totally enclosed wood run?

wooded acres

Mar 1, 2015
north country NY
We're building out first chicken coop and after deciding on a design my husband keeps changing his mind... We had originally planned on a 12x6 shelter; a 24sq ft raised coop with attached run enclosed in hardware cloth with a metal roof. Now he's convinced the run area should be totally enclosed with wood and have shutters/windows to allow for circulation during the warm months but keep the chickens warm during our harsh winters... I feel like this is overkill and it's just kind of making a huge coop. We get a lot of snow and wind so he's worried they'll be sitting in the tiny coop all day in the winter, fearing the run will fill with snow and be too exposed to the elements. I plan to let the chickens free range during the day as long as I'm home to keep an eye on things. I made sure to pick cold hardy breeds so my thinking is they'll brave the winter if they want to come out and play. I suggested maybe having removable side "walls" that could be installed in the wintertime but the hubby feels that's not weatherproof enough. Any advice would be appreciated.
A run with wooden sides and windows would basically be an oversize coop. Chickens would much prefer an outdoor setting for their run, fresh air, natural light, something to see.

So instead of adding solid wooden walls to the run, consider adding a roof, which would help tremendously to expand chicken's activity space without worrying about muddy ground or snow inside the run. Many people put up clear plastic tarp or plastic panels in the winter along the lower half of the run to shield it from snow and wind. It is only done on the lower half or the windward side because chickens really need lots of ventilation, otherwise, condensation in the cold will give them frost bite.

Here is my cold weather setup by adding clear corrugated plastic panels to the run:

Here is my warm weather setup with just a clear roof above the run:

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