Cheap way to cover our run for the winter that can manage snow load?


8 Years
May 30, 2011
I'm in NH, it's not unheard of to have 3 feet of snow in our yard for 2 months at a time. Can anyone offer any suggestions as to how to cover this 4X8 run in a (cheap) way that would make it so we could leave it attached? Right now, my husband's plan is to disconnect the run, store it under the deck, and lock the hens in the coop to be let out by us into the yard on milder days. I just don't think they'd get enough freedom that way, I'd rather be able to open the pop door and give them access to the run all day on nicer days, just locking them in on the harsh ones to keep them safe.


Thank you for any suggestions! The wood isn't super strong, I wouldn't trust just putting a tarp over it, I think it would collapse under the weight of the snow the tarp would collect.
You could always build a free standing roof on four posts completely separate from the run, but still close enough for the snow not to land on the top of the run.

Or also, something as simple as two boards meeting over them. Hm, what's the word. Like a triangle. A few 2 x 4's wouldn't cost too much to make the triangle sturdy. You could also choose to put a tarp over either of the ideas so you wouldn't have to use any roofing materials unless you wanted to.
I'd just lay a couple of sheets of plywood over that run.

If I have the time and money, I think I'm going to build some sort of porch, possibly with plastic pallets, raised on crates or sawhorses or something like that, and then cover it with a sheet or two of plywood.

We live in Alaska, by the way!
Straw bales on the sides. plywood on top( suppoted by the straw). It would keep it toasty
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I think your husband is on the right track - remove the run for winter/snow months and store it so it won't be damaged.
My girls are rarely willing to come outside during the winter when snow is on the ground. On those occasions in which they do come outside it is only for a brief time; although, my girls are a bunch of sissys.
Good point, Rusty. It probably will depend on the chickens themselves. We had a Buff Orpington who ran outside as soon as her door opened all winter long. She was big and fluffy and could not be contained. My Americanas can't stand the heat, but are out and happy when it's chilly. This coming winter will be their first. Some breeds can't handle the cold at all, but I don't know which ones. Since we live in Alaska, I've only researched the cold-hardy ones.

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