Areas where it snows- chicken runs

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kidhenduckohmy, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chirping

    Jun 18, 2012
    Upper Michigan
    I live in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan and we get a fair amount of snow. I would like to enclose my covered chicken run for winter time. What do you use? It has to be durable, as it will be up for about six minths. I would like it to be clear. Any ideas?

  2. nchls school

    nchls school Songster

    Apr 22, 2015
    Fiber glass panels. Like those used for patio roofs and greenhouses.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Crossing the Road Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado

    Here are a couple examples of the plastic roofing panels. They are ok but my experience is that they are not as durable when taken down and put back up so should be ok for about 3 seasons.
    That is 3 times putting them up (3 years).
    One thing about enclosing the walls of the run is to make sure you leave some space at the top for the hot air to go out. It can get mighty warm in there if you don't and ammonia needs to have an escape route too.
    There are folks that use heavy gauge plastic sheeting held on with 1x3's with success as well.

    Personally if it snows in the run I shovel it out. For me not a big deal even though it is a large run and we do get a lot of snow.

    If you do want to make a wind/snow block you could just do the side the wind comes from as well. It would allow better air flow, not getting to hot as well as allowing nature to process the droppings better.
  4. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chirping

    Jun 18, 2012
    Upper Michigan
    I have the fiberglass panels on the roof, I did think of using them on the walls, but it would be pretty expensive, and storage during the summer would be hard. I was thinking some kind of plastic?
    There will be plenty of ventilation because of the way the roof is on. I just want an area snow/draft free other than the coop for winter. Winter is so long here! I could also shovel out part of the uncovered run to give them even more room.
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    I used the clear poly tarps like for greenhouses. They aren't truly clear but they let in the light. They are reinforced and tear resistant. I use the bungie tarp fasteners fed through screw eyes that I screw at intervals along the frame of my run to hold the tarps taught. I like them better than attaching plastic sheeting because I can just roll up the tarp to open the run if we get a bout of mild weather.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I just use any good tarp on hand and bungie it to the prevailing wind corner or sides of run to provide a wind break. I like those bags of bungie with balls for short connection, works great for the grommet holes in tarps. I'm not trying to keep every bit of snow out rather just provide a windless area the birds can hang out in when it's really gusting and cold. With a roof the run wont get much snow and I use mulch hay to put a light cover on the icy ground for them.
  7. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I use 25 year rated weed barrier. Fairly inexpensive, but not clear.
  8. chango

    chango In the Brooder

    May 20, 2015
    New Mexico
    I'm using these clear PVC panels:

    to cover the top of the run as well on the windward sides. This is my first winter with hens, so I can't yet recommend my approach, but I can say that many of the PVC panels at Home Depot had some slight damage. Some of the edges had been deformed enough that the edges (and only the edges) were no longer clear - they were just whitish. I was offered a 50% discount due to this slight cosmetic flaw. Doesn't hurt to ask.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by