Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Winterizing the Chicken Run

We are expecting below freezing weather this weekend and that coupled with the rain we are getting and will continue to get has prompted us to winterize the coop. Cold, wet chickens are not what we want.

Here is the coop/ run as seen from our kitchen door. It really is in the woods :)

A close up shows that we added a painting tarp over part of the run and then stacked some hay bales on two sides to create a snug corner to keep out rain and wind.

In this picture, you can see some of the hay bales and in the background, the laying boxes and a few chickens :)

Another close up from the side. We only covered the top and two sides with plastic so that we would still have ventilation. They have a warm coop, but all of them prefer to be outside of the coop in the run. This will hopefully help them stay dry and warm when the weather gets cold and wet.


Alea said...

I love how you winterized the chicken coop! I hope the chickens do well over the winter. Will they continue to lay eggs when it gets cold?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of doing something similiar this weekend. It's cold today!

Our coop is actually closed in on the north side and open on the south/east side. I'd have to wrap something around to keep in some warmth.

Do you find your chickens would rather be in the rain than inside the coop? Mine were out in all that pouring rain during the week rather than stay where it was dry.

How do you keep your food from getting wet and turning to mush?

The Book Lady Online said...

Alea, I think they will, though maybe fewer eggs. We have dual purpose birds, but most are supposed to be very good layers, even in winter. I'm keeping track of their production so we should be able to tell how well they lay in winter.

Paula, my crazy chickens will also stand in the rain instead of getting in the nice dry coop. What's up with that? Honestly, that is one of the reasons we put the plastic up. I was tired of watching my wet chickens walking around in the mud/ wet chicken poop. Yuck!! Their food does not get wet because at this age, we are not leaving food in the coop (they only waste it and poop all over it anyway). We go out 3 times a day and throw scratch or laying pellets into the hay on the run floor and they scratch around for it(we do this at the same time we go to refill their waterer, as they spill that and poop in it, too). They get so happy when they have to scratch around for the food. Its cute to watch them. We also throw kitchen scraps and greens/ grass to them once or twice a day, and the boys bring them bugs throughout the day (since we don't let them forage in the yard or woods anymore). We have about 8-10 inches of hay on the floor of the run, which is helping to keep the mud to a minimum, especially combined with the plastic covering part of the run.

I hope you post pics of what ever you end up doing.