Snow-proofing the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ErikaRI, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. ErikaRI

    ErikaRI Chirping

    May 20, 2017
    So, we're getting a little bit of snow right now in RI. I just put a tarp around all but the top 3 inches or so of the coop so that we don't end up with a foot of the snow *in* as well as outside of it. It does seem to be minimizing (but not eliminating) the snow--but now it's pretty dark in there. How much will it screw them up to practically eliminate the natural lighting for a day or so?
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It won't hurt them to be in subdued lighting for a couple of days. Hah! Chickens in the Pacific northwest get along okay without seeing the sun all summer.

    You might consider budgeting for some acrylic or fiberglass panels to install over the run, and the sides. This is what I have. The roof panels are permanent and allow for the roof to shed the snow load as it begins to melt. The sides are easy to put up when winter comes and remove when the warm weather kicks in. There are all kinds, and they're extremely sturdy and withstand years of putting up and taking down.

    They let in light and there isn't the danger of wind tearing the tarps loose or collapsing onto the chickens under a heavy snow load. All it takes is one time of that nightmare occurring in a strong wind and snow storm, and you will be so ready to consider an alternative. Been there.
    ErikaRI and apryl29 like this.
  3. ErikaRI

    ErikaRI Chirping

    May 20, 2017
    Yeah, we need a new coop in general (ours is 2nd-hand from a neighbor and is showing its age), but panels would be a good intermediate solution. Not today though.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello...I use vapour barrier plastic from the hardware store. It's clear and works great..I cover my Run in it..
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Putting chickens in complete darkness might send them into a molt. But, reduced lighting should be ok for a few days. Just be sure that in your zeal to eliminate snow that you don't block in too much moisture.
    Folly's place and ErikaRI like this.
  6. jreardon1918

    jreardon1918 Songster

    Jul 13, 2016
    Southeast, MA
    My Coop
    We have gotten quite a bit of snow today. So far 12". I closed the windows most of the way to keep the blowing snow from getting in the coop. The run has a little bit of snow. Underneath did not get any snow. The sides of the run have 6 mil plastic. Left the top 1' open for ventilation. So far the plastic has survived the ferocious winds. Heading back out to use the roof rake to clear the snow from the ridge vent and the flat part of the roof.
    Freisian likes this.
  7. Hamiam

    Hamiam Crowing

    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    Wow! Do you drive a 4 wheeler to get to your coop? I'm fascinated by what you poultry owners up north have to deal with during the winter! You would laugh at me wearing my hunting coveralls breaking the cows trough water & doing my chicken chores & fussing about how I'm going to die in 20* weather in North Texas!
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Beware of roof weight, that snow can be heavy!

    This is a trick I do in the run. I build mini haystacks before a storm. Then after the snow stops, I go down and using a pitch fork, just flip the hay on top of the snow. My birds come outside, and walk around on that.

    I don't keep the snow out of the whole run, but do have a shelter in the run, and a glass window in front of it, to make a little sun porch. They seem to like it.

    Ventilation and the weight of snow is the big problems.

    Good luck.
    aart and Freisian like this.
  9. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I did laugh at you. Ever notice that the people in the south ask the most cold weather related questions and it got all the down into the 40's?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    Johnny98 and Hamiam like this.
  10. Hamiam

    Hamiam Crowing

    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    LOL...yes, I have noticed that! I've raised chickens since I was a kid in East Texas & West Louisiana. I've never dealt with more than a couple inches of snow for a short time or a short episode of ice/freezing weather. This is the first time I've ever built a "winter coop". The older I get the more I spoil my chickens!

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