Plastic Sheeting or Tarp for mild Texas winters

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BrandiT23, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. BrandiT23

    BrandiT23 Hatching

    Jun 12, 2013
    Instead of the standard chicken coop, we use a 10x10 chain link dog kennel for our coop for about 10-14 chickens. We have an additional 10x30 run attached to this. The coop is completely open air during the summer, with a plastic tarp over it for shade and rain protection. The south side is against an 8' privacy fence so there is wind protection from that side. This works well during our summers when temps can stay 100+ for days on end.

    Last winter, we covered the sides with tarps and laid down a bunch of straw bedding. We also added a reflective tarp to the top to reflect any heat back into the coop. We had a few days of ice where we used a heating lamp, but would prefer to avoid lamps this year.

    In Texas, our winters are mild, but can go below freezing for a few days a month. Mid 20's is usually the lowest. The chickens did alright last winter, but I wonder if what we did was enough to keep them warm. Would it be better to use plastic sheeting like that used on greenhouses to wrap the chain link? Seems the clear sheeting would be warmer by allowing more sunlight in, but I'm not sure. Do you think there would be much difference between regular blue tarps and clear plastic sheeting?

    Anyone else have a similar setup? What do you do during the winter?
  2. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chirping

    Sep 11, 2014
    I use 10x10 kennels also. I use 6x10 clear tarps with nylon mesh for some reenforcement. I got them from I really only use them as wind breaks, but it's nice that they let in light.

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