One of the first structures we built for the farm was a hoop house. Our reasoning was simple: We needed a place to house our chickens, and our budget was limited. Since we also had a goal to make our shelters portable, the hoop house was the perfect solution for our needs.
Hoop House Construction
The construction was pretty basic. Each hoop house measured 104″ x 108″. Brian used 2×4 lumber to make the base and put in some cross pieces on the corners for stability. In time, he learned that things held together much better if he added L-shaped metal brackets to give some more stability to the corners.
Using 1.5″ fence staples, Brian connected a couple of hog panels to the 2x4s and bent them over to form a hoop. Wire ties joined the two panels in the middle so the “roof” moved as one unit and didn’t separate.
To keep things lighter, Brian selected 1x4s to frame in a door and to provide support for the back. Our first models had more framing on the back side because we hung nest boxes off the back and moved the hoop houses daily. Later models didn’t have nest boxes as we moved to a central nest box location and then moved the hoop houses around as necessary.
Brian attached ropes to help in moving. Since he was the primary hoop house mover, he quickly decided that wheels on the back would be a great idea. Wheels, with a little bit of lift on the front end, made moving the hoops easy enough that even child could do it.
We used tarps to cover and provide shade, but didn’t cover the entire hoop so that there was air circulation.
Although we initially planned these for our hens, we also found them useful to provide shady shelter for the pigs. When we put some together to provide a dry and protected area for the goats to kid, the recently-born goat kids enjoyed climbing all over them and sliding down, thus providing hours of entertainment all around.
We also constructed a few hoop houses to use as storage areas to keep animal feed dry and protected. Basically, any time we needed shelter, our first solution was to use a hoop house.