Advice on Winterizing Coop.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gringold, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. gringold

    gringold Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2015
    I live in zone 7b in Chattanooga, TN. This is my first winter with chickens. Last year we had a very cold winter for us. We were down to 5 degrees on several nights and stayed in the teens for several weeks. On the other hand, we might be in the 40's or 50's for a week at the time. It is predicted we will have a cold winter again this year. We get snow some years and have had a lot for the last several winters. (that is for us, not for people who have snow all the time) My run and coop are under my screened in porch next to my house so they are somewhat protected from the wind. Part of the run gets wet from water coming from the deck, but the whole coop and about 2 feet is under the covered porch. The coop is on legs so they go under it too. Here are a few pictures showing


    what the coop looks like. I was considering putting construction plastic around the run and maybe across the top and back. Any thoughts on this?
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Looks pretty well protected to me. Chickens can handle temps well below zero. They will be fine with your setup as it is.
    The main worry with winter is moist air condensing and causing frostbite. Since the area your chickens are kept is sheltered from rain/snow, moisture will be minimized, and you coop looks to have good ventilation.
  3. gringold

    gringold Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2015
    Thank you. I may just leave it then.
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    My birds are confined to a 4x8 coop through the winter months most of the time to be honest. I think you consideration is a good idea.


    I am subject to -40º weather l live in Canada think North Pole. I have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.

    Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.

    Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".

    Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.
    This is done by feeding them whole corn if available or cracked corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.

    The extra nourishment is more then adequate to bring them through the
    "COLDEST" winter.

    Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.

    That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .

    I do not add any extra heat or lighting.
    Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).

    Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.

    I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.

    You really do


    have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for

    "MAJOR" problems.

    When it comes to lighting if you find you are short on eggs it does apparently help. I personally do not bother in my operation eggs are sold only to neighbors when they are available (if the sign is out I have eggs). Eggs in my operation have a tendency to crack and freeze during the winter months (we do not discard them and are fine for consumption but use them in house not for sale) the more eggs you produce during these months the more eggs will fall into this category.

    I have roughly 24 Golden Comet hens the longest I ever been out of eggs can be measured in hours >12<24. You will find that the egg supply in any hen is a finite resource the quicker you milk the eggs out of a hen the faster it will be spent and end up in your stew pot.

    On average one hen produces somewhere between 600 to 700 eggs in its life time. Lighting only effect the speed of delivery of the eggs which at the end of the day would amount to less than a year in the hens life is my guess

    If you do decide extra lighting is necessary have your light on a timer to lengthen the day "MAKE SURE IT IS SECURED BY 2 MEANS OF SUPPORT" one being a "SAFETY CHAIN" in case one fails especially if it is an incandescent bulb or heat lamp.

    I personally raise hens as a hobby; and for their manure to enrich my vegetable garden any thing else the hens provide is merely a bonus.

    Here is one BONUS NOW not many people can enjoy seeing in their back yard on a regular basis.


    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  5. Reel Farm

    Reel Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2015
    Fairbanks Alaska
    I'm 10 miles from north pole alaska lol really we get -40 below I do have heat lamp on my nesting boxes and on the roost. We also installed eco-heater which warms the air no fan really doesn't use any electric. Also our coop is insulated.
    Not showing in pic is on the back wall built 3 separate pens once my chick's are 8 weeks they go in the coop with a heat lamp. After I know for sure roo from hen then I separate them into the other 2 pens that also have heat lamps. Once they get to about 3 months or older (which I'm still trying to figure out the right age) they will be put in with the rest of the flock.
    I'm probably over kill on heat but I try to keep the coop about 45 degrees no matter what the temperature is outside. BTW we do put plastic around outside of the coop it does help.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  6. gringold

    gringold Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2015
    Wow. We get nothing like that. Some years we get no snow and really cold for us is in the teens. Last year when we had single digits, we thought we were going to die. I'll try the corn though. Thanks.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by