Shade for the Summer

With the length and number of summer heat waves seeming to increase every year, we have been looking for additional ways to help the animals better cope with the heat.

We had been considering putting up some shade sails to provide additional shaded areas for the animals to get out of the sun. While still considering buying a shade sail, we happened to come across an ad from a local homeowner cleaning out their house before moving. They were giving away a free sun umbrella so we picked it up with the thought to use it for extra shade for the chickens.

Free sun umbrella with 3 broken spokes.

The only problem – it had 3 broken ribs. 2 had the ends broken off and one snapped off closer to the center pole.

A simple fix on one of the umbrella ribs.

The 2 ribs with broken ends just needed a quick fix – attach a length of wood to replace the missing piece. I used a couple pieces of scrap wood and some old screws salvaged from other projects over time.

The 3rd rib required two pieces with a small bolt to permit it to pivot and close the umbrella – I had to buy the bolt, along with a couple washers and a nut or two – total cost $2.78.

After fixing the umbrella so it opened and closed again, it was time to set up a spot for the umbrella. I decided to set it up over the sandbox so the chickens could use the sandbox in the afternoons.

Umbrella mounted in the sandbox next to the coop.

Using some spare metal tubing sunk into the sand, the umbrella slides right into place. It is easily removable so we can take it out and store it in the barn over the winter.

The umbrella set up over the sandbox.

And the umbrella even is somewhat green in color to match the coop and barns.

The chickens out in the field with the umbrella in the background.

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