Too small to winter in?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kickin' Chickin', Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Kickin' Chickin'

    Kickin' Chickin' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Upstate New York
    I have just recently been bitten by the "chicken bug" and I 'm lovin'it. Having said that , there are some problems with my tractor.I don't believe that my husband and I really thought about how ,errr, large my buff orps would get and the thought of them being stuck in a tiny tractor over the winter has me quite worried for their safety.[​IMG]This picture was taken upon completion and now that there are 4 fully grown buffs inside it seems rather small to house them comfortably over the long and cold winters we get here in Central NY. Inside the tractor there are 2 roosting bars(don't know terminology)on one side and a nest box on the other . There will be some improvements when it come to covering for the winter , I only worry that the inside may be entirely too small.
  2. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think it's too small as long as you cover the run. My ladies don't go inside most of the time anyway. I guess it just depends on how much your birds like to be outside. My vote is: it's fine. By spring you'll want another 4 birds anyway, and you'll be upgrading then. [​IMG]
  3. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    I have 11 chickens in an 8x8 hen house with a roughly 70x60 square foot run .... well we had snow on the ground yesterday and when we got home the birds who stay out in rain and inclement weather didn't even try and go outside yesterday except one (must have been the columbian roo given the size of the feet). You could follow his path, out the pop door, over to the fence... walked the fence line the whole way round to the oposite side, came out under the people stairs and into the coop... he obviously told them everyone was staying put and that was that.

    I think what the other poster said, cover the run... make sure there is lots of ventilation and build something bigger in the spring when you get new birds! Well as long as that cute little chicken with the pink skirt doesn't want to hang with the others that is... she may require more room! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live near Hillsvale and we are both in a Canadian snow belt and I know you get a lot of snow in NY state.

    Could the tractor be placed in a shelter such as a garage? If you are in a snow zone you are going to have one heck of a time finding the coop...and the run will be so filled with snow that they may not be able to exit. Any chance of roofing the A-shaped frame?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  5. Kickin' Chickin'

    Kickin' Chickin' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Upstate New York
    Thank you for the feedback,and oh yes, there will be more .Especially since I have 6 more chicks in the garage ( still too young to go out). I, wait, we have since raised the ramp to give the girls more room underneath and we are in the process of enclosing 3/4's of the whole contraption so the snow doesn't get in. My husband and I are not looking forward to going out to shovel the run but until we build a bigger unit.... BTW that little one in the pink skirt gets in every chance she gets,little devil even crawls inside to get the eggs, lol.
  6. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Red Creek, New York
    i dont think it is too small it just needs too be covered unless you put in barn or garage. it is too wide open. i live in new york also.
  7. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    "I only worry that the inside may be entirely too small"

    Me too. I doubt they will be happy birds living in such a small set up..

    I gather they all head into the micro coop for the night? Probably be some pretty good moisture build up in such a small coop this winter, so you need good venting, yet at the same time you don't want them to freeze in the cold.

    Get hubby back to work building a new one now, in anticipation of your additions, then your current birds will also have a better home this winter.. You could also simply add an extension to your current one.[​IMG]
  8. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    You could put under a tree and cover with a tarp. I ordered mine from Walmart. I also used plexiglass on the end as a wind break. I attached it using gutter xmas lite attachments. Then by spring u can have your new shed coop built. [​IMG]
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Honestly my best suggestion is to look around real quick now (before the snow piles up so much you can't move things around) for a secondhand shed on Craigslist/kijiji/whatever. You could attach it to your A-frame there so that the A-frame serves as the run but the chickens can stay in the shed over the winter. This would BY FAR be the best for your chickens and give you the lowest chance of losses to cannibalism or frostbite or of getting incurable pecking problems started. Or if you are feeling a bit more flush, see if anyone still has any brand-new prefab sheds for sale -- this time of year, if a store has any left, they are likely to be willing to cut an extra deal [​IMG]

    If that is impossible, park the tractor in as totally sheltered a location as possible, staplegun 6 mil translucent plastic (or some such) onto most but not all of the run portion, figure out NOW whether there is any possible way to run a heater in the 'house' portion because it is not impossible that you might end up having to, and just cross yer fingers and hope for the best.

    A shed would be a WHOLE lot better though.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I would cover all but the front in heavy plastic, face it toward south east and fill the bottom with raked up dry leaves. Keep a few bags over winter to add as needed or if it gets wet. Throw a few handfuls of scratch on the leaves each day and they will scratch up the leaves(good exercise). This will give you time to get something alittle bigger. As long as they have good ventilation in the coop they'll be fine. I don't like putting outside animals in a heated place. I think they stay healthier if the are kept as natural as possible. Will

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