Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hoop houses for sheep shelters

You need 4 t-posts;
2 8-ft. 2X4's;
 2 16-ft heavy duty cattle panels;
1 9X12 heavy duty tarp
1 4X8 sheet of plywood
 We raise Jacob sheep, colored angora goats and commercial cross dairy goats on 5 acres in the rural Ozarks.

We've been raising sheep and goats since 1982. We keep our flocks small, breed for the very best and attempt to improve our land and remain sustainable.

It rains a decent amount here. Our yearly average is in the 50-inch range. In fact, all our weather is mostly middlin'. Four good solid seasons with a good range of all weather possibilities. However, we do have infrequent wind. I'm not sure how the hoop houses would hold up in an area with constant wind.

Pound the t-posts in a rectangle so that the 2X4's fit inside
the posts and the plywood sets on top of the boards
 at the back.
So, our flocks need a bit more shelter than the woodlot provides and we do not have a barn. We try to use rotational grazing on our 1/2 acre paddocks with a plan to improve the forage quality. That's a long range plan.

To go along with this, we build shelters that we call hoop houses. They are simple to put up, taking only about 1/2 hour with two of us if we have all the materials ready. They are comfortable shelter for four of our small breed sheep or goats. If we have more than 4 animals in a pen, we build 2 or more hoop houses, side-by-side. Then we can use the V between the two shelters for a hay feeder.

Bend the two cattle panels and lift them to fit between the
two boards.
The cost for each of these hoop houses runs about $100.

 2 Cattle Panels @ $25 ea. = $50.00
4 t-posts @ $4.00 ea.        = $16.00
2 2X4's @ $4.00 ea.         = $8.00
1 Sheet plywood @$12.00=$12.00
1 tarp @ $15.00               = $15.00

Stretch the tarp over the panels. We need air circulation here,
so we leave the gaps at the bottom.
 Kitty is our construction foreman.

Tie the tarp to the panels at the grommets with baling twine.
Tie the panels to the t-posts where there is no tarp,
to keep them from blowing away. Dapper Dan and Kitty
check the quality of construction.
We usually leave them in place for a season, about 6 months. We bed them with straw, and feed hay in the shelters, letting the bedding build up to keep the animals dry. You can see the old pad of bedding and manure to the left of the new hoop house we are building. This will grow forage grasses from the hay seeds next spring.

This process works well for our flock management.
Tie the cattle panels together with baling twine.


brenda said...

im going to try this !

Bob said...

Going to try building this for our sheep.