Adding a "sunroom" for my girls....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Lesa, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Well, I have given up on my chickens suddenly liking the snow... They hate it! My coop is too small for them to be cooped up all winter. Here in upstate NY that could be until May! So, I am going to make a lean to sun room attached to the coop. My idea is to use metal roofing that I have left over, and make sides out of old windows (which were being saved for a greenhouse). I will have to have a door, so I can get in and lock up the coop at night. This will effectively add on a 10x10 of protected, unsnowed on ground. They will still have the option of free ranging, in case they feel brave enough to touch the snow. I have read a few posts of people who have similar areas. See any issues I should deal with, as I go? Thanks again for the all the great info!
     
  2. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a GREAT idea. I live in Maine and since we got all the snow and freezing rain, the girls have not bee out of their coop for almost a week now. I open their door but they just all back away as if to say...shut that thing..it's too darn cold out! I put a tarp over their open run and put clear plastic up around the sides....still don't help. Your idea sounds like it might work!
     
  3. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    West Michigan
    That sounds like an awesome idea! How about making the windows removable or able to opened somehow, with hardware cloth behind them, so that the chickens have a screened-in porch for summer, as well?
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    What a great idea, hoping you'll share pics....I have a leftover sheet of clear
    palruf and you're giving me ideas...[​IMG]
     
  5. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Before my coop was built, I wanted to do a house with vintage windows as the roof. Hinged at the peak, they could be opened up and braced for fresh air. Walls could be solid or wire (solid keeps the snow out better). I saw it in a magazine somewhere (I think it was for a cold frame) and thought it would be so cool. Who knows if it could hold snow, though, and it would probably need to be shaded in the summer, but so nice in the depths of winter! Obviously, I'm no engineer.

    A sun room would make my hens so happy - they hate the snow too. Spoiled.
     
  6. VT Chick-lit

    VT Chick-lit Out Of The Brooder

    I have done something similar for my chickens, here in northern Vermont. It works great! I took some lexan panels from an old green house and attached them sideways to my chicken run, which is on the south side of the coop. This provided a rigid 4 foot high wall around the chicken wire enclosure. I then covered the section above the panels with 6 mil plastic that I purchased at Home Depot. The plastic was fastened to 2 X 4s that we used to secure the panels to the run framing. To prevent snow (which we have alot of) from settleing on the top of the run, we tied an old aluminum row boat, upside down, and ran the plastic over it to give the enclosure a peaked roof. The door to the run was covered seperately with the plastic so that I can get in and out.

    This set up keeps the run conditions nice inside. On a sunny day when the temps are in the high teens, the temp in the run will be around 40 or so. On windy days, there is not even a breeze in the run. The enclosure even helps keep the temp in the coop warmer during the day and keep the wind out at night. My DH calls the run "The Hen Spa". My girls love it and dont mind comming out of the coop in the morning. One other bennifit of this enclosure is that the water doesnt usually freeze all day!
     
  7. nightshade

    nightshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    if it is anything there like it is here when that snow finally melts it will give them another 10x10 no mud too [​IMG] I was going to put a porch type roof over my 6ft high kennel section of run, using that clear plastic roofing you can get at lowes. But now we are moving closer to my mom next summer so I have to completely start over anyway [​IMG] Needless to say when the run gets built the 6ft high section will have the porch roof over it to keep the rain and snow out. [​IMG]
     
  8. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2008
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    I'm in Upstate NY, too, and I did something similar. Mine is more of a covered porch (clear polycarbonate roof and walls on two sides but open on the side away from the coop -- we don't generally get any wind from that direction). I put a couple of roosts out there and they love it. They can get out of the coop into the fresh air and still be out of the wind and the weather. As a bonus, this porch also provides the pop-hole with protection so the rain and snow don't blow right on in. In retrospect I should have made the covered area a bit larger so they have more ground that is snow-free. 10 x 10 sounds like a good size -- I wouldn't go any smaller.
     
  9. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Well, we worked on the sunroom last night (in the cold and dark). I am so addicted to chickens!! At any rate, we have the metal roof up and instantly I could see, we should have done this when we put the coop up. First of all, as the Ithaca poster said- having a roof over the pop door makes a lot of sense! I was always having to remove snow before I could close the door and the wooden ramp was really taking a beating from the moisture. So, I love it already. Hoping to get some of the windows put in tonight.... I would definitely recommend this for anyone starting with a new coop. It gives the chickens a place to get out of the rain too, even if you don't do the window idea... And in case you haven't read it a 100 times already- if you are building a new coop, make it BIG!! I don't think you ever hear anyone saying they wish they had a smaller coop! I'll keep you posted...
     
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop was built with a sunporch. Actually, the coop was more of an aviary for pigeons, quail and bantams (which I never purchased). After 10 years, the quail and pigeons are gone and standard chickens have come and gone, etc., and come again. You can see a picture on My PYC page.

    One-half of the coop is insulated and both sides are covered by the same roof and have a common floor. The sunporch is open on 2 sides (east & south) but the lower part of the walls is protected against blowing rain or snow.

    The hens belong to the Union of Porch Sitters and are out there in some very cold sunshine right now [​IMG].

    The floor is covered with pine shavings just like on the insulated side. Since the porch is on 2 levels, the hens liked to scratch the litter off the higher level. To stop that, I've placed a horizontal roost over that part of the floor. I can pull this out in 2 sections and wash it in the yard. The litter can be pulled out from under it and everything goes whoosh out the door during clean-up.

    They have no pen. Free ranging goes on in the backyard but since they don't like the snow, not much of that is occurring right now. With only 4 hens in the coop, there is enuf room, some exercise, and plenty of fresh air [​IMG].

    Steve
     

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