trying to keep snow out of run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by roxyblue, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    pittsburgh, PA
    Hey everyone!
    this is my second winter that I have had chickens. From my experiences last year I have learned that my chickens really aren't to fond of snow, (though they like to eat it [​IMG] ). my coop set up is kind of complecated to picture.... I have a small coop meant for two to four chickens. The original run is also big enough to hold up to four chickens but I wanted to give them some more space to roam whenever they felt like it, (because they have resricted free range times due to hawks and other dangers). Soooo I built an additional run that they also have acsess to. last year I covered the original run with plastic, the problem is that I had only two chickens last winter. now I have four darling chooks running around the yard, and I really want them to have more space then that. The problem is that it just isn't practicle to cover the larger run with plastic as well [​IMG]. before this post gets WAY to long, I would just like to ask everyone what they do with there chickens during the winter.
    thank you everyone,
  2. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    I cover my entire run with a tarp, sides to. I leave one end open during the day if its not snowing for light and my run stays dry and snow free.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I bought myself an electric snow shovel after last winter. I am looking forward to using it. Last winter I had to shovel as much of my run as I could because my doorway is too narrow to admit my snowblower. Never again! I nearly broke myself, and I was only able to clear about half my run (which was still around 400 sq. ft.). I also threw some pallets in my run to allow the chickens to get above the snow, which helped out a lot. My princesses hate the snow, too. They would sit inside the coop all day during the winter if given the chance.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Now we have a lot of the run covered. Before that, I shoveled the snow out of the run. My chickens don't have as much space in the winter as they do in the growing season, when they're free ranging, but they do fine. How much space will your chickens have in the part of the run that's covered?
  5. srothove

    srothove Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 5, 2011
    My ladies are currently chillin' in their coop as it snows outside. I opened the door to see if they would range and they didn't budge. How is that for PRINCESSES?

    Apparently, they don't like snow yet.
  6. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    pittsburgh, PA
    thank you everyone!
    those all sound like great Ideas, question, how do you shovel snow of of straw, or do you not at all? the small covered run is only about 4 by 8, I don't like leaving my poor girlies in that all day. I think I might try the tarp Idea, does it need a lot of support to hold up the snow? or can it hold on it own while covering a say 15 by 10 area?
    Thanks again everbody
    have a great day!
  7. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a tarp covered 11 x 11 ft run for my chickens. It also has a double layer of chicken wire with a center support with a crosspiece. With all the rain we had a few weeks ago I had to add a few additonal supports. I am afraid it is going to collapse if we get a lot of snow. When it rains I have to go up there and lift the saggy places so that it drains. I saw on here that people make hooped roofs out of plastic tubing. I think I might look into that since it is said that the snow will fall off of that instead of piling up and sagging. Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  8. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    I would agree with everyone else by using a tarp. They are pretty cheap at Lowe's or Harbor Freight.

    If your run is covered with wire so the preditors in the sky wont get in, then all you would have to do is drape the tarp over your run and secure it to the sides with staples are tacks or something like that.

    Good Luck and hope this helped some.
  9. Goaldielocks

    Goaldielocks Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Hi! We have a run that is covered, but the 3 sides are open with chicken wire. Before the snow blows, we cover the 2 larger sides with clear plastic. That way the girls can get fresh air, bit no real breezes. They can hang out in the winter and I can still see them from the house. Having the sides keeps the snow out, which is great for them, and less messy in the spring for us and them. We also snow blow paths throughout the yard for the chicks and the kids. It's like having a labyrinth for them to walk though AND they haven't realized yet that they can fly over the snow, so they stay along the path. I never lose them in the winter! [​IMG]
  10. anderson8505

    anderson8505 Peace, Love & Happy Chickens

    I live in Florida, so I'm just posting this to rub it in.... [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by