Coop collapsing under snow and ice!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by waynesgarden, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Not mine, but if this winter is like past ones, there will be some reported here soon. This is just a reminder to take a look at your coop or run now, before the heavy, wet snow settles on the roof and starts the slow, crushing trip to the ground.

    Lot's of people build light-weight structures to house their chickens, underestimating the hundreds and hundreds of pounds of ice and snow that can build up on it. If you are in snow country, it is worth making an honest assessment of the roof. Is it a tarp stretched horizontally across the run? Is it a sheet of plywood laying across a rickety old rose arbor? Is your run, like mine is, covered by hardware cloth which just today was completely covered with a couple of inches of heavy, wet snow? If so, now's the time to get out there with enough 2X4's or other timbers to prop up the roof and prevent the impending disaster.

    Otherwise, we'll see you when you post a request for help as the coop is growing shorter and shorter.

    Enjoy the winter!


  2. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    I keep the snow swept off [​IMG]
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I have field or horse fencing over the top of my run, and every year it sags very low - even those big open squares between the wire eventually fill up with snow. Luckily not too fast, and we have time to go "bounce" it off.

    We put a fence post in the center of the run, its a small run only about 20X5 the post helps keep the "top" from sagging to far. We never really use the run anymore, we used to keep the chickens closed in, but they free-range now and the run is always open.

    One day we'll get around to pulling it all down.

  4. TarzantheChickenMan

    TarzantheChickenMan Songster

    Oct 1, 2009
    Guthrie, MN
    ive did construction for 9 years or so you would not believe how many barns cave in in the deep white north
  5. RocketDad

    RocketDad Songster

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I built my coop like a house - it'll support the weight. My run, on the other hand, I "roofed" with chicken wire, since I know we have hawks in the area. It catches the snow and makes a lid 7' off the ground. A lot of weight - it's sagged the wire a bit. Then when the weather warms up it drips all over the run and irritates my girls. I should have used 2" welded-wire fencing.

  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    So happy I live in Phoenix!!
  7. Don't trust that you keep the snow swept off. We had a rabbit coop that we incorporated that philosophy. Worked great until I was in an accident and people were more interested in my well-being than that of the animals. The heavy snow collapsed it - no one at the house had any time to fix it - just to make sure there was water and feed available. Needless to say - we lost alot of rabbits that winter. Remember no everyone in the household might think animals are as important as you do - so make sure their upkeep is as easy as it can be if you aren't available to keep it up. Also - you are more likely to have neighbors volunteer if the work is a no-brainer. We learned the hard way - don't let it happen to you.
  8. Don't get a lot of that usually down here, but we do get some pretty scary storms so I figured I'd build strong JIC.

    I'm thinking, once I get the frame built, that if the booger can hold ME up, it can handle the short bouts of ice/snow we get.
  9. Good advice- you need to build your coop as though an elephant will be dancing on the roof![​IMG]

  10. RocketDad

    RocketDad Songster

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    "Remember not everyone in the household might think animals are as important as you do"

    This good advice should be plastered across every thread. My wife and kids "love" the chickens, but guess who scrapes poo off their windowsill?​

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