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need a winter coop close to the house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by trulyviolet, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. trulyviolet

    trulyviolet In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2008
    hi everyone,
    i have to move my bird up close to the house for the winter.
    our summer pen/coop is too far away from the house for me to haul water.

    last winter i fell in a bad snow storm and had a hard time getting up....the terrain is pretty rough as we live on the side of a mountain.
    no one knew i was out there, so it was very scary for me, no one could hear me call for help either because of how the land goes.

    i have been trying to think of what to do, as the only almost level area is on the back driveway.

    i was thinking of putting in a semi moveable coop there, with a slooping part wire roof ( and a fiberglass cover as we get a heavy snow load at times)

    but what ever it is has to be super simple, as chances are it will be only me ( and i am a little old lady) building it
    right now the birds (chickens and ducks) are in the house at night, in the basement.
    i would like to at least leave the ducks out in a warm movable coop over the winter
    but even if they too need to come in
    if this is close to the house, so i don't fall again bringing out their water it is ok.

    i don't know where to start!
    we also have some preditors, as something took one of my ducks this summer. which is what started me bringing them all in the house at night

    i figure even though there is blacktop there
    if i cover it well with dried leaves, then hay then bedding, the birds will be ok on it

    if anyone has any ideas
    please let me know

    it is for three chickens, and four ducks....
    i will be adding a few more chickens but they won't go out until spring

    thank you so much


  2. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    How about a dog kennel or 2 and tarps on the sides.
    You could cover the top also, 2 x 4's and metal.
    Best of luck, and be careful.
  3. trulyviolet

    trulyviolet In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2008
    thank you so very much for answering me

    two dog kennels may do it
    if we can find them used
    we tarped part of the duck pen last year....( the other part has a metal pitched roof)
    and found that it wouldn't hold a snow load
    so we had put a pitched wire roof with a tarp over the outer part

    while i don't really intend on them staying out at night in this
    if we have too much snow.....they won't be able to go into it during the day so that is something also to consider
    i wonder if there is a way to put a pitched roof on one?

    thank you again so very much for answering me

  4. nhnanna

    nhnanna Songster

    Jul 18, 2008
    The chicken coop
    I also thought of a dog pen/kennel covered and maybe a doghouse with hay or shavings. I understand what you are saying as my chicken house is down hill also. Please be very careful, it must have been scary for you.
  5. trulyviolet

    trulyviolet In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2008
    thank you so much

    i have been dreading winter because of that fall
    i fall a lot anyway, ( that hill is a nightmare)
    but during that storm, with no one around....no one knew i was out there
    and my husband didn't get home from work until about noon the following day due to the storm

    i realized that if i hadn't been able to get up, i would have died out there

    he would have come home to a frozen house.....burst pipes, ( we heat with wood and it would have gone out)
    and no idea where i was!
    only to fall over me if he tried to get out to the coop

    i am going to avoid that this winter if at all possible

    if i could i would try and attach a run directly to the basement, but that isn't doable

    thank you again

  6. 3 sisters farm

    3 sisters farm Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    puyallup wa
    I use dog kennels tarped with some wood small 3 sided sheds with the open side facing a tarp a couple of feet away. Try craigs list for kennels. For the roof I ran strips of chicken wire back and forth on the short side. Then I ran one 24 inch wide strip of hardware wire lengthwise to reinforce...that is the summer roof with just a small area over feeder that I have a corregated roof on. I than took damaged 2x2's, or 2x4's and placed these about every 1 1/2 feet. the trick is on one side before you put up is to attach 4 inches ie 2 pices thick of the 2x4 or 2x2 about 5-6 inches in length. Then drive a long like 5-6inch nails towards the ends of these boards but inside the cut by at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches. You only do this to one end of each board. This will make one side of the roof 4 inches higher allowing water to drain. The nails stop the board from being pulled off as it tends to slide off. We get heavy winds and up to 6 inches of very wet snow. Doghouses.com also sells some metal arches to use for a tarp, but they don't necessarliy fit every kennel as I found out. Then just tarp the top and tie tightly to the chainlink.
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    do you have a garage you could use? I would say a storage type shed if garage is out of the question, something you can get into as well.

    Good luck, sounds like you have your hands really full - pleast take care, and keep a cell phone or something on your person at all times!!!

  8. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    Could you keep them in the basement over the winter? 3 chickens and 4 ducks would be messy but safer to clean up after than going outside.
    Say bring them in when it gets really nasty weather and take out early spring..
    We have a full basement and hubby never knows what is down there! Right now I have a small brooder with guinea keets and 3 chickens that cannot function in coop.
    I rather enjoy visiting with mine. I have a couple older pet chickens that I bring in to live all winter down there. They come upstairs to watch t.v with me...really!
    I would not take them back out into the cold tho once they got used to the warm basement. Just a thought...,
  9. Check on Craigslist for a free doghouse to go in the run...

    Or maybe put a small strawbale 'barn' in a dog run? I'd stack strawbales and try to fashion a pallet w/ a bit of tin on it into the roof and a maybe make a very simple, secure door.

    Or see if someone will give/sell you a cheap horse trailer that is no longer safe for transporting horses? Should be able to make a decent shelter out of it.

    Or see if someone will give you a crummy old camp trailer of any type. If it leaks seal up the roof and who cares if the interior is crummy. Birds will like it just fine.

    Or maybe you could use an old truck cab for a simple portable shelter... My neighbors have one for part of their turkey pen. They set it up on pallets.
  10. trulyviolet

    trulyviolet In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2008
    thank you all so very much for your answers

    right now the chickens live most of the time in the basement, i bring them out in warm weather for a few hours to play in the grass in a small pen ( btw, we found out that the chickens got overheated when they come upstairs during the winter.....they aren't too fond of the wood stove)

    and the ducks are crated there as well overnight.
    keeping them in all day all winter for the ducks is not as good an idea, i would still have to take the dirty bedding out back to the compost......down the hill near the old pen, ducks are WAY messier then the chickens

    i wish there was an inexpensive modular kit for this.
    but i guess it would not be feasible as everyone's situation is different, along with terrain, climate, number and size of birds etc.

    i am realizing that if somehow i can put up a sort of roofed modular ( and knockdown/moveable in spring) run, RIGHT by the entrance to the basement by three steps,
    even if they come in at night, as now it would still be easier and safer for everyone
    and probably some cinder blocks to hold it as well since it is going to go on the driveway
    ( the camper/truck/ horse trailer ideas would be wonderful but civilization and zoning have found us now.... they won't allow that here)

    i am going to check craigs list and freecycle

    i hope to get a good start on this very soon
    before heavy snow.

    somehow i keep thinking that if i sort of think of it as expandable modular panels....that it would easier to build?

    i wonder if pvc would hold up?

    thank you all so much

    ps: the chickens and the ducks would also send their thanks, as this past summer i slipped in 'duck mud' and fell almost on top of the poor things that hill out back is EVIL

    edited to add....... no garage, we had an old barn/ chicken shed but that fell down over 20 years ago, right after we bought the place. we weren't able to rebuild.

    i swear this is a bit overwhelming
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008

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