If you can work with 1-inch PVC pipe and close a zip tie, you can build a portable geodesic dome chicken coop or greenhouse. What really sets Zip Tie Dome chicken coop kits apart is the connecting hub designed by John Hurt. The struts (1-inch pipe sections) that form the triangles slip into holes on a 4-inch PVC collar around the hub. Heavy-duty zip ties (120-pound tension) slip through holes in the pipes and around the hub for a secure connection.
One or two people can assemble a frame for a 16-foot-diameter dome with an 8-foot-tall center. Then, they zip tie chicken wire over the surface and a tarp on top to complete a 113-pound Jumbo Coop, with enough room for 50 to 100 chickens.
That’s about half the weight of a typical mobile chicken coop built out of wood, Hurt says, which is why he came up with the idea.
His family liked the idea of raising chickens on pasture. But the first coops they made were too heavy to pull by hand and not tall enough to stand up inside.
“My hub design has lots of flexibility,” Hurt says. And it can be easily adjusted if a pipe breaks and needs to be replaced. After a couple years of testing, and with a patent pending on the hub connector design, Zip Tie Domes went on the market last May.
The domes also make great greenhouses, and the Hurts made a smaller version for a doghouse next to the chickens to acclimate a Pyrenees puppy, their future guardian.