Clear tarp to enclose run?

brenandmark

In the Brooder
Sep 11, 2016
8
7
42
Hi all,
This is our first winter with our 4 girls (BO & BR) who were born in May. They have a nice coop with outdoor run (half covered) but our Northern Michigan’s snows are blowing in. We put plywood up on the north side of the run but wonder about enclosing the rest with some clear vinyl? I put straw down on the snow which they appreciated but we get a LOT of snow here and it won’t be a sustainable option with each storm. What are the pros and cons of enclosing the run? My husband thinks I’m a bit of a “helicopter hen-mom” but I want them as comfortable as possible. They normally free range but have NO interest in leaving the run now that the snow has arrived. We are not using supplemental heat in the coop and leave their food and water in the run (with water-heater to prevent icing). Photo is obviously from last summer! Thank you from this newbie!
 

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CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,397
61,028
1,131
Wisconsin
My run has a roof on it. I slip plastic corrugated sheets along the sides of the run to keep the wind and snow out but I have a foot gap at the top which still provided plenty of ventilation.
Make sure they still have plenty of ventilation and the plastic will work.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,679
282,799
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all,
This is our first winter with our 4 girls (BO & BR) who were born in May. They have a nice coop with outdoor run (half covered) but our Northern Michigan’s snows are blowing in. We put plywood up on the north side of the run but wonder about enclosing the rest with some clear vinyl? I put straw down on the snow which they appreciated but we get a LOT of snow here and it won’t be a sustainable option with each storm. What are the pros and cons of enclosing the run? My husband thinks I’m a bit of a “helicopter hen-mom” but I want them as comfortable as possible. They normally free range but have NO interest in leaving the run now that the snow has arrived. We are not using supplemental heat in the coop and leave their food and water in the run (with water-heater to prevent icing). Photo is obviously from last summer! Thank you from this newbie!
Yes, you can wrap the run with plastic. You will need to attach boards over every vertical upright and screw them down through the plastic into the framing to pin the plastic down or it will tear off in the wind.
Next spring, I would fully roof the run. It will work out much better that way for winter keeping. Then you would just leave the top 6-12" of HC exposed when you cover the run for winter to allow for plenty of ventilation and minimize the amount of snow that comes in.
I made tarps out of string reinforced poly sheeting, banner seaming tape and snaps. I ripped 5/4"x6" PT deck boards and screwed them into the uprights of my run. This is their second winter and they are getting a workout.
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Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,330
36,414
933
Belding, MI
@brenandmark , I'm in Michigan too, though all the snow has missed us (Grand Rapids area). I have a roof over my run, and to enclose the sides, I used clear shower curtains. I save my old ones, as they have a LOT of uses, so I had three on hand. They're pre-grommeted, which helps. I zip tied them to the top of the run walls on the NW corner, the west side, and the SW corner. The east side of the run is about a foot away from the garage, making it fairly sheltered anyway. The curtains are longer than the wall is tall, so I just laid the excess out flat on the ground (over a hardware cloth apron) and covered that with piles of leaves. I overlapped the edges about 4 inches, and the wind does blow in, but not too bad. We've had some heavy wind, but they have held up very well so far.

@DobieLover has a fantastic setup, and I wish mine looked as nice. Next year... next year...
 

brenandmark

In the Brooder
Sep 11, 2016
8
7
42
Great suggestions from everyone. Thank you. Also found a separate forum on BYC that had a few other ideas (can’t remember how I got to it though!). I’m off to Home Depot & Meijer to do some scouting! Thanks again. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our coop to yours!
 

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