Oh, Turkey Tunnel, How Did You Sink So Low?
We had a couple of inches of wet snow this week and the Turkey Tunnel didn't handle it too well. I built the tunnel last summer to house the 80 turkeys we raised out on pasture last year. They spent nights in there and ranged out into their portable poultry net during the day. It's built out of 3/8ths rebar, 2x4's chicken wire, 1x3 wooden strips and a tarp. I absolutely loved the thing and considered building simular ones for the pastured broilers instead of the low Salatin type pens we use currently. About 2 weeks before Thanksgiving we had a bad storm with 60mph straight line winds, thunder and lightning. I knew it was going to be bad but it was after dark so I had to wait until after the storm to find out how bad. Apparently the wind flipped the tunnel up like a trashcan lid and threw it 75 feet. The remarkable think was that none of the turkeys got hurt. They were all still sitting where the tunnel had been. Getting tossed like that did compromise the structural integrity of the tunnel though. We were able to limp it through the rest of the season. But obviously a little wet snow was more than it could handle in its fragile state. I am now trying to design a better tunnel. I think we will be raising a lot more turkeys this year so we would either need more tunnels like this one or a bigger one that could house all of them in one structure. This one was nice because I could move it everyday by hand. Any bigger and I would need to use a tractor or the truck. But the fact that these are light enough to blow away may tip the balance toward a bigger, heavier shelter.
Salatin type broiler pen