quality tarps: experiences & sources

blueberrier1December 21, 2008

Just replaced the 2 year old coop-hoop house tarp with a similar blue/grey. Actually, I just put the second one over the first. Initially, these tarps were used for covering trailers of wood flooring in transport, only 4-5 days.

Coop house is two bent cattle panels that is covered with mesh chicken fencing, Is there a tarp that is better/best for this situation? The coop is exposed to windy gusts and the abrasions allow rain/snow in. The east facing end of coop is wire screening-so the birds do not need more ventilation.

Had thought I could piece together some excess old upholstery fabric and make an 'underlining' to place over the coop prior to this tarp.

Is there a 'tougher' tarp that you use? Source/name?

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caavonldy(8/9 N CA)

Could you post some photos? It sounds interesting.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 7:54PM
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I use a tarp as the back door to my barn ... it's very heavy canvas. I googled canvas tarp, and found many suppliers. They last a couple of years here, before I replace them.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 6:17PM
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My favorite topic at the moment!

I was pleased with my 8 x 16 hoop house for my broilers made of 4 cattle panels 16 foot long. I bought the most expensive tarps I could find at Home Depot - brown on one side, silver on the other - but they only lasted one season.

Meanwhile.....on a chicken discussion group I'm on, people are recommending used billboard tarps. It's usually the ad on one side, and the white (or sometimes black) side on the other, so you just make sure it's white side up.

You can do an ebay search on billboard vinyl I think and get the one I found.

For a 20' x 48' tarp (that's HUGE) it was approx. $75. Downside was that it costs $70 shipping.

The vinyl is UV protected (of course), and is 20 ml thick, so I guess it's really heavy, but it stands up to MUCH more than any store-bought tarp would

At the moment, being poverty-stricken, I'm trying to find a local source so that I can save the $70 shipping.

I've also researched new vinyl, and have found it anywhere between $0.50 - $1.00 per square foot from places like FarmTec - but for the tarp I mentioned (960 square foot) that's MUCH more than the used billboard tarp!

Anyone used it?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:16PM
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Instead of tarps I would use 6ml greenhouse plastic-it is UV protected and can be painted white with any cheap paint (to lower the summer suns heat transmission). It comes in 10',20',30'...up to 240' wide X 100' up to 500'+ long. 30' x 100' sheets cost about $100. They can be bought at any greenhouse wholesaler. I have some sheets that are 25 years old and still in good shape. It is tear/puncture resistant. We have had 80 mph straight line winds that have flattened our kennels and did nothing to the greenhouse next to them. Cut it about 12 inches wider and longer than you need and fold the edges over twice (4 layers using the extra 6") on the edges and sew it on any sewing machine with a double stitch rows like blue jean seams. Then add your eyelets every 2' or 3' so it can be tied on like you do a tarp. If adding it to a wooden frame all you have to do is use 1'x2' firring strips to hold it tightly to the frame without the eyelets or sewing.

On a hoop pen you can run wooden rails along the bottom edges and fasten the greenhouse plastic with wooden firring strips (instead of nails I recommend using ceramic coated deck screws, they won't loosen with wind vibrations and from moving it around).

I have designed a chicken tractor that is light and easy to move. Plan building some this spring-will take lots of pics as they are being built and will add them to my website with materials lists and exact dimensions and instructions.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:13AM
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