I used one of these for my critters last winter it worked pretty good. I did fnd that the base needs to be narrower than the photo in the link shows. a heavier duty tarp will last longer too. I used a cheap one and it was pretty much destroyed by spring. it served its purpose though! http://www.plamondon.com/hoop-coop.html
A similar product but lighter in weight and strength are concrete reinforcing panels. They come in a rather strange size of 7ft x 42", with 6" square holes (not galvanized, unfortunately). I had never seen them before my brother found some at a single Home Depot. I bought four for $6 each just before gas skyrocketed; two weeks later they were $7 and shortly after that they had gone up to $8. I hate to think what those cattle panels have gone up to.
They make excellent tomato cages fastened with zip ties (cable ties). In fall, they can be stored flat. They would probably make good temporary greenhouse-type shelters for early tomatoes or melons.
posted 12 years ago
1 year ago I could buy cattle panels for 16$. now they are 27$. ouch.