Help with building a better winter roost in Mississippi!

Lori J

Songster
Jun 18, 2017
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I have three hens and I need a little help making their roost warm in the winter. I live in central Mississippi, so it doesn't get too cold, but we do have a some freezing nights and cold snaps! We had built the coop mainly worried it would get too hot, but our hens spend most of their time free ranging and even try to sleep outside, so we need to do something to make their roosting spot warmer/protected from the elements so that they don't end up spending so many cold nights in the garage lol. I've posted pics of the outside of our home-constructed coop, as well as the roosting area. We had tacked up plastic sack-type material all around to provide protection from rain yet allow air circulation. They pecked it all away. Do anyone recommend nailing boards around exposed back/sides of the roost and completely enclosing it? I know I have read that moisture can built up if it is too air tight and make it colder. Also, I'd added a board just under the roost in attempt to keep them from using the underneath as a nesting box, which I plan to remove so the bottom of the roost where the pine shavings are and poop falls down will be near to the ground. Tips are welcome! And yes, our coop could use some prettying up lol.
 

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Lori J

Songster
Jun 18, 2017
418
280
171
I have three hens and I need a little help making their roost warm in the winter. I live in central Mississippi, so it doesn't get too cold, but we do have a some freezing nights and cold snaps! We had built the coop mainly worried it would get too hot, but our hens spend most of their time free ranging and even try to sleep outside, so we need to do something to make their roosting spot warmer/protected from the elements so that they don't end up spending so many cold nights in the garage lol. I've posted pics of the outside of our home-constructed coop, as well as the roosting area. We had tacked up plastic sack-type material all around to provide protection from rain yet allow air circulation. They pecked it all away. Do anyone recommend nailing boards around exposed back/sides of the roost and completely enclosing it? I know I have read that moisture can built up if it is too air tight and make it colder. Also, I'd added a board just under the roost in attempt to keep them from using the underneath as a nesting box, which I plan to remove so the bottom of the roost where the pine shavings are and poop falls down will be near to the ground. Tips are welcome! And yes, our coop could use some prettying up lol.

Also, my husband wants to replace the roosting boards with PVC pipe. I told him I've heard they can be slippery - I know this is a separate topic but any suggestions there?
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 13, 2016
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North-Central IL
Put some plywood across the back and across that open area with the torn sack, the coop overall looks pretty open.

Do NOT use PVC pipe. No no. I would take out the skinny roost bar and put another of the thicker boards there, so they can really settle their fluff over their feet.

It's not that cold, the hens will be fine.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,851
30,432
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Do not use PVC. Wood is really the only good roost option, either some thick branches (2" dia +) or 2x3s, 2x4s.

Even with your cold snaps I can't imagine it gets THAT cold at your location. I would only cover up any open areas with plywood or tarps that may be causing drafts to get to the roost area, otherwise leave it alone. Even at freezing as long as there isn't rain or wind blowing onto the chickens they should be fine.
 

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