Because I want my chickens to be comfortable at all times (Spoiled Rotten Chicken Club, Ch II), when it rains I run out and drape their coops with plastic to make a tent.
This has drawbacks, not the least of which is that it looks like some old plastic bags blew through the field and got snagged. It takes time to put them up and tie off the corners, it’s a dirty job, and it makes it a bear to close the ramps at night and nearly impossible to get the eggs.
The hens appreciate it, though, they run and huddle under there when it starts to pour, so I keep doing it (since last year). And cringing at the visual effect.
Finally, I made the hen rain shelters I dreamed of! They’re very light (flimsy) frames, that are hinged on the top so I can easily fold them up, and probably store leaning on the back of the greenhouse when it’s not raining.
They’re made from fertilizer bag liners (neighbour), the same bags I was using before. The plastic breaks down in time in the UV, but the bags are free and abundant, so it’s not a big deal to re-plastic down the road.
The hens like the clear plastic because they can see shapes approaching through it.
Now at least it looks like I mean for them to be there.
I made three of them. Each coop gets a tent adjunct, and the third is for the guineas. We set it right over top of the broody guinea. Can’t hurt to keep her dry; all the others will happily stay dry if they can. She was angry about the installation! But got right back on her eggs.