Winter Questions: Snow and the Chicken Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LN2008, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. LN2008

    LN2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2011
    Larryville, KS
    Hi guys. I just wondered it if was important to try to keep the run as snow free as possible. In the winters here (Kansas) we can get some accumulation which can sometimes also freeze over due to random warm ups. Any tricks or tips? I'd like to keep this coop/run as safe as possible for everyone involved, including the humans.
  2. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    Last winter, once we got some snow my girls didn't want to walk on it. I tried to shovel out as much as I could from the run and then put down wood chips which made them happy. LOL

    This year we have a different set up and my DH covered the run with a roof. It also is enclosed on 3 sides with walls (one is the side of the coop) with plastic windows on the side with the people door for light and for us to look into the run if it's closed up. The other side is just hardware cloth fencing, and it is on the side that doesn't drift much; but we will probably cover it with some clear plastic sheeting to keep the snow and wind out. I'm hoping we don't have a snowy winter. The girls really love to free range around and it can be a long time to be "cooped up".
  3. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  4. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  5. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I have my run covered with sheet metal
    and I am very very pleased with this run, I got all the metal for $175 and it worth every penny I spent on it.
  6. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Last year, my chickens would not come out of the coop until I got out there with a shovel and shoveled not only the ramp, but part of the run. We threw straw down over the snow in the run that I couldn't quite scrape out with a shovel because otherwise they wouldn't walk on it. It worked well, except that straw breaks down into a bit of a stinky mess in the mud and much of spring. This summer, my DH put a roof on the run, so I'm hoping that will keep the need to shovel to a minimum. Also, last year we covered the west and north sides of the run with a tarp and plan to do the same this year. I'm contemplating covering the lower half of the east side with thick plastic, but I'm not sure how much that will actually help to keep the snow out. What we'll probably do is cover the west and north sides as soon as it gets cold (it cuts the wind and makes it feel significantly warmer in the run) and wait for the first snow fall to see how much blows in under the roof.
  7. HarryBun12

    HarryBun12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2009
    I have two chicken runs and both have roofs here in WI. In the winter I secure thick clear plastic sheeting around most of the run. I make sure there's still air flow but almost all the snow stays out and I have happy chickens who go out in the run every day. I've not had them stay in the coop once in 3 years of snowy, freezing weather in the winter. In the past I've stapled the plastic on, but that means in the spring I'm pulling staples out of the frame of the run. I'm trying to come up with a diffent way of securing it- even allowing me to roll it up on nicer days. I've not come up with anything yet, but I've got LOTS of time before winter. Right?
  8. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Quote:Try heavy duty clothes pins or binder clips from the office supply store. Very handy. You might need secure the bottom by putting a 2"X4"s on the bottom if you have a lot of wind.
  9. rngrbill

    rngrbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Covered my run with fiberglass roofing, one side against a stockade fence about 10" away, Coop on one side with 8" opening on bottom.

    Other 2 sides I am wrapping with cloth dropcloth. Should allow it to breath. will have to figure out the door opening. will still need acces but we are talking about 5-6' from house. might do the plastic thing there. It's in a pretty protected place. My biggest worry is snow from the house roof.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  10. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Wow, please don't tell my chickens that other chickens live like this. I always shovel the run for them (inner run gate is too small for snow blower), but chickens have lived for 18 years here with no roof, no insulation & no covered run sides. Their coop is draft free, but I do keep the front windows open 24/7/365, unless it will be snowing in. I have a water heater base. Anything on the outside of the run would get ripped off pronto here in Breezy Corners. The chickens manage just fine.

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