Sealing small holes and gaps in the Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by phryan, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. phryan

    phryan Chirping

    Jun 9, 2014
    Winter is coming (first with chickens) and there are some small nail holes and gaps in the coop, what are some safe ways to seal them that the chickens won't peck at?

    Big picture I'm trying to winterize the coop to try and cut down on drafts.
  2. dheltzel

    dheltzel Crowing

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    Plenty of ventilation is critical, even in the coldest weather. I leave plenty of holes and cracks for that reason (well, that's not the reason, but I say it is).
    For the worst part of winter, can you have a plan for blocking the weather from the outside, like with tarps or large sheets of plywood that you can secure against the winds and then remove when the blizzards are past.
  3. Chickenguy9

    Chickenguy9 In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2014
    Well I don't have chickens yet but I think I have a good idea or you! Have you heard of wood dough? You can make it by mixing fine sawdust with wood glue then cram the mixture into the holes, really glob it on to ensure a good seal, then once it has dried use fine grit sand paper to sand it smooth to the rest of the wall. Should work on holes as a stand alone up to about the size of a quarter and straight gaps up to an 8th of an inch. I wouldnt expect this to bother the chickens at all
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Leave them open, they need the ventilation. Just anything nearing an inch in diameter needs hardware cloth over them for predator protection.
    Unless you're above the arctic circle, don't fret nail holes and cracks.
    Some of my coops have 2X4' openings on both the east and west walls covered with hardware cloth with the prevailing wind passing right through the coop. That kind of ventilation eliminates virtually all respiratory issues.
    It got down to -19F last winter. Chickens aren't tropical cage birds but have evolved in most climates around the globe outdoors with no heat.
  5. msh1064

    msh1064 In the Brooder

    May 23, 2014
    are they at a level where the birds can reach them? If not, you could use an all weather caulking. I have used caulking on the outside of my coop to cover up some gaps but have not had issue with the chickens pecking at it because it was high enough they couldnt reach it and i sealed it from the outside of the coop. If you seal it flush with the surface they may not have any desire to pick at it if it is not protruding.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What is your climate?
    Putting your location in your profile will help folks make more viable suggestions.

    Ditto on to good article in my signature.
  7. phryan

    phryan Chirping

    Jun 9, 2014
    Located in Upstate NY, will be in the 20s most of the winter, may go below 0 on occasion. Plenty of snow but thats a different topic. There are vents in the eaves and ridge. Trying to reduce drafts and blown snow. There is a thermometer and humiditer(?) in coop, so can make sure it doesnt get too humid.
  8. I have had chickens roosting in trees with the temperature at minus 20 degrees at night for days without problems. They had a large coop or hen house to block the wind, rain, sleet, snow, etc my chickens just never recognized the benefits of this man made structure.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: