Winterizing the run


May 28, 2021
Hey all!
I am currently in the process of winterizing my coops and runs.
I have:
A small coop and run that houses a pair of lavender Orpingtons.
A medium coop and run that houses my bantams
And a huge coop and run that houses my main Flock of standard-giant breeds. My brooder room is also inside of the huge coop and currently contains 12 7 week old chicks.

I just brought home 12 huge lumber tarps. I also have on hand some thinner clear plastic and a couple of heavy duty tarps.
This evening I wrapped three sides of my Bantam run in the lumber tarps and covered the roof with three layers consisting of: a heavy duty tarp as the base layer, a pool liner for durability and then a thin lumber tarp on top for rain to run off and to make it easier to rake snow off in the winter. I left the front of the run open for air flow. Now that that is all said and done when I stood back and looked it over I realized its going to be a bit dark in there! Now I know darkness will decrease or stop egg production in the winter which I am ok with BUT will it being a bit dark in the coop and run harm them? I'm wondering if I should cut some panels out of the sides and cover those cut out sections with the thinner clear plastic instead to let more light in?

For the big coop I was planning to line the coop walls with the lumber tarps to block any potential drafts (though it is pretty well sealed to begin with minus the vents along the roof) but other than not being drafty it really isn't insulated. I use the deep litter method in the coop and I will not be heating the coop or adding artificial light. Will my birds be ok as long as the coop is dry and draft free?
The big run I am still trying to decide on the best route for.. I had planned to do it the same as the Bantam run but after realizing how dark it made their run I am trying to think of a better way to do it... I was thinking of possibly wrapping the bottom two to three feet with the lumber tarps but then using the thinner clear plastic to wrap the tops of the walls to hopefully let more light in. The big run currently has a large silver tarp covering the hardware cloth roof (this is how it has been all summer) and because that tarp has started to break down in some spots I planned to cover it with another layer, most likely one of the black lumber tarps to keep snow and rain out and possibly help absorb some of the sunlight and hopefully keep it just a tad warmer. Would leaving just the top few feet covered with the clear plastic keep it bright enough for them in there? Or would it be better to completely wrap the run in the tarps minus one side and then cut windows throughout and cover with clear plastic for light?

The smaller run for my LO pair I plan to wrap on one side with a dark tarp and the opposite side with the clear plastic (this run is an A frame) and then leave one end open to air. I am pretty sure this will keep it bright enough for those two. Their coop is a bit more insulated so I think they are ok in that aspect.

Thank you for reading this far! Do these plans sound decent for my flock?
I am in NY so my Winters are typically pretty cold (last year we had quite a few below zero days) and sometimes very windy, wet and snowy.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You definitely want some light....and some ventilation.
Best to leave 6-8" open at the top of run walls when putting up wind blocks.

Pics would be most helpful here.

I am in NY
Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!

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