Help me with winterization please?

Karab819

Chirping
Apr 27, 2021
30
56
66
I was hoping someone could give me specific help with winterizing this coop please? Its my first time...It was existing when we bought this house last year inside of the barn. There is a run door as well - to outside area. The barn has 4 large sliding barn doors which I think can be a little drafty. We moved in in January and I recall the barn being as cold as it was outside. The back and left of this photo are exterior walls which have vents for air circulation. We are contemplating putting plastic up on this front side over the hardware cloth and covering all of the barn doors since we won't need to use them (there's another standard entrance door as well). There is no heat and we do not plan to use any. Is there a need to insulate the exterior walls? Edit to add we are in NH... can get pretty cold here. Thanks so much!
 

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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
35,516
291,613
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NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
I was hoping someone could give me specific help with winterizing this coop please? Its my first time...It was existing when we bought this house last year inside of the barn. There is a run door as well - to outside area. The barn has 4 large sliding barn doors which I think can be a little drafty. We moved in in January and I recall the barn being as cold as it was outside. The back and left of this photo are exterior walls which have vents for air circulation. We are contemplating putting plastic up on this front side over the hardware cloth and covering all of the barn doors since we won't need to use them (there's another standard entrance door as well). There is no heat and we do not plan to use any. Is there a need to insulate the exterior walls? Edit to add we are in NH... can get pretty cold here. Thanks so much!
You don't need one bit of winterization in the coop inside the barn. Looks like you are good to go.
The barn being just as cold inside as outside is perfectly fine. The birds keep themselves warm.
A draft to you is not a draft to a chicken. If there is no draft at roost level strong enough to open feathers, it's not considered a draft. It is valuable ventilation.
You will need a heated waterer and that should be kept outside unless it is a "closed" system like a bucket with horizontal nipples, a thermostatically controlled heater inside and a loose fitting lid over it.
The run may need to have a wind break added to it to block the majority of winter wind so the birds can still enjoy being outside.
 

Karab819

Chirping
Apr 27, 2021
30
56
66
You don't need one bit of winterization in the coop inside the barn. Looks like you are good to go.
The barn being just as cold inside as outside is perfectly fine. The birds keep themselves warm.
A draft to you is not a draft to a chicken. If there is no draft at roost level strong enough to open feathers, it's not considered a draft. It is valuable ventilation.
You will need a heated waterer and that should be kept outside unless it is a "closed" system like a bucket with horizontal nipples, a thermostatically controlled heater inside and a loose fitting lid over it.
The run may need to have a wind break added to it to block the majority of winter wind so the birds can still enjoy being outside.
Thank you so much, I appreciate all of the info!
 

Karab819

Chirping
Apr 27, 2021
30
56
66
Yep agreed, not much winterizing needed. Will the chickens be accessing outside/run in the winter? Pics of that would be helpful if you want any help with that. Otherwise, looks good. Good advice given by @DobieLover about water.
Thank you! Here is the run (about 12x9 feet), it just has a small automatic door. We were planning to continue using the run in the winter....I heard of people putting plastic but I really didnt want to if not necessary!
 

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WIchickMama

Crowing
Aug 15, 2021
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Thank you! Here is the run (about 12x9 feet), it just has a small automatic door. We were planning to continue using the run in the winter....I heard of people putting plastic but I really didnt want to if not necessary!
We will be putting plastic up on our run as we are in WI and the only way to keep the snow/ice out will be to do it this way. Not ideal but warm/dry chickens are safe/healthy chickens.

Depending on how much snow/ice/rain you get and which way the cold winds come from, you might be able to only plastic the bottom half or 3/4s up?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,364
42,851
1,156
southern Michigan
Is that chicken wire on your coop walls? If yes, add hardware cloth, so it has no openings larger than 1/2" anywhere. Nice coop though! The only issue with barn doors is that most are built so small animals can sneak inside, so the coop has to be very secure.
I'd add vinyl sheeting to the lower sides of your run, leaving maybe a foot open on all but the windward side for ventilation. Again, reinforce the wire walls and make sure no critters can dig in from under ground.
Do you have bears? Add electric fencing!!! It will also keep most other ground predators out.
Choosing breeds that do well in cold weather helps a lot, and heated waterers are a must, IMO.
Very nice chicken habitat!
Mary
 

TooCheep

Crowing
Feb 23, 2019
841
5,773
294
Indiana
Aww thank you! I just built the run myself in Aug. It's been a lot of coop to keep clean though, my only reservation...lol. The run stays dry from rain and wind but I might take your advice to keep it a little warmer. Thanks again for your help!

Really, it isn't directly about warmth, but about keeping them dry. Their feathers will do the rest. The run is valuable to allow them to still get outside into the sun in winter. You don't have to cover the whole thing- just the sides where the wind blows in to keep out any snow and still allow good ventilation. I have a smaller, rectangular run for my small flock that I just keep one end (away from the wind) open for access and ventilation.
 

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