A couple of days before the heat wave really set in the large twisted willow that shaded the ‘west wing’ poultry house broke in two halves and fell down . Wind and the Willow
There was an urgent need for shade and cooling as it housed some new pullets, a mum with 8 chicks (1 week old) plus a broody hen that where not yet ready to free range and keep cool under the trees.
I fitted a mister in each pen and a mini wobbler sprinkler on the roof. All these put out very low volumes of water and cooled the area very efficiently.
The morning sun was very fierce as it shone directly on the pens so I fixed some hession and shade cloth around the pens while I designed some simple awnings that would provide shade and ventilation.
Here’s my simple awning. It is lightweight yet strong and has not moved in strong winds.
Using 15mm PVC water pipe and elbows make a frame to fit the area required to cover.
Sew on shade cloth. Strong thread or fishing line is best.
Attach a length of timber using a small bolt to the inside of the frame. Make a hole at the other end of the timber. This will allow you to adjust the awning.
Attach the awning at the top of the areas to be covered. I used 2 cup hooks. Adjust the angle using the timber struts and wire onto frame. It can be easily readjusted or removed when not required.
In really hot weather (lets hope it never gets that hot again) hession or similar can be clipped onto the awning to increase the shade while allowing ventilation. The hession can be kept damp for extra cooling. When the sun sets the hession can be easily removed.
The finished awnings – I added some flaps and a picture made out of black shade cloth. The wormwood on the left was growing at an angle so I have fenced it off until it grows along the front on the pen. It can be hedged down in winter and allowed to grow tall over summer. I have added a few hardy well established pots to add some greenery maybe they will survive until the willow regrows now the rotten parts have been removed .Its always been a challenge to grow ground level plants around our pens as they adjoin the gravel driveway. All the pens on the opposite side of the road have lots of shade via glory vine, plum, nectarine and 100 year oak trees.