Monday, June 4, 2012

Scissor Truss Eggmobile, Part I

After much blood, sweat, and trigonometry, we are ALMOST done with our modified version of the Polyface scissor truss eggmobile (i.e., portable hen house).  Click here to see a video of Joel Salatin's version.  Ours is a bit smaller and also enclosed, since we don't have a kick-butt farm dog to ward off predators at night.  Here are some photos of the project, followed by some after-the-fact concerns, per usual.

The base with one of the trusses.  This baby will (hopefully) move on skids.

Four little trusses, all in a row.  It's roughly 12' long by 8' wide.

Side bracing.  The key to structural integrity is to triangulate everything.  Again and again.

Chicken wire on the floor of the hen house will allow droppings to fall through.  We built a ramp down the middle, which you can see in the next photo.

Rafters and bracing.

We actually got it under roof last night, but it was too dark to take photos, so I'll include those in a later post.  But now for my concerns:

1. Our version is narrower and taller than Polyface's, which makes me worry about how and if it will turn.  Although most of the weight is at the bottom, I wish I'd made it shorter.  I designed it at this angle so we could fit the nest boxes in...though in the end, we could have used something else for nest boxes.  It's about 7' from ramp to peak.
2. I've heard that predators can tear through chicken wire, so I'm a little apprehensive about using it on the floors and to enclose the ends.  I know, I know, I'm contradicting myself.  The good news is that we haven't had any predator problems yet.
3. This was not the cheapest thing in the world to build, and it's really too big for our one little flock.  We're hoping to marry our current layers with our new chicks when they get big enough, but what if it they turn into the poultry version of the Montagues and the Capulets?

The good news is that it will shed snow well, we can use it for hay storage in the winter when the chickens are in the hoop house, and that I'm linking up with the Homestead Barn Hop! 

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  1. Hi, I'm new to your blog, but have browsed around a bit, and really enjoy it. Your eggmobile truss A frame project is interesting. It certainly looks sturdy. I love the barred rock investigating in the first picture - she is in for SUCH a surprise.

    1. Thanks for visiting, and have fun at your workshop with Joel Salatin! I admit I would be terrified to show him this contraption...but also curious as to his thoughts.

  2. It's fantastic! You did a beautiful job. I hope it turns AND keeps out predators for you!

    Also, I want to hear more about the guineas you mentioned. Besides keeping away ticks - do you eat their eats (or them)? Just curious if they have other purposes too.

    1. Thanks. :) I sent you a longer e-mail on guineas, but so others can see, you can eat them and their eggs, too.