Converting run into winter housing - can it be done?

PREFACE: *** All my chickens free-range on 5+ acres during the day, andvoluntarily return to the coop at dusk, where they are locked in until sunrise the next day. Predators are not a concern, as I have a very protective LGD***

One of my hens has gone broody, and is sitting on 15 eggs. I intend to give her and the chicks the entire 8x12 enclosed coop to hatch and raise her chicks. At first, I had hoped that she could hatch and raise the chicks in a community setting, but this morning, one of my other hens "raided" her nest while she (the broody) was up getting a bite to eat and drink. This resulted in a broken egg, and I don't want to risk a repeat occurrence, so it looks like she will be in solitary confinement.

This means that my 16 other hens will be housed in the run until the chicks are old enough to intergrate into the flock. The run measures 12'x20' and has a full roof, as well as a solid wall to the north. The roof peaks at about 9' and slopes down to 7', so the sidewalls of the pen are very high.

I have a ton of leftover tin, and was thinking I could somewhat enclose the run with the tin on the bottom half, and tarps above as needed when the weather requires it. Is this enough protection for 16 hens? Ventilation would be accomplished by the open areas at the peaks and between the rafters, but all direct winds/drafts would be blocked.



7 Years
May 16, 2013
Pinebluff, nc
My Coop
My Coop
I think as long as the direct wind is blocked you'll be good. However as an alternative, there are a few people on here that are using thicker clear shower curtains on runs just like yours to prepare for winter. The look pretty good, and from the sounds of it work well.

I like your idea of using tin along the bottom. But personally, would use the shower curtain idea along the top instead of tarps to make sure they are getting some light.

If you want to make it difficult, which I tend to do, maybe make some storm windows out of clear plastic and put them on hinges so that you can open for ventilation as needed.

PS, your barn looks really nice. Totally envious!
And thanks for the compliments on the barn/coop. We built most of what you see pictured. The bright red structure you see is actually where we park our 45hp New Holland tractor. The darker red smaller building is the coop, which is actually a pre-built backyard/garden shed that we had delivered and then turned into a coop.


6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
Lower Alabama
Tin & shower curtains are cool but that seems like a lot of work. If it were me I'd just tack up a couple of those 10x20 plastc drop cloths that Lowes & HD sells for $3 each or wrap it with a roll of visquene. That should keep it warm & toasty.


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