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Winterization of our Coop (Rainy Washington state)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sheilawagner, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Pacific NorthWest
    While we had some sunny crisp autumn days, we winterized our coop as a necessity to guard against the Seattle rain. As some of you may know, we can get rain 3 months straight. Fortunately, we don't have minus 0 temps, so we didn't insulate the coop. However, adding tarps to all the sides of the enclosure was a necessity.

    All the sides have the costco barn tarp on. We simply used the grommets that came with the sides, and attached them to the screws on the frame.

    Even the bottom of the 8x8 house needed to be shielded on the sides to prevent windy drafts and the snow from bugging the peeps too much. We reused thick plastic sheets which we cut from a swimming pool liner. We don't have any snow yet, but it might come and stick around, like the winter of 07-08.

    We wanted to create a greenhouse effect with the plastic sheets. So we used a translucent plastic at the top (triangle sides) and left the opaque costco barn sides for the enclosure. This will stop the rain and wind from going into the enclosure, thus creating more footage and dry space for the birds.

    We left the back wall plastic sheet translucent because that was the sunny side. It will brighten the enclosure within and make it cheerful. Let's hope the plastic stays robust through the seattle wind storms. We might have to work at that. Under the roof, where the beams meet the back wall, there are gaps in there in between the corrugated plastic roofing. That will help with air circulation.

    We decided to leave the door open for now, no tarp yet. It seems to help with light from this side, and also helps with air circulation.

    From the inside looking up. We created an overhang with the roof. That helped a lot with keeping the rain out. It is quite amazing actually, stepping into the enclosure, I can feel a distinct temperature difference. It really is cozy and warm in there.

    The light from the sun coming in through the back helps, and the transparent corrugated roof lets in lots of light too. Makes it more appealing for me to spend time with my peeps in winter.

    We found out that on rainy days, the chickens, of all the age groups and sizes, love to dry their feathers under the heat lamp. I know this is a luxury, but I don't mind spoiling my peeps. If it keeps them warm, and happy, and we can afford it, then why not?

    I think my chickens are spoilt rotten.

    We noticed that on wet eeky days, the chickens improvised by taking their dust baths in the enclosure where it is dry. They just ruffle up all their shavings, digging the earth around, and just have a happy time. I don't mind, and they seem happy.

    View from the human door to the enclosure.

    Let winter come!! We're ready. Keeping fingers crossed.

  2. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Uh, can I move in? That looks like a nice place to go and hang out with your birds.
  3. Amitist

    Amitist Songster

    Aug 16, 2010
    Erlanger, KY
    [​IMG] You just inspired me to make a coop a like yours.
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    That looks very nice. My chickens should be so lucky

  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Very nice! That's exactly what we did to our chicken run and also my smaller a-frame coop here in Ohio. The roof is very similar too. We put a heat lamp in the chicken run too, since it's totally sheltered, and that keeps their water from freezing over, and giving them extra lighting, because Ohio gets dark at around 5:30pm. Such a bummer!
  6. swimmer

    swimmer Songster

    Aug 17, 2010
    Go way to use the old pool liner. Should hold up well.

  7. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Crowing

    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    [​IMG] Man I want to move too! What a cool set-up, I especially like the decorating. [​IMG] Those are some lucky fuzzy-butts!
  8. calista

    calista Songster

    Jan 27, 2010
    You've done a super job getting ready for the endless days of rain and gloom to come, and your birds will stay happy and healthy until the sun shows up again.

    I'm speaking from just east of Chehalis, and I have to laugh, imagining what my Depression-era grandfather would say about your setup. His coop was open-air and his flock regularly waded through chest-high drifts in the Cascade mountains where he homesteaded in Oregon, just to reach their food dish. He threw some scratch in there daily, assumed the flock headed to the little stream to drink water, and figured snow would do for dust-bathing.

    As you can imagine, those were SOME tough birds he kept alive through every winter -- literally and figuratively!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.
  9. Cargo

    Cargo Songster

    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    Nice job. [​IMG]

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