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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The nights are getting cold, and winter is on its way :(
I usually cover my flight cage(attached to the loft) with heavy gauge plastic for the winter, but I had an idea and would like feedback before I do it, in case its NOT a good idea.
How do you think those outdoor "roll up" Bamboo blinds would work?
That way, on sunny winter days I could roll them up if the birds want to venture out to the flight cage, and roll them down at night. The birds will be in the loft at night.
Keep in mind, temps here get into the single digits and the wind chill can go below zero. (I would keep them closed down on those days)
Input on this idea would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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I think they sound fne, but wind may be an issue with them, I know plastic is not so pretty but it would be a good wind break and you can leave the sunny south side open to the sun....but I would try the blinds, but you may have to anchor them on the bottom so the wind does not lift them and break them. In our barn we have doors that open on both sides from north to south...nice in the summer as we get breezes through there, but winter not so nice, we use a big outdoor grade canvas tarp and hang it to cover the door, so if the blinds are too "wimpy" you can consider a heavy canvas tarps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, I didn't think about the wind lifting them up. See that's why I wanted input:)
I was just trying to think of any easier way to open and close up the flight cage, letting the sun and air in during the day. Instead of have to tack, untack and tack up plastic all the time. I don't care how it looks, its only for winter. I just want it to be efficient.
 

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I would use the heavy canvas tarps, and leave the side that gets the most sun open so the sun can spill in there, they are locked up at night anyway so you probably would end up leaving that side open anyway. the canvas has grommetts so you can hook them on nails or screws.
 

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blinds

You may also wan't to consider how the snow and ice will build up on them. We both know how fast that can happen and if it does over night will they handle the punishment of breaking the ice, I am thinking not. Of corse if the blinds are free it may be worth the try:D >Kevin
 

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Blinds are a good idea
You can get the cheap ones from Lowes or Home Depot for about 4 bucks a piece.
They also come with a little attachment you mount to the area you want the blind to go down to and clip it to the blind itself so the wind cant blow them up.
Number 9 and 12 on the picture below

 

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We live in WI. & suffer from -0 temps. and biting wind chills in the winter so I know what you are talking about.

We have 4 flights attached to 3 different lofts & we never enclose our flights, I do have to put up supports in the flights so the snow load does'nt break the wire tops though.

Each flight has a pigeon door or doors that are opened or closed depending on the temp. & wind direction. This has worked for us for the last 2-3 yrs. without a problem... although I do have to shovel the flight because the pigeons refuse to walk in deep snow.:rolleyes:
 

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How about those car tarps??
The green or blue type.. Use zip ties to attach them to the outside of the flight pen.

If I can get my loft done this month, we are using heat lamps, heated water bowls and mats...just to make sure that they are warm.

-Hilly
 

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How about those car tarps??
The green or blue type.. Use zip ties to attach them to the outside of the flight pen.

If I can get my loft done this month, we are using heat lamps, heated water bowls and mats...just to make sure that they are warm.

-Hilly
use the heavy canvas ones, the wind does not pick them up..we have the heavey plastic ones on our hay and it blows with the wind, and they can rip, the canvas one on the back door of the barn does not move and it shields well and will last a long time. the zip ties sounds like they would work good.
 
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I would just go with the thick plastic so the light comes thru and the wind and snow stays out , thats what I do with my fly pens in the windter ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the suggestions :)
So with these temperatures its OK to leave the south side of the flight cage uncovered? (the birds go into the loft at night) It gets sun all day.
Also, right now I have 4 feet of clear roofing panels on the top of the flight cage for the birds that don't want to sit in the rain. I'm getting more clear panels to cover the other 6 feet so the snow can't get in, but will still let the sun in.
 

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the thick plastic does let light in as Lakota says....tarps would make it dark...I think the plastic sounds better.:)
 

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Always nice to see what other folks do for winterization.

I have used the heavy clear plastic to cover the front of my open coop. When the sun rises on its south east side, it acts like a greenhouse and naturally makes the inside toasty.

Time to remove the fly netting and tack on the plastic soon.

I also put a tarp on the front on especially blustery days and take it off in the morning.It is also held up by simple large nails.
 

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I've found that the plastic I've tired, 8ml. thickness, gets brittle, cracks & then is ripped to shreds by the wind. And the plastic tarps just don't hold up through the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've found that the plastic I've tired, 8ml. thickness, gets brittle, cracks & then is ripped to shreds by the wind. And the plastic tarps just don't hold up through the winter.
That's the problem I've had with plastic. Even when I get the heaviest gauge, it gets brittle and cracks. The past couple years I've been getting the heaviest plastic at Joann Fabrics. Its also clear (like glass), so I can see them in the flight cage. But its by the yard (4' wide) and expensive. My daughter works there so I get a discount and she gives me a 50% off coupon which helps alot, but it will still cost me about $50. I guess its worth it, if it lets the sun in, keeps the wind out and doesn't rip :rolleyes:
 

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That's the problem I've had with plastic. Even when I get the heaviest gauge, it gets brittle and cracks. The past couple years I've been getting the heaviest plastic at Joann Fabrics. Its also clear (like glass), so I can see them in the flight cage. But its by the yard (4' wide) and expensive. My daughter works there so I get a discount and she gives me a 50% off coupon which helps alot, but it will still cost me about $50. I guess its worth it, if it lets the sun in, keeps the wind out and doesn't rip :rolleyes:

I know what plastic you are talking about & it is very nice but like you stated expensive. I've used it on a couple of hospital cages to keep the heat contained.

When you use it outside does it get cloudy after awhile or stay clear? How long does it last outside?
 

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I've found that the plastic I've tired, 8ml. thickness, gets brittle, cracks & then is ripped to shreds by the wind. And the plastic tarps just don't hold up through the winter.
That is odd. I get mine from a home improvement store and the kind used for winter window covering. I have never had problems with mine tearing.
 

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what about just using pieces of plywood, just attach with a few screws and you can unscrew it on nicer days.
or put hinges on the bottom and hook and eye at the top and you can just drop it down on nicer days
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know what plastic you are talking about & it is very nice but like you stated expensive. I've used it on a couple of hospital cages to keep the heat contained.

When you use it outside does it get cloudy after awhile or stay clear? How long does it last outside?
It doesn't get cloudy (moisture), but it does get dusty (bird dust). Mine lasted the whole winter and if your careful taking it down, clean it and roll it, you can use it again. Its just that the pieces I have don't fit the new flight cage. That's why I was trying to find something less expensive and efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
what about just using pieces of plywood, just attach with a few screws and you can unscrew it on nicer days.
or put hinges on the bottom and hook and eye at the top and you can just drop it down on nicer days
I'd have to get 7 sheets :eek: that would be too expensive and too much work!
 
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