Winter preparation

madcar

In the Brooder
Jul 19, 2015
70
1
48
Canada
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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???
 

ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
244
161
SW Ohio
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.
 

madcar

In the Brooder
Jul 19, 2015
70
1
48
Canada
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.
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.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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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. ;-)
 

madcar

In the Brooder
Jul 19, 2015
70
1
48
Canada
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. ;-)
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??
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
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.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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Quote: I have 2x4 welded wire on my run walls and roof...and we got 130-150" of snow both of the last 2 years.
First winter was good to go until the last wet snow when it darn near collapsed and I had to wade thru knee deep snow to knock it off from underneath.

Most the snow goes thru the wire and I shovel out part of the run, between the run door and the poop door and bit beyond......
......and a path all the way down to the end of the run so it's easier to walk down and can knock off any snow gathered on the wire when it does stick which also gives the bird more ground to wander.
Luckily with the 2x4 wire spacing, most snow falls thru it and I can throw the shoveled snow thru to outside the run.

We've had one good snow(8" total) so far this year, it was very wet and stuck.
First 4" came in overnight

Successfully cleared off..... and I had to clear it every couple hours the following day as it continued to snow.
I just walk underneath and bang the bottom of the roof with the snow shovel.


This kind of shows where I shovel between run door and pop door.
 
Last edited:

thomasboyle

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
935
320
186
NW Hills of CT
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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