Michigan winter proofing coop - first time tips?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Upper Penn Love, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Upper Penn Love

    Upper Penn Love In the Brooder

    I turned an old children's play house into a coop this spring. Now that its getting colder I'm thinking its will need some work. It's got 3 empty " windows" that I put chain screen over on 3 sides to stop any animals from getting in, the walls are made from boards and you can see through the spaces between them pretty well. The roof is metal. I looked at cheap "hardboard" at menards last time I went to town, it's that stuff that's stronger than cardboard but not quite wood. I was thinking of lining the inside of the coop in that to stop drafts, and putting plexi glass over the windows. The way the play house is constructed there is a gap between the roof and the sides it sits upon, not much but should I cover this or leave it for ventilation? I'm in the process of building a new feeder for in the coop and trying to think of an alternative for water to keep it unfrozen without a source of electricity...
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

    Jun 18, 2013
    I would cover the Windows like you said, leave the ventilation which is a good thing, I would use caulking to fill in the cracks a paintable or stainable kind, throw a good coat of paint on it before winter, no matter what you do the water will freeze without some type of heated base.I put a powerstrip I mine so it have enough juice to plug in whatever I need to.
  3. Upper Penn Love

    Upper Penn Love In the Brooder

    Coop is about 60ft from an electrical source.... Is there such a thing as a battery operated agitator? Would that even work if there was?
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    They sell battery operated pumps, usually for live wells in a boat, but I don't know how long they run on a set of batteries. I would get a good 75' extension cord and use that to power the heater for the waterers. They sell heated bowls, heated bases for waterers. I built my own from a 7 gallon galvanized tub that I turn upside down. Under the tub, I put a construction lamp (single bulb with a metal cage around it) hooked to an eye bolt in the tub to keep the lamp off the ground, and place my waterers on top. A 40 watt bulb keeps the water unfrozen.

    Last winter I wrapped my run in clear vinyl shower curtains, and I found this kept the run warm enough during the day that the waterers did not freeze unless it was very cold (below 10 degrees during the day. The run absorbed the sun's heat and it was much nicer inside than outside!
  5. eastside shane

    eastside shane Hatching

    Nov 13, 2013
    I didn't follow the rules and introduce myself yet as I just signed on here minutes ago, sorry.

    Well, I realize this thread is a couple months old but I wanted to know how the vinyl shower curtains were holding up. Good idea and cost effective....if they last a reasonable amount of time.

    I saw the clear panels at Menards that are like the steel roofing panels I use here. For my permanent run, that's what I will most likely use. In the meantime, on the temporary run, I think we need something over it for the winter to keep the snow out.

    We also need to keep the water...well...water! It froze for the first time today. The coop is pretty good, about 100 year old wood structure that my dad moved here from the original farm house next door years ago (before we bought the property off of him). My son and I insulated it and ran temporary power for the winter.

    The coop is a little different in that 4 ducks live in a stall inside and the chickens all roost on the rail and gate going to the duck stall.

    Anyway, how have the shower curtains held up?
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Shame on you!!! JK Welcome to BYC.

    Best way to find info here is to use the advanced search, small text link under the big white search field at the top of the pages.
    Here's an example:
    advanced search>titles only> clear shower curtain

    Short answer is..... just because I know off the top of my head and feel like typing it for you is that...thomasboyles clear shower curtains last a couple seasons before needing replacement.

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