Winterizing the coop for a UP winter

PileatedFarms

Chirping
Jun 29, 2021
55
237
76
Michigan
Hi chicken friends!

UP chickeners here. We have read up on winterizing and have seen how different the answers can be so we wanted to reach out here for help:

Our coop is constructed in 4 layers: plywood on the inside, then Tyvek wrapping, then roof ice shield wrap, then ¾ wood planks for the exterior.

Do we have to add insulation to this setup? Thanks for any answers in advance!
 

PileatedFarms

Chirping
Jun 29, 2021
55
237
76
Michigan
We have 8 chickens with a coop of 6ft wide by 9ft long and a ceiling that slopes from 7ft to 4ft - metal roof on it with plywood, then roof ice shield, then metal roof.

We have vents on both walls, with the back wall having 10-12 open holes ranging from 2-4 inches wide (all hardwire clothed!!)

Their run is 6ft by 24ft, partial metal roof on the run - we have straw and a plan to winterize the run.

I attached a photo of our coop/run
 

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PileatedFarms

Chirping
Jun 29, 2021
55
237
76
Michigan
We have 8 chickens with a coop of 6ft wide by 9ft long and a ceiling that slopes from 7ft to 4ft - metal roof on it with plywood, then roof ice shield, then metal roof.

We have vents on both walls, with the back wall having 10-12 open holes ranging from 2-4 inches wide (all hardwire clothed!!)

Their run is 6ft by 24ft, partial metal roof on the run - we have straw and a plan to winterize the run.

I attached a photo of our coop/run
Here is a pic of the back ventilation!
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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WA, Pac NW
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Here is a pic of the back ventilation!
Unfortunately those little circle vents don't provide that much ventilation, if you calculate the actual surface area... Are the narrow vents on the taller wall completely open behind the louvered covers, and how large are those?

I have circle vents too under my roofline (40 of them) which does start to add up when you have that many, but I also have a ridge vent, gable vent, floor vents and 5 windows to add to the ventilation total. However we don't get as cold or snowbound here, so not all of that would be suitable in your location and build.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,129
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southern Michigan
More ventilation needed!
And a run upgrade for safety.
Those back wall holes provide little ventilation, and in winter will blow cold air right over your roosting birds. Larger rectangular hardware cloth openings along that wall will be great in better weather, either baffled or covered in sheet vinyl during winter.
In general, large openings on the south side and leeward sides are great all year, with sheet vinyl or something to block the worst weather, leaving the upper areas open for ventilation all year.
@Alaskan has good advice for really extreme climates, look it up.
Consider adding hardware cloth inside the woven wire (?) on your run walls, up to the roof, with no openings larger than 1/2" anywhere. Is there a barrier to digging into the run? With better predator proofing, and sheet vinyl on at least three sides, that run is an all weather happy place, especially when there's snow everywhere else.
For bears you need to add electric fencing!!!
My coop and run have evolved over many years, and here it is now;
20210102_145019.jpg
IMG_1384.JPG

The long tall side faces south, the short north side is solid, and the west side has a window, covered in sheet vinyl like the little south window in winter, plus the west side has a house type baffled vent up high.
It's all on an old concrete foundation, which makes it a large coop, with those open walls on two sides.
IMG_0224.JPG

Mary
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
34,421
70,972
1,462
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
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X2 on the previous advice.

I would add that:

1. I applaud your space in the coop

2. The UP tends to get hammered by snow, and the roof over your run is not steep enough to shed snow. That worries me. Not sure if you would rather wake up in the middle of the night to shovel snow or change the slope of that roof.

3. I would pop a big vent on the side wall of the coop that is protected by the run roof. So a vent almost the full width of the coop and triangle shape to follow the run roof. Maybe 2 feet tall at the big end. If snow or wind blows in through this new vent that I suggest, then put a plastic panel on the 2 run sides that are adjacent.

4. A run that is roofed is pretty swank. If you have lots of wind then cover the walls of the run with clear plastic, or fogged windows, something to block wind. Don't close up all of the run, you need ventilation. At most I would have 3 walls covered, and one wall fully open.

BUT, with your gobs of snow, you might have to put plastic around the sides for the bottom 3 feet or more just to keep snow from rolling in. Depends on how wet your snow is.

I have chickenwire as a run roof, and in my super humid climate it holds the snow so the run stays pretty snow free. NO, it does NOT shed the snow, but I built the supports with that in mind, (super beefy to hold weight), and so far so good.

This is my bantam coop last winter. Yes the gate is leaning a bit, the bottom sill is rotting, the lean is not due to the snow load.
20210123_175550.jpg
 

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