his compost / gardening business.

iirc a years worth of "waste" coffee grounds or mouldy veg cost a whole one new pence

buying cardboard as electric fence insulation panels seems plausible, penny a mile might be a fair price

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