Northern KY Winterizing questions for small coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dabloos, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    This is my first winter with the 5 girls and I am preparing for 0-30 degree averages in Dec, Jan and Feb. I covered the wire sides of the ground floor of the coop (only approx. 75% of it so as to provide ventilation) with plexiglass sheets to cut down on wind in the roost.

    I will soon place a heavy tarp over one end of the run to reduce snow in the food, water, coop areas and dustbath. I have been told the coop is small for five birds, however they have done fine thus far and have plenty of room in their covered run. I will trade their water out a couple times per day during freezing weather. I will not use electricity or heat and hope they will be happy and healthy. Any suggestions are welcome!

    We live in a neighborhood with a privacy fence surrounding our backyard. I am hoping not to see any predators. Saw a hawk attempt an attack this summer while the girls were free-ranging in the yard. Covered the top of the run immediately.


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    [​IMG] Plexiglass covers the windy side of coop.

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    [​IMG] Covered run under evergreens.

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    [​IMG] Inside the roost.

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  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What is the run covered with...is it full of pine needles??
    How much snow do you get there?
    Is the top picture newer than the bottom picture?

    My concern is that the run roof mesh won't hold up to more needles then the additional weight of a snow load.
    Might be good to get those needles off there as they will help hold the snow.
    Once mesh starts having snow cling to it, it starts to accumulate.......having nightmare flashbacks BTDT.
     
  3. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    It's going down to 21 degrees tonight and they have lived all summer and fall in 90 degrees down to about 40 degrees. I hope they will be OK. It will then go to the teens here for the rest of the week.
     
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    You shouldn't have any problems as long as the coop itself is sheltered from wind and keeps them dry. I like your plexiglass sides. I wrap my coop with thick clear vinyl rolls. Before wrapping the run for the winter, if it was cold and windy, only my ducks would go out in the run. Once I wrap it, the chickens go out all the time. Agree with Aart on the pine needles on the roof. I would blow them off, as they will allow snow to accumulate and also when the snow up there melts, it will be raining from the roof for a while. I used to have a wire roof over my run, and the snow just led to mud, so after my first winter, I tore the old pen down and built one with a metal roof.

    Old
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    New
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    Winterized
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    Christmas Time
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    1 person likes this.
  5. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    That is an awesome coop! Yes. The top is now full of pine needles and pine cones. It would be quite a process to blow them off as they are all intertwined in the netting now. Looks like an army bunker from inside. Lol. We will tarp a section over the coop this year and hope our snow isn't too extreme. After looking at these pics we know we will have to modify the run next spring with a metal roof. We joke about the fact our 5 hens need to lay golden eggs to ever make the financial numbers add up. We do love having them and consider them pets by now. Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I gave up making the numbers add up long ago! If I can sell the eggs to pay for their food, I am happy!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    For sure!!
    Never factor in the cost of coop/run/equipment....that's the hobby/pleasure part.
    But egg sales must cover all of feed and most bedding and other recurring supplies like oyster shell and zeolite...and they do, so I too am happy.
     
  8. RPClark

    RPClark Out Of The Brooder

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    Out of the wind and dry. That's the key. We're not going to see the plus side of freezing for a while. But our young birds are just beginning to lay. I'll interpret their laying eggs as telling me they're generally happy with the accommodations.
     
  9. Dabloos

    Dabloos Just Hatched

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Northern KY
    Tractor Supply here I come. Heated pet bowl on my list. This 20 degree KY weather is an issue!
     

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