Getting the coop and run ready for winter...Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Attack Chicken, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm getting ready to upgrade my 4ftx4ftx4ft to survive the winter. Right now it is just wood with no insulation whatsoever. I'm wondering what can I do to keep my bantam wyandottes and my standard leghorn pullet warm and cozy during the winter? I was thinking about putting a piece of cloth or something in the pop door to keep heat in while letting the chickens in and out to the run as they wish.

    I was wondering about the run aswell. Should I cover the runs sides with a tarp or plastic so the chilly wind isn't blowing on them? Is there anything I could spread on the ground so there feet are off the cold ground?

    Please give me some ideas! Last year I kept my 2 standard leghorns in the basement. Another question... Where should I put a heated waterer?
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Attack Chicken, if you only have two hens in a 16 square foot coop that is draft free, all you have to do is make sure that you can control the moisture with good ventilation at the very top of your coop. Keep the ventilation open unless it's 15* F or below. Chickens will do well and love being outside in Indianapolis during the winter even in an inch or two of snow, actually better than during the hot summer. Don't worry about their being out on the cold ground, but keep them in the coop during severe weather.
    If I were you, I'd go to Home Depot and get a couple bats of insulation, put it on all the walls and ceiling, and cover it with thin, cheap OSB panels or any other cheap paneling. An insulated coop is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, BUT even an insulated coop is not as good as one with good top ventilation and without any drafts.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Insulation wouldn't be a bad idea - smaller coops like that are a little more challenging to ventilate during the winter and insulation + good hygeine make the job a bit easier. You can use batts or rigid foamboard, or even styrofoam sheets scrounged from stores that got them as packing material for merchandise, but make your carpentry tight so mice cant set up shop inside the walls, and cover the insulation with something peckproof (thin plywood is most common, but anything else that'll do the job is fine too)

    Make sure you still have adequate ventilation for the winter, located such that it won't blow cold drafts right at the chickens.

    Tarping the run is not a bad idea either, it can make outdoors more appealing; but make sure that the structure of your run can handle the wind and snow loads without collapsing! And leave some of it open, e.g. the south side of the run, otherwise you get humidity problems (much more fiercely than in the coop b/c the outdoors is naturally less dry, but a humid wholly-plastic-wrapped run can humidify the coop too, and cause trouble)

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I will get pictures when I get home if need be. It's a real simple coop with 1 window for summer time air.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looking forward to seeing them- with a little help you'll have a grand setup for your birdlinks...[​IMG]
  7. kerlins

    kerlins New Egg

    Oct 28, 2009
    Live also in Indianapolis and a newbie. Any help and pointers would be appreciated.
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    As far as the run goes, some plywood or tarp to block the wind on a couple of sides (whichever way the wind mainly comes from in the winter) would help make them comfortable, and probably help deflect the wind from the pop door too. Hanging an old towel or such over the pop door would probably help too but you could put a hook on the outside so that on nice days you can pull it open to give them better ventilation and a bit of sun in there too. Really there's many days that chickens like the weather just fine all winter long. They rarely mind normal cold, even enjoy it! Don't forget they're wearing little down jackets all the time!

    One thing, if you are going to use the foam board, on a coop that size, you might be able to put it up on the outside, and cover it over with something. Not sure how viable that would be, the roof would have to overhang it enough so rain doesn't leak in between, but it might be possible... or not. Just a thought! [​IMG]

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