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Repurposed Hoop Coop - need help winterizing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Peruvian, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    We have raised between 50-60 broilers per summer over the last 4 years. I built a 8' x 10' hoop coop 'tractor' for those broilers and it has worked well.

    We decided to get some layer hens and I thought I would use the hoop coop to get us through the winter. Adopting ideas from some coops I've seen, I lined the outside with hay bales and added some spackle bucket nesting boxes. The girls seem to like it and we have 5 eggs already this morning (from 5 hens).

    I would like to winterize it a little more and am open to any ideas on how to cheaply and effectively close up the ends (or if it's even necessary). We live in VT and it gets COLD here. I have heat lamps that I thought might keep the water from freezing and the composting hay should keep their feet warm. I look forward to your feedback!

    Here are some lousy cell phone pics:



  2. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Interesting! I'm going to follow this out of curiosity.

    Maybe stack more hay bales to create a solid wall at the back end? Rig something that acts as a vent at the top of both sides, but keeps most of the snow out?

    Maybe some clear roofing panels as walls and over the door?

    I think you'll have to watch the snow to make sure it slides off, give a little help by raking it down after more than a foot falls.

    I'd probably be afraid to use a heat lamp in there with all the combustible hay, but maybe a heated dog dish? If you've got enough hay for insulation and plenty on the ground they should generate all the heat they need.

    I'd probably double up the tarp on top to make sure no rips, tears happen and make winter repairs a pain.

    I'd also add more hay bales around the outside to reinforce the base and add insulation value. I'd probably stack 2 high.

    I saw a good post here a while back from someone in VT or ME that used these hoop houses and hay bales and made great winter quarters, there was a great website to go with it, I bet I'll never find it now though....

    I also meant to add, hello from a fellow VTer!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Because of the structure putting hay bales on the outside would help with the plastic flapping around or even a piece of plywood first with the hay bail behind it

    It was mentioned in post 2 to build up the bales on the inside.

    Fowl stuff makes chicken lids to go on the buckets if you want; http://fowlstuff.com/Products.html and other products.

    They are going to love having the grass right there to eat.

    With that much room I would put a tree branch in there to jump around on like this maybe;

    I would put a sand box in there for them to dust bathe in;

    With all the room you have I have seen enough of the members here put swings for the kids more than a few times. The metal 2"X4" grid is strong enough to hang chains from for the swing/s

    If the wind picks up do you have a way to drop down one side to prevent a wind tunnel. The open air is great but a wind tunnel is not.

    I was shocked and amazed at this article written and published in 1903 and 1904 OPEN AIR CHICKEN HOUSES.

    http://www.nortoncreekpress.com/fresh-air-poultry-houses2.html You to will find it interesting.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:Cool!! no pun intended [​IMG]
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    That looks cozy. All you need is a sleeping bag and you can sleep in there with them.
  6. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    I know someone that goes to my church. They have a coop like this. It is not rounded though. It is two big pieces of metal nailed or screwed into an "A" Frame. It has no floor, and both ends are open, he lets his chickens Free-Range. And one side of his "A" frame coop is a Dollar General sign.
  7. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2009
    Newaygo Michigan
    I love the hoop coop. We have a run made that way and cover it in winter with some greenhouse plastic that someone gave us. The snow just slides right off of it. Check out the link in my siggy and you can see the pics. Good luck.
  8. MadChickensVT

    MadChickensVT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2011
    Middlebury, Vermont
  9. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Thanks for the feedback. We're getting an egg/day from each of the 5 hens, so they clearly like their new digs.

    I think I'll just build a cookie tin water warmer and assume all will be well for them once the temps drop. The snow shedding on the outside will pile up an act as insulation as well. If I need to add a tarp wind break at one of the ends, I can do that on a sunny day. We added a loop of welded wire fencing at the door for their 'barn yard' and they love going outside and pecking and digging.

    We brought them down to the garden today in the fence loop but they didn't eat the weeds as much as I thought they would. I guess they will just have to be egg suppliers and not run double duty as garden cultivators. [​IMG]

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