How much winterizing necessary-Charlotte, NC

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OrpingtonHopeful, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. OrpingtonHopeful

    OrpingtonHopeful Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2009
    Hey Y'all we live in the city of Charlotte- Have a 4 X6 playhouse-style coop that is pretty much more holes than walls (ok well big windows covered in heavy gauge hardware cloth) to allow for as much airflow as we can during our hot summers. Now the temp is dropping and I notice all our girls sleep together in the nesting box.

    How much warmth do my 4 (23 week old) BO gals need? We don't have the coop wired for electric...It is not insulated but has a solid floor covered in linoleum and walls are 3/4" plywood. We use pine shavings for bedding. The have an attached 8 X8 run.

    Should we cover the windows for winter (still have vents along the eaves on top)?

    I was thinking of sliding plexiglass over each window so it could be slid up on warmer days to allow the coop to vent, but that it so pricey...DH wants to bolt plywood over the windows til spring-

    Ideas? Advice?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    You need to make your coop draft free. My DH put up plywood on hinges over the windows so I could let the plywood down during the day for ventilation and put it back up at night to cut out the drafts. As long as you take care of all holes / windows and make sure the litter in the coop stays dry, your chickens will be just fine through the winter. [​IMG]
  3. FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    North Carolina
    I am near Hickory NC
    Little town of Maiden. very close to you!!

    Draft free is best. We sure have those cold spells down here but nothing deadly like those 5 ft snows some people get! ugh

    I have 2 sided chicken runs. Mine do not even get draft free in winter. They do very fine. The 2 solid walls is where their nesting boxes are and they huddle up and I keep them well fed etc. I have about 200 chickens right now and have had alot more. the rest is attached to chicken wire fencing for outside run.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Okay...sounds like you guys are like me, very few birds. With only 4 chickens, a 4x6 is fairly roomy, and requires a little less ventilation. Remember the ventilation is to get rid of the moisture in the poop and the breathing of your birds. You mentioned that you have ventilation above, which is good. So if you do have other ventilation openings, I would definitely cover the window openings (too much cold draft...draft is to be avoided). Plexiglass on at least one side would be GREAT!! It doesn't have to be anything that slides. The kind from Lowes or Home Depot would be fine. The plexiglass would also help take advantage of the sun on cold days. If holes are drilled in it to bolt them on, they could be removed fairly easily and used for years to come.
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Good comments here. How about a piece of clear sheeting or even some transparent bubble wrap arranged so that it can be secured at night and lifted in daytime if warm enough. Will let light in and stop drafts and is cheap. Drafts are bad in wintertime, but no ventilation is worse.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Temperature is not an issue where you are, as long as the coop is well-ventilated (dryish) and draft-free.

    Yes, I'd make something so you can cover the windows when you want. Until/unless you come by an affordable scrap of plexiglass, consider making a wooden frame and staplegunning heavy clear plastic over it. Add hinges, and there ya go [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  8. swimmom

    swimmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    We put foam insulation on the inside of the roof and covered it with thin plywood. I've closed off our windows which we use to keep cool in the summer. I did put our weather thermometer in the coop the last two nights and it was only 2 degrees warmer than the outside air. I only have three girls and they just seem to huddle up together for warmth. I don't think I'll worry too much, my BIL keeps chickens in Maine without any heat in the coop and he hasn't lost a chicken yet to the cold and it's been 15 years.
  9. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I am about an hour from you. This is what my birds sleep in winter and summer......


    And this is the tractors in last winter's snow. All the birds, young and old did great. Block the wind and feed them well, they will be fine.

  10. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Hi. I'm just over the river in Mt. Holly. This is will be my 3rd winter with chickens. I have a 8x8 coop. The 1st year I sectioned off part of my coop with plastic. I used 2 layers of 6ml (pretty thick). It blocked all drafts and let the girls have one are where they all stayed which was a bit warmer than the other on those extra cold days. Last year, I used bales of straw left over from a hayride. Basicly the same thing as with the plastic. Stayed fairly warm.

    My girls were outside everyday last winter. Even when we had the snow. They stayed in the small covered run until it melted enough for them to get into the big run (didn't seem to like walking in it) but nothing else stopped them. I don't know if my chickens are normal or not. I've been told that chickens don't like to get wet, yet, mine wander the yard in downpours. [​IMG]

    Just block your drafts and you should be fine.

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