1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

coop ideas with winter in mind

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sashurlow, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. sashurlow

    sashurlow Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    0
    109
    Aug 18, 2009
    West Rutland, VT
    So I've yet to build anything but have ideas floating through my head.
    1. I will be making a hoop run and putting a small coop inside. The run will be covered with a very sturdy tarp and I was thinking about making the coop with an open roof (no wood, just wire). Would this allow too much warm air out in the winter? I could make a cover for it in the winter but then I would have to add ventilation.
    2. To stop wind from blowing though the coop door has anybody put a "tunnel" in front of the door? Basically either a tunnel ending in a 90 degree bend into the coop door or double ended tunnel with the coop door in the middle. Would the chickens figure this out and would it stop wind anyway?
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
    I had to add a 90 degree tunnel to my entrance to stop the wind from blowing right into the coop. The chickens had no problem and it stopped the wind.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    where do you live and what's the weather like?
     
  4. sashurlow

    sashurlow Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    0
    109
    Aug 18, 2009
    West Rutland, VT
    I just fixed that problem... Rutland, VT. Its cold and snowy.
    I'm glad the tunnel idea will work. I just might have to try it. How did you make your door so it could open and close? Did you just put it at the end of the tunnel?
    I've heard various things about ventilation vs warmth, so I'm curious what the experts think about the open roof.
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I wouldn't do it in VT, personally -- at best you are looking at spending way more on feed than you would need to by keeping the chickens sort of as cold as possible (not necessarily good, tho many chickens can *tolerate* pretty low temps as long as the air is dry and draft-free)

    It is real easy to make ventilation openings high on the *walls* of the coop, and have a roof on it.

    Also, if your hoop should collapse in the snow and/or wind (and with a tarp on it, it'll be much more vulnerable -- please make extra super sure that it is very, very well braced) a roof on the coop would offer the chickens some much-needed protection from the event.

    2. To stop wind from blowing though the coop door has anybody put a "tunnel" in front of the door? Basically either a tunnel ending in a 90 degree bend into the coop door or double ended tunnel with the coop door in the middle. Would the chickens figure this out and would it stop wind anyway?

    Yeah, sort of a vestibule or windblock type thing just outside the door? Sure, people do that. You want to make it well lit (either not a 'tunnel' as such, or use plexiglas panels as needed) because chickens have terrible night vision and often chickens will refuse to reenter a dark coop at the end of the day just b/c they can't see where they're going. A lot of people just make a wall or L of hay bales (well staked so they don't fall over) or plywood or whatever. Although, if your popdoor is on the downwind side of the coop, you will not usually HAVE problems with too much wind blowing in, except in odd storms.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,719
    11
    171
    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Maybe you could put the door on the inside?

    PS - I'd roof your house, and your run. We get a lot of snow here and having a wire/tarp topped coop isn't a good idea. Think of how heavy that snow is in the spring when it starts melting...
     
  7. sashurlow

    sashurlow Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    0
    109
    Aug 18, 2009
    West Rutland, VT
    Thanks for the replies.
    This is the hoop I was going to make, except not a tractor: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=172799&p=1
    I
    didn't think about the possibilities of it collapsing mainly because the coop will help support the hoop directly above it. The sturdy tarp is actually an idea from the boats I make. Less of a tarp and more of a fabric roof. Its a piece of breathable nylon that coated with multiple layers of polyurethane making it quite stiff and very waterproof. I'll be stitching the nylon skin to the hoop frame before coating too, so the flapping will not be an issue. This is what it looks like when you make a kayak with that technique: http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/tbdesigns/greenland%20kayak/?action=view&current=redo1_2_1.jpg
    I
    came up with an idea this morning of making a quilt to insulate the open roof. Breathable and warm. I do like the idea of the open roof for summer and since the roof will be translucent, it will have the effect of a sun roof. Since there will be no chickens this winter, I can make something and modify it as needed.
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:If the coop runs the entire length of the hoophouse, or just a few feet short of it, that may be more or less true (although it may still squash down til it is resting flat atop the coop roof). However if the coop is only a fraction, like half, of the hoophouse length, then you will absolutely for sure need sturdy posts.

    Check out the thread from last December about peoples' runs collapsing in the snow (there were several threads, you may have to do some work to find the right one) there are some pictures of poor, ok and *great* bracing arrangements, including for hoops.

    Its a piece of breathable nylon that coated with multiple layers of polyurethane making it quite stiff and very waterproof.

    I don't honestly think it's worth using something pricey like that, tho of course if you have some for free that you've got no other possible use for, sure [​IMG] The thing is, even having the fabric 'breathable' will be radically insufficient for ventilation, thus you will have to leave some of the run open for ventilation, and it will not really make a difference if you leave like 20% *more* open on account of having only a normal tarp rather than magically breathable.

    Remember tarps flap. Crisscross lots of rope over it.

    I came up with an idea this morning of making a quilt to insulate the open roof. Breathable and warm.

    Sorry, but the R-value will be extremely low, and once the insulation whatever it is gets damp (which it will, I guarantee you) the R-value will plummet further.

    Since you will need a good-sized open area for ventilation *anyway* (proportionately mroe than you would in a coop, because you are contending with ground moisture, rather than an intrinsically dry coop) and the insulation will be so minor, I do not think there will be any practical value in that setup.

    Insulating the *coop* OTOH is worthwhile.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  9. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you want to envision what a hoop run might look like in a Vermont winter, you might want to check out this site:
    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2009/03/chicken-hoop-house.html

    I'm in Montpelier, and I would DEFINITELY recommend a good solid structure with insulation. I had a chicken tractor for the summer, but realized that was clearly not going to cut it in the winter. The chickens are now in a coop on the 2nd floor of my old urban barn.
     
  10. sashurlow

    sashurlow Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    0
    109
    Aug 18, 2009
    West Rutland, VT
    Thank you for the feed back patandchickens.
    Its hard to describe what I am intend to do. Skin on frame kayaks use a frame that gets covered with a non-coated nylon (it actually gets sewn on with a single hand stitched seam) that get coated with polyurethane. When it get coated, it very waterproof and fairly stiff. Take this same concept and cover the hoop house with the nylon and poly to make a fitted roof over the hoop house. No flapping, very waterproof and very secure. Consequently, pretty cheap too. Add the coop under the roofed hoop and that I what I intend to do. The coop will also only be separated from the roof of the hoop by inches, not feet. So although the coop will not have a permanent roof, it will sit directly under a permanent roof of the hooped run.
    This winter will be a trial run on the idea since I have no birds until the spring. From the feed back I'm getting it seams that I need to add a solid roof for the winter and possibly take off the roof for the summer. And reinforce the hoop to support the snow load.
    Thanks for all the wonderful feedback.
    Scott
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by