Well, the rain started last week so apparently winter is on it's way here in Seattle... Which means coop maintenance time!!! Our coop is converted from an old covered dog run that a previous tenant had built. We outfitted it for the girls last spring and did a pretty good job but every now and again things come up that don't quite work. There are some things I need to get done before winter because I can tell they're going to be an issue. I started this morning by stripping the entire coop... I'm excited to have some nice compost come spring! Unfortunately when I pulled up the shavings in the very back I found that the last few days of rain had somehow seeped in so it was wet and gross on the bottom We went out to take a look and it turns out the gutter lets out right at the corner so we dug a trench to move the water away. We're going to put a drainage pipe in and fill the trench with gravel next week. After the trench was dug I also put on another coat of paint on the whole thing since it seemed to need it. Then I built a couple of risers for the waterers... One for the big girls and one for the baby pen. The babies have gotten rowdy over the last couple of weeks and fill their waterer with shavings so fast that I've had to dump and refill two or three times a day lately. Pretty annoying when you've got an auto waterer that's supposed to buy you a day or two at least! All in all things are looking pretty good! Just have to finish the drainage and do a couple of other things... I'm going to put up a small section of gutter where the garage roof overlaps the coop roof. They didn't put up gutters on the top portion and it drips in a puddle right in from of the coop door Fortunately it will be an easy fix. I'm also going to put some footing in the run since the girls have finally dug up the grass. My boyfriend thinks I should do pea gravel but I've heard from some other Northwesterners that playground sand is a good footing in our rain and it seems to me that the girls would be happier with sand. Anyone have a vote on that one? Just curious what everyone else does to get ready for winter... If this is your first winter with chickens (like me) what are your plans?