Worried About the Weather

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Naturegirl155, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Naturegirl155

    Naturegirl155 Chirping

    Dec 11, 2017
    As I head into my first winter with chickens in CT, I'm starting to get nervous that I haven't done enough to prepare for winter cold, especially after last night.

    I'll post some pictures of the coop, the modifications I made for the coop, the run, and the modifications I made for the run. Any feedback or suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated!

    The Coop: We bought the coop from tractor supply because it was cheap and we got what we paid for. I didn't trust the quality of coop, so the first thing I did to reinforce it was to locate it right next to our detached garage, facing South.

    I dug out and leveled a spot for the wood frame base my husband built. I covered the base with landscape hardware and filled it with stone dust. We screwed the coop to the base after I put another screen of landscape hardware directly under the coop.

    To winterize the coop, I covered the screened sides with scrap wood. The West side of the coop (where the nest boxes are located) is covered with a combo of landscape fabric and burlap to cut down on drafts. (I left the vent accessible). Inside, I insulated with a combo of cardboard and recycled denim insulation wrapped in landscape fabric to reduce damage from pecking.

    The Run: The Run is 12 feet wide by about 40 feet long. We built it alongside our existing dog fence with access to the dog yard for a wider range when we are home. The top of the chicken run is covered with chicken wire to keep birds of prey out (and keep birds of lay in!).

    To winterize the run, I sandwiched the fence sections around the coop with landscape fabric and burlap (the looser burlap keeps moisture off the fencing material). This cuts down on the wind in the run while still allowing sun to stream in and warm the coop during the day.

    Food and Water: I keep food and water in the run but out of the coop to minimize the risk of critters trying to chew their way in and to reduce the risk of water spills or too much humidity. I built an A frame out of pallets for the food bucket and the water is kept from freezing with a submersible aquarium heater.

    Last night was the first night I forced Sven and the Coopers to sleep in the enclosed part of the coop rather than on the outter roosting bar they are used to using. I think I'm doing okay by them but I'm new to all of this so any feedback would be welcomed! Screenshot_20171212-195441.png 20170813_200110.jpg 20170813_141935.jpg 20170913_062035.jpg 20170913_062202.jpg 20171211_170207.jpg 20171210_131046.jpg 20171211_165441.jpg
  2. Chickens are the best

    Chickens are the best Chirping

    Dec 10, 2017
  3. Chicken Boy 101

    Chicken Boy 101 Songster

    Dec 12, 2017
    North Dakota
    You'll do great just move your chickens water inside it freezes easy.
  4. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Crossing the Road

    Jan 8, 2017
    NE Indiana
    My Coop
    What do you have over your run? Never mind, I just reread and saw that you have chicken wire. :) I wouldn’t worry to much. My girls are in a similar tsc coop and they are doing well. We've had some up and down temps. Cold at night in the teens. Then this weekend high of 40. I might put a feed bag as insulation in front of nest box door, but other than that, I’m not making any changes. Oh, I have put plastic and a tarp up so that they can seek shelter from the snow but still come out of the coop.

    I put my coop up by our shed too. Love your run!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  5. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    The key is good ventilation (about 1 sq ft per bird), dry and draft free. Wider roosts help them keep their toes warm. It looks like you're pretty well set, but without knowing your wind it's difficult to say for certain.
  6. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Crowing

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    Sounds like you've done everything I've learned to do. The only thing I'm going to add to my run for the winter (with Christmas I haven't been able to buy the plastic I want) I'm going to buy some heavy duty reinforced plastic to wrap around part of the run just to give them an area out of the wind. This is the area that the coop is in, so it should be helpful to them. I'm hoping this is the coldest we're going to get before the new year... its kinda cold early for Ct.
  7. Altfrizzle

    Altfrizzle Songster

    Sep 1, 2017
    Ridgefield, CT
    CT represent!

    Yeah, I added plastic around the lower part of my run, too, as additional windbreak. My chickies were all just fine this morning, and ran outside for treats. I did give them warm water and warm scratch (I added boiling water and let is sit a bit).
  8. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    Wow, NICE RUN !!! I am sure your hubby will be able to make a great coop that is bigger.
    Only thing I would do is wrap the outer area around the coop so they have a spot that won't get snow and rain on them.
    Hard to tell from the pic but i think that is what you did.
    They should be good.

    BTW we all think we have more to do when Winter comes :love
  9. Naturegirl155

    Naturegirl155 Chirping

    Dec 11, 2017
    Thank you! What I love about BYC is the amount of available information but it can be overwhelming and time consuming to search. :) Posting links to previous threads, conversations, articles etc is so helpful! (and it's nice to know I'm not alone)
  10. Naturegirl155

    Naturegirl155 Chirping

    Dec 11, 2017
    Thank You! :D When I saw the wood the coop was made of, I thought "Oh boy...a rat is going to sneeze and blow a hole in the side of this thing." I was thinking of making a second shelter for them out of recycled pallet wood this summer. Do you know of any articles or threads where I can find some inspiration?

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