Getting ready for winter! What do you guys do?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jettgirl24, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    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 [​IMG] 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 [​IMG] 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?

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    We shut off the AC and open the windows to the coop! :eek:)
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    For your run a good approach to battle drainage would likely be a few inches of gravel topped with a few inches of sand.

    It sounds like you have everything else well in hand. One thing I will do in the next few days with the waterer is to hang it from the ceiling -- mine kick a lot of shavings into it too. I am hoping to get it high enough where they won't do that -- we'll see.

    Best of luck,
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Shut down the barn, drag out the oil heater, drop the heatlamps, & tarp the outside pens. Man, I'm not looking forward to winter!

  5. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Seattlite here.....Keep the water out and the breezes to a minimum so the girls are dry and they should be fine and Sand not pea gravel is your best bet imo [​IMG]
  6. pwand

    pwand Songster

    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    I live on Vancouver Island in Bc. We probably have much the same winter here. Lots of cold rain. What I have done for my chickens run is called a tree cutting service and get a truck load of wood chips. They will give it away for free. When I call them, I let them know that I can't have cedar in it. It keep their feet from getting all muddy and they love to dig in it.

  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I staplegun 6 mil translucent plastic on 2 sides of some of the runs, and put landscaping burlap on others; I reduce the compost pile in preparation for building it up again over the winter; I make sure that any of my (roofed) runs that are getting bare recieve a good load of weeds or mulch hay or mowed field-grass or whatever. And I clean out the storage part of the building to make sure no rodents have moved in.

    (And I wish, once again, every year, that THIS had been the year I got around to digging up the chicken building's water supply to figure out why it's broke. Of course I didn't, so I have to use roof water and carry buckets from the house or barn [​IMG])

    It's hovering just above freezing right now, and flurrying lightly. Don't talk to me about winter, I don't even want to THINK about it, I am officially in Winter Denial right up to the moment that we have to shovel the driveway for the first time!

  8. Payette

    Payette Chirping

    Aug 29, 2010
    We're putting a tarp over the run, and a heating lamp in the coop.

  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Close the windows. (See my BYC page)

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