Help How can I ready my coop for winter in the northeast.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by justhatched2, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. justhatched2

    justhatched2 New Egg

    Apr 12, 2015
    This will be my first winter. I have 3 RI reds and I want to build a winter coop. Needs to be really simple! any ideas???
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    What is your current setup? It may well be that your current structure is sufficient to provide the shelter your birds will need for winter - or that minimal alteration would be needed.
  3. justhatched2

    justhatched2 New Egg

    Apr 12, 2015

    this it it being built. It is very small on the inside
  4. justhatched2

    justhatched2 New Egg

    Apr 12, 2015
  5. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Very pretty! The most important thing is to keep it as draft free as possible but you don't want it so tight the moisture can't escape. Chickens seem to be bothered more by dampness that can result in freezer burn on their combs.
    I also make sure there is a layer of shavings on the floor for insulation and well padded nest boxes.
    Our temperatures have gone down as low as -10* in the winter and we've had no problems. Just make sure they have access to fresh unfrozen water (can use a water heater or refresh often. ) Deep rubber bowls seem more cold resistant than the traditional waterer.
    Your chickens should be fine with a little extra care.
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    Winter in the Northeast can take a toll on those little pre-fab coops. In general, those coops aren't constructed of the most durable materials. If you were to read the reviews on them, a common complaint is that the wood warps and deteriorates rather quickly--more so if exposed to lots of rain and snow. Even though it's new and doesn't look like it needs it, if I were in your place I'd take the time to slap a coat of wood preservative on the coop now, before you've put your birds in.

    Also, what many people choose to do with pre-fab coops is to contain them within a larger covered pen to keep them out of sun and rain/snow in order to add a lot more time to the expected lifespan of these coops. If you opted to do the same, you could then wrap the outer pen with clear plastic to block the winter wind and snow. Your coop would be protected from the elements and your birds would have additional, snow-free space to enjoy all winter long. Then, if you decide to build a larger coop and expand your flock, you already have a pen to attach the coop to.
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The above suggestion of building a larger covered run is good. Chickens don't mind roosting and laying in small spaces but do like to have leg room when out and with a small coop must be let out every morning.

    Your coop will require more ventilation. Hole saws work well for that, cut a good hole top of gable each side then cover it with hard wire cloth. You'll want to lower roost if when on it there heads are close to the vents. There are minimums of air flow required for healthy birds but in northern winter it needs to be more than that or you'll have comb tips freezing. If your only going with this coop/run setup for winter than definitely get more ventilation and then wrap three sides of run in plastic. Have the run door opposite the prevailing wind. Through down a thin layer of hay when the ground gets icy and that's it. Obviously you need to have a heated water source out in run or use a livestock bowl you can pound the ice out and refill a couple times a day.

    Looking closer at the run it looks like it already has wood on two sides to ground where the coop section is. So I'd just cover the rest of back side and short wire end with tarp or plastic.
  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    What are your roosts made of? A lot of people use 2x3 or 2x4's with the long side up so the birds can sit on their feet, keeping them covered with their feathers. A smaller roost forces them to grasp it which keep their toes keeping them exposed to the cold.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Couchmo

    Couchmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2015
    Couch, MO

    Thanks for this idea! I would not have thought of that. :/ :p

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