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Winter preparation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by madcar, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. madcar

    madcar Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] I live by the ocean in Canada where are winters are cold, snowy and damp. We often get rain and freezing rain. I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on putting a tarp or some sort of plastic on and around my chicken run. It's currently below zero at the moment with a few inches of snow on the ground. The girls do go out in the run but not for long. I want them to have use of their run as much as possible. Thoughts???
     
  2. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMO, a roof over the run would help the most, but you'd have to allow for snow load. Then wrapping the sides with plastic tarps, keeping several inches near the top open for ventilation. That would give your chickens a dry, draft-free place to "stretch their legs" even in the bad weather.
     
  3. madcar

    madcar Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok sounds good. May have to build a ridge on the top of the run for snow to slide off the tarps. I was thinking of wrapping it in a vapour barrier to get a greenhouse effect. That may work on sunny days perhaps.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    How much snow can you get piled up?
    Snow load, especially wet snow preceded by freezing rain, can collapse even a large mesh roof structure pretty quick.
    A tarp, even with a sharp ridge in the middle, could be disastrous unless you can clear it off regularly.
    Might want to get a roof rake too. ;-)
     
  5. madcar

    madcar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2015
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    Ok good advice. My run really isn't built to withstand snow load. We get quite a bit of wet heavy snow. The top of the run just has 2" chicken wire covering it. It's nice when it rains cause the poo gets washed away in the sand and gravel floor that they have. Not too sure what to do now. Let it pile up with snow??
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I personally would block the sides where the prevailing winds come from with plywood or wooden fence panels, than shovel the run as needed and put down hay or straw to stand on, wrapping a run and turning it into a greenhouse can be a lot of work as well as being ripped apart by winds or collapsed by snow. Hay bales can be used as insulation around the coop and run as well.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wrapping the coop with clear plastic creates a nice greenhouse effect, and it is noticeably warmer inside. Once I wrap my coop, the waterers stop freezing during the day and the lack of wind makes it much nicer inside. On sunny days, the temps could be in the 20-30's outside, and the wrapped pen will get into the 50-60's. I attach the clear shower curtains with screws and fender washers, and I typically get 2 winters out of the shower curtains. I pay $5 for them at a local discount store.

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