Sunday, November 20, 2011

Winterizing a Chicken Coop

Dan spent some time this weekend winterizing the chicken coop.  If you have heavy drifts in your yard and are looking to winterize a coop or even a dog house, here are a few pointers.  This task can be accomplished with many leftover items in your yard.

Your animals will be most happy if their shelter is draft-free.  When Dan built this chicken coop, he re-purposed our pine baby crib in the process.  He built walls and added both sheet and spray foam insulation.  The coop itself is pretty snug for these hens.  However, their little outdoor run can easily get filled with snow drifts if precaution isn't taken.

Don't you appreciate a well-shoveled walkway?  We think little hens also appreciate a space they can get some fresh air in without having to waddle through snow.

Everything around the yard during fall becomes useful.  See baby's playhouse in the background?  It houses a few bags of leaves that will be used to add new bedding to both the coop and the run as it needs to be replaced several times over winter.  A warm pile of dry leaves is quite cozy for an animal.

Hay bales were used to surround much of the run to ward off drifts that would come in from the west.  We used our fall deco bales that we had out on display in the front yard.  When neighborhood folks put their fall deco bales out for garbage, well, we went and took those, too.  It's all extra protection for the chickens.

The cornstalks that decorated our split rail fance and bean garden will now act as a windbreak.  Winds come from the west, so a solid grouping of stalks tethered together help keep too much wind from entering their little run.

It was also time to bring out the winter watering can.  This waterer is galvanized metal and sits upon an electrically heated pan.  A little extension cord then ensures that the hens' water won't freeze during the night.  They will always have a drink ready to go.  Believe me, you don't want to be sloshing around a bucketful of new water every cold morning when you're headed out the door in your work clothes.

It's also good to tuck a little hay in here and there, or wherever you think snow might start piling up.

We also put our frost-bitten mums out by the coop to add the last bit if cheerful fall color to the landscape.  They no longer look ravishing by the front door, but their crisp curling petals add a little burst of fading color to this now browning landscape.

It is also important to keep the path to the egg door clear.  When snow starts dumpin' down, it won't be so bad if ya just have to clear this little walk-way.  If you had to dig the whole coop out so the girls could get outside, well, that's just tiring thinking about it.

So, here are the girls busy checking out their new landscaping!  They're prepared to get warm and cozy.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Somehow, we both feel we're really gonna get it hard this year, as forcasters are predicting the worst winter ever.  Dan said he feels like he got the girls ready just in time.  One more weekend might have been too late.

This post has been updated for

The Talent Scouting Party at WhisperWood Cottage
for C&B Magazine

And has been shared in the past with:


ImSoVintage said...

Looks like the girls are going to have a nice snuggy winter.

Barb and Dell said...

Your girls will have a comfy cozy winter.

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

What a great way to repurpose so many items, and keep your girls snug for the winter.

Jann Olson said...

Andrea, your girls are going to be so cozy! All that preparation will make for happy hens! I have really wanted a coop. Wondered if it would be hard to take care of in the winter. A friend of mine said that she loved hers in the summeer, but hated it in the winter. Is this your first winter? Let me know how it goes girl.

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...

So interesting!

Barbara Rosenzweig said...

This is the prettiest coop I've ever seen!

Faded Plains said...

Yep...we've got our girls...and boys ready for winter too. They're loving the heat lamp.

Raindrops and Daisies said...

Oh Wow, Andrea, that is fantastic!!!

Love the photos.

Wishing you and your family a very very
happy Thanksgiving
full of happiness and lovely memories.


x Fiona

MELANIE said... interesting! I hope they have a warm cozy winter ahead.

Lucky 7 Design

Kristal said...

I never thought about having to winterize the chicken coop! But you guys made it look so easy and pretty! Boy, those chickens have a cool place to live.


Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

What a great little coop~ so charming too! Thanks for sharing this at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

WhisperWood Cottage said...

Great ideas for chicken owners in cooler climates! Thanks for linking up to The "Autumn Décor" Talent Scouting Party at WhisperWood Cottage!

DREAMA said...

I love this blog ! Please check us out on facebook, The Chicken Coop . We would love for you to post pictures & comments about your blog . You will have to look , for there are a few pages called The Chicken Coop , but we are the ones that have the old barn wood sign , that says: The Chicken Coop . I hope to see ya there . We have over 4000 fans & growing. Thanks ~ Dreama

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