During the fall we developed an inexpensive fodder system based on hard plastic kiddie pools. It has served us very well, performing perfectly (except for one fixable minor detail). What you see here is the fall version of this setup... pools under draped plastic sitting on pallets, holes in the bottom for drainage and water timers set to fill the pool once a day quickly, then drain out.
|The fall fodder system|
Back on point... what to do for winter. As the rains come here in southern oregon... the draped plastic just creates a nifty duck pond over the grain! The cooler weather is made worse by the rain water cooling the grain and blocking the suns heat. So now we need a way to heat the grain from the sun and keep the rain out. a mini greenhouse! Modeled after the hoops often placed over garden boxes, this seemed a great approach.
Version 1 didnt work out so well... I tried to use regular 1/2 inch PVC, with Ts placed around it to allow for uprights, then bent into a 5 foot circle. This would have fit right inside the pool while allowing easy uprights for hoops.
|First attempt didnt work out well at all... broke on bending into a circle.|
|Second attempt made it into a circle, barely, with a Tee-Pee over it.|
|Third attempt was actually useable, almost.|
I had chosen to go with this design, BUT... while in the store collecting supplies, a new idea hit me... flexible pipe! A roll of black plastic utility pip caught my eye. Yes! light, cheap, flexible, yet strong enough for this application. an hour or so of toying with different connection options and we have a new plan!
Version 4, based on cheap plastic utility pipe rolls, snap on Ts, and hoop tops of the same pipe worked perfectly! Within an hour of building time we produced the first fully functional prototype. It fits OVER the pool, is strong enough yet light and easy to lift and present a better angle to collect heat from the sun than a Tee-Pee design. Perfect!
|Fourth attempt worked well!|