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Show me a picture of your winterized/covered run!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mommy2pnutty, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. mommy2pnutty

    mommy2pnutty In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2008
    I need some ideas on how to cover my run. Its about 10 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 4 feet tall. I was going to leave it uncovered. But this morning I opened the coop door and my chicks still will not venture out in the snow. So I think I might just cover it for the winter.


  2. Schroeder

    Schroeder Songster

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Stacking bales of straw around most of the run will cut down the wind alot and will reduce blowing snow. You still have the roof issue though.
  3. We used corrugated vinyl (PALRuf), you can see the construction in my link below.
    We also use snow boards to cut the wind and so we don't have to shovel in the run.
    Remember slope drainage- get the trenches cleared before the ground freezes.





    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  4. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Great photos!
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The thing about covering a run is that you have to account for the forces of wind and snow load. They tend to be stronger than most people expect.

    Your safest bet is to make a windbreak on the upwind side of the run, just *outside* the run fence, using stacked strawbales, or plywood with its own supporting structure, or your winter supply of firewood, or snowfence-plus-burlap on a separate supporting structure, or etc. If you are real sure your run posts and fence are very strongly set and secure, you can attach burlap or plastic to the upwind side(s) of the run fence itself.

    The top is trickier... hardly any runs that are not already built with solid roofs are built strongly enough to just put a roof on without beefing up the structure. (A number that ARE built with roofs are not built strongly enough for blizzard snowloads, either... see the yearly crop of threads on 'my run collapsed last night' each winter). So be very, very careful about how you approach this. I posted a thread a month or so ago, with a title something like 'go strengthen your runs NOW before they collapse under snow', with a lot of specific structural suggestions.

    If you do end up putting plastic and/or roof on most of your run, make sure not to plastic-wrap the WHOLE run -- it needs quite a lot of ventilation, much more than a coop, to avoid becoming a humidity trap which not only is bad for the chickens when they're out but can also humidify your coop and cause nighttime frsotbite problems.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I'm in snowy MN. I have a roof on my run. However, the wind tends to blow snow into the run anyways. There is less snow in there than if it were uncovered, but by no means "snow free." My chickens still refuse to go outside. The door is open all day, until the temp goes below 0F, yet there are no footprints in the run, so I know they haven't been outside. Their choice.
  7. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster

    I'm sure the answer to this is probably obvious, but I get confused everytime someone mentions 'upwind', 'downwind', or 'prevailing' wind. Can someone please offer the Cliff Notes on these terms? I live in a small creek valley niche in the Colorado mountains. My coop faces south, and the run comes off the east side. Please and thankyou!!

  8. lighthawk

    lighthawk Songster

    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Quote:Tenderkat... you are probably not a hunter but the easiest way to describe it is in those terms. I will use the location of your coop as an example If you are standing "downwind" of your coop any odor emanating from the coop will be blowing toward you. If you are "upwind" then your scent would be blowing toward the coop. The "prevailing" wind is the most common direction the wind blows. Here in SW Mighigan the Prevailing wind blows from Southwest to North east.That doesnt mean that is the only way the wind blows just that it comes from that direction most of the time. Hope this helps
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  9. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I have a smaller covered run, within the larger run. They really make good use of this area when it's raining or snowing. It remains dry undercover, with the help of the splashboards, so they can enjoy a dust bath even when the rain is pouring down. The chicken door from the coop opens into the smaller run, so I can keep them in this area if I want to, for when I am working around the larger run, so they don't get stepped on. Seems like they are always under my feet..[​IMG]
  10. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    Here is what I have here in Wisconsin along Lake Michigan. Just finished getting them protected from the Northwest winds that whip through.

    First image is the front facing SouthEast


    Second is the east side of the run


    Third is shot though a top section showing the far west wall that is covered with wood


    Then the remaining are the birds and the eggs we got today. Big difference in sizes.



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