Can someone give winter advice on my coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by The Chicken People, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    I have a picture on my profile page! I am going to change roosts to 2 by 4 today! I currently have it covered in tarps and some holes in it for air flow!
     
  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I see that you're in Missouri, I'm not sure how cold it gets but I'd think they need more enclosed area to be comfortable. You say you have tarps and such but I'm not sure how much you have covered. That can work, chickens are really adaptable but they may need a bit more of a solid 'box' for them to be really comfortable.

    I like the pen, how many do you have in there? The boards around the bottom is a good way of keeping predators like raccoons from reaching in and 'grabbing' chunks of chicken which they'll try to do! Most people here say to put hardware cloth, but if you have the boards on hand, why not? The boards can offer more of a windbreak too, if it's quite windy where you are, you might want some more tarp or wood up higher on the windiest side to offer more protection too.
     
  3. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

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    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    I agree with Portagegirl. Just a recomendation, I would nail a piece of plywood in front at least below their roosting level, that will help deflect cold winds. Your tarp should be ok for now, but in time it will wear out and let moisture in, is it secure to the roof? Otherwise, your pen and run look excellent, good job.
     
  4. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    I have it almost completely covered in tarp but am considering taking the tarp off the back and just placing the BIG ROUND ROLLS of hay all along the back side ( the side without the door on it) and one on the end! Thats facing the south and southeast and our winds come in from the north! I want adequate ventilation! We really like the open air coop in the summer. Just gotta be ready for winter! They get out and free range a few hours a day! But lately they go farther than I am comfortable with! Yes it is secure to the roof...my dh did it! I have seven hens that are eight months old and we have a 40 watt light in there! for 14 hours daylight!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'd be real careful with the "covered with tarps" thing, depending on what exactly you mean. First, as it is on natural ground, you need to leave a SUBSTANTIAL area open for the release of humidity - I would say, ballpark, maybe half of one long wall. Not just holes. Second, as a somewhat tall narrow structure, it is going to be vulnerable to blowing over if tarped, unless you have some serious earth-anchors on it anyhow. And finally, tarps are apt to shred themselves or just rip free of their moorings and leave, and if this happens during the middle of the night, you are likely to have dead or dying chickens by the time you discover it.

    I would suggest using plywood (or whatever other solid material) to wall off a more houselike area that is protected from *any* direction of wind, leaving some ventilation (esp. high up) but with flaps or whatever to close the vents off as weather dictates. This plywood wall could be removeable for summer use -- your setup does look very climate-appropriate for the hot part of the year! [​IMG]

    If you have any extra wire laying around, or pavers, or anything like that, it would also be worth doing some sort of apron type dealie to discourage predators from digging in under the edge and having chicken dinner. Predators get especially hungry in the winter, and the ground isn't always frozen.

    One last thing, how much snowfall is it possible for your location to get? Not average snow, but I mean, what's the most you can ever remember it snowing? If it's more than 6" or so, I would suggest beefing up the roof/run supports and adding some diagonal bracing. If it is never anything like that much, you are prolly ok.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:That would be a good idea! [​IMG] Although you would still need to put up something solid to ensure they have shelter from those unusual-but-certainly-do-happen-sometimes days when there is a storm from the E or hard wind from the S.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    I went back and looked at my old picture of it! My dh has added more support in the middle of each long side since that pic was taken! I am going to have him add the wall to make the coop part enclosed and up top we will add vents and side windows are to be added! Hes a framer/ now mechanic so this will be easy for him! I gaurantee this thing is too heavy to blow over! It was originally to be a tractor to move around ..now we move it with the skid loader...lol! Lots of free 2 by 8s that we ripped down to make 2 by 4s! Its heavy! I am pretty confident about it being predator proof 1/2 inch wire and the boards around the bottom! Neighbors gsd out most nights and it is close within 20 feet of my back door and my bedroom window! Okay I gotta go set up their electric water bowl so they get used to using it before it starts freezing round here!
     

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