Hurricane Irene!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 16, 2011
Right now we're smack in the middle of the projected path! Anybody else?

We designed our coop with lots and lots of ventilation, with the ability to "winterize" it by adding panels and replacing one screen wall with solid wood. After the coop itself was finished, I wasn't pressing my husband to hurry up and build the winterizing accessories because, to be frank, we were both burned out on coop-building. But we're gonna need it if that hurricane hits.

On the other hand, I still have a couple of large dog crates in my garage. Over the summer, on a couple of the very worst hot days I transferred my little flock of six mellow pullets in there during the day out of fear of heat exhaustion. I could put them in the crates the night before the storm hits, and possibly get them back out to the coop the next afternoon, or worst case scenario they sleep in the crates a second night and go back outside the next morning. Chilling in the garage never seemed to bother them much. I am also worried about a tree or limbs hitting the coop even if we are able to make it watertight.

I don't want to stress them out, and I think in general they are better off outside, but as long as I have the capability to give them a more secure place to weather the storm I'm thinking I should do so.


10 Years
Aug 14, 2009
Glad your thinking ahead! I would set up an area in the garage and stock up on food and water for my chickens.....and ourselves. Buy a lot of plywood and some pressure treated wood in case of high winds/water damaging garage....or house. Hope you all don't get it as bad as they're saying!


14 Years
Apr 4, 2008
Tucson AZ
I would not leave them out in such a storm as you may have coming. The garage is a good idea to me! Usually such storms are for less than a few hours, a day at the most, anyhow the tail ends of hurricanes we get here don't last very long. Thank goodness! Short by POWERFUL winds and rain, or hail. One year I lost the cooler off my roof, a tree blew down and just missed the house, my hall and bathroom ceilings had to be replaced, and the the two sliding glass doors in the back of the house let in lots of water! I had to replace the floor in the family room! My backyard was like a lake!

Hope the storm misses you!


8 Years
Aug 23, 2011
We too will be affected by Irene. I was pondering the same questions....honestly I think that if it is going to be as bad as it sounds, it might be a good idea to ensure their safety by placing them in a larger dog crate with some soft bedding....I wouldnt try to place too many in one crate but if they are spread out between a few crates they will probably feel safer than to have all that wind and rain on them. They find "security" in their snug nesting boxes so I would think it shouldnt be too traumatic for a day or two.

I like the previous post of gating off an area of your garage too, just make sure that you will not have water/flooding.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
Franklin, VA
I'm in the path of the storm, too. Right now is projecting the storm to come essentially over me on Sunday morning as a category 2 storm. I'm planning on putting my four into the large dog crate in the shed, or maybe put them all in the small coop and move that into the shed. I'll have to take the tarp off of the kennel, etc., because I know that will never withstand the storm. Lots of stuff to do...

Edit for updated info: TWC's Hurricane Tracker is now showing the storm off-shore of the VA/NC line at about 2AM Sunday. Good in a way, bad in others. The winds out of the east will push water inland causing lots of flooding. Franklin doesn't need another flood... Hopefully it will continue moving off-shore and the winds will not be so bad here. Cape Hatteras and the OBX look to be in the direct line of fire. Anybody on here live there?
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Knock Kneed Hen

California Dream'in Chickens
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
So. Cal.
Just remember it's hard to do anything in raging winds. Prevention is the only way to go. We don't get hurricanes but have had winds off the desert of 90 mph and clocked them up to 123 mph!!! It was CrAzY!!! Part of the roof came off and was tangled in electrical wire. I tried to cut it free but the wind was whipping it around so hard there was no way to do anything. I thought I better quit before getting my arm cut off from the sharp jagged metal. I picked up my son and headed for the van, which was rocking back and forth in the driveway. It was difficult to even stand upright. I'm just trying to paint a picture here because it's not likely that you'll be able to do much of anything once it hits. Be prepared then hunker down and wait it out. Hope it passes over you and you will have done all that preparation for nothing!!

BTW, when I surveyed the damage in the morning it truly looked like our place had been hit by a hurricane. Our fence was lying in the road, it ripped the top off of our horse stalls and what wasn't lying in the road was dangling down into their stalls, we lost entire sections of siding off the house as well as insulation (it was strewn all over the place, we picked it up for days), of course, lots of roofing went flying. Wind is a powerful thing. I guess were lucky in that there was no rain associated with it. I imagine that would have made things a lot worse. Just be safe!!

Hummingbird Hollow

8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
Colorado mountains
I too would move them inside if I had the option.

Another thought for you folks in the path of the hurricane. You might go out and purchase a roll of poultry netting and some PVC pipe before the hurricane hits. I made a very nice little 3'X7' run out of 10' PVC pipe (the 3/4" type) and a roll of 36" poultry netting that I used for a chicken "play-pen" while my chicks were getting kinda big for the brooder but I didn't have their permanent run finished. Even if your chickens escape damage from the storm buy hanging out in your garage, there may be a chance that your coop or run is damaged by high winds or flying debris. The first thing on your to-do list in the case of extensive damage to your home or yard is probably not rebuilding your coop or run and having the materials on hand would mean you could deal with it even without power tools if necessary.

I'll post photos and a materials list if you're interested.

Heck, if you escape damage, you could probably return the materials to the hardware store without any problem. Good luck.

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