Is My Coop Adequate For A SEK Winter?

ashlkfnl

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2021
18
17
29
Southeast Kansas
As we approach winter, I cannot help but wonder if my coop will be adequate for my chickens in a southeast Kansas winter. We don’t get the blizzards of the north, but it sure gets cold and we get a couple of hard snows. So, without further ado, here is my coop!
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It is 6 feet by 8 feet, which makes 48 sq feet inside. The windows are 1 foot by one foot, and there are ventilation vents in the back. The run is made of decking boards and an old fish trap. The whole thing is on runners, so it is not on the ground.
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This is the nesting box. The roof is not just tin, there is some wood underneath. I had a small problem with water getting through the small crack between the lid and the walls, so I took some rubber trim for bathrooms and nailed it above. It works very well! There is 5 boxes inside, but so far the girls prefer the two corner ones.
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This is the inside. There is two sticks screwed into the wall for a roost, but so far the girls only use it during the day for catnaps, and prefer to sleep in the elevated platform behind the waterer. It looks boring inside, but during stormy and cooped up/hot days, they can be seen enjoying lettuce tetherball, staring at themselves in the mirror (there’s a small makeup mirror nailed to the wall), jumping up and down from the roost, and running as fast as they can from the waterer to the run. Their favorite by far is to dust in the wood dust left over from old wood chips.
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Here is a closer look at the run. I scoop it out when it gets stinky, and all of the woodchips scattered around are because I just gave them new ones. They can’t keep anything nice. I am considering wrapping the run in plastic, but I don’t want it to keep moisture in and give my girls frostbite!!!
The roof of the coop is shingles like a house.
So, what do you think? This is my first winter having my own chickens, so I need all the advice you can give! Everything is appreciated!!
Much love,
Ashley.
 

deidreg

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 6, 2020
765
2,946
256
Connecticut
Looks pretty good! How many hens do you have? I count five. I recommend covering the run with a rainproof tarp. Perhaps add one to the side where you get the most wind. Keep them dry and the coop draft free. If it gets damp or smelly in the coop, you may need to clean out the poop once a day. They know how to keep warm at night so don't worry about the temperature. Good luck!
 

ashlkfnl

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2021
18
17
29
Southeast Kansas
Looks pretty good! How many hens do you have? I count five. I recommend covering the rub with a rainproof tarp. Perhaps add one to the side where you get the most wind. Keep them dry and the coop draft free. If it gets damp or smelly in the coop, you may need to clean out the poop once a day. They know how to keep warm at night so don't worry about the temperature. Good luck!
Thank you. I have six hens! I will see about finding a tarp. Thank you for your suggestions!!
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,337
42,059
983
Belding, MI
Dry chickens are warm chickens. They're wearing down jackets, after all. :)

I recommend covering the rub with a rainproof tarp
Yes, that sounds like a good idea. I would angle it, ie, have one side higher, to have the water run off. How much snow do you get? Will what you have support that? If not, you need to beef up the support so that it doesn't collapse.

I put clear shower curtains around the prevailing wind side of my run, to give the chickens an outside area that wasn't windy.
 

ashlkfnl

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2021
18
17
29
Southeast Kansas
Dry chickens are warm chickens. They're wearing down jackets, after all. :)


Yes, that sounds like a good idea. I would angle it, ie, have one side higher, to have the water run off. How much snow do you get? Will what you have support that? If not, you need to beef up the support so that it doesn't collapse.

I put clear shower curtains around the prevailing wind side of my run, to give the chickens an outside area that wasn't windy.
We had a freak winter last year with snow up to a foot and a half, but that was some of the highest snow I’ve seen here. I think we would normally get 5-8 inches max at a time.
I’ll look into both the tarp and shower curtain wrapping and we will see how it goes! Thank you!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
35,471
291,079
1,662
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
I don't see much of any ventilation in the coop. That is where you'll be concerned with frostbite.
I second the motion for covering the run with something to keep it dry.
The temperatures you will experience are nothing a chicken can't handle as long as the coop stays dry and that requires ventilation.
The coop should never be getting notably stinky. If it is, ammonia is building up and can cause respiratory issues. You want to stay on top of that.
 

ashlkfnl

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2021
18
17
29
Southeast Kansas
I don't see much of any ventilation in the coop. That is where you'll be concerned with frostbite.
I second the motion for covering the run with something to keep it dry.
The temperatures you will experience are nothing a chicken can't handle as long as the coop stays dry and that requires ventilation.
The coop should never be getting notably stinky. If it is, ammonia is building up and can cause respiratory issues. You want to stay on top of that.
I was already working on cutting out some ventilation holes above the windows.
 

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