Winterizing chicken coop : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Our chickens are in two former rabbit hutches. For the winter, I've begun stapling clear plastic over the wire. Since the bottom is all wire, too, I'm wondering what to do. If I also swing the plastic underneath, then put in some shavings (cedar or pine), will that be adequate, and will the droppings accumulate too much? I suppose on nicer days we can let down the plastic and clean it out. Does this sound logical? Any other suggestions? Husband doesn't want to take the time to saw boards to neatly fit in.

-- Christina (, November 07, 2001


Why not just fill the coops with hay or shavings and clean as needed?

-- teresa (, November 07, 2001.

I wouldn't completely cover with plastic. They need ventilation. Chickens are pretty hardy actually. I cover the windows on my coop with plastic to keep out major winds, but allow them access to come & go in & out as they please all winter. You might get some frostbitten combs occasionally. Just make sure they have water & feed at all times. They should winter fine.

-- Wendy (, November 07, 2001.

It really depends on where you live re: the cold. Where I am at that would barely keep them alive, too cold and windy and little sunlight. Can you move them to a solid place for the winter?

-- Anne (, November 07, 2001.

Had a friend of mine that used rabbit hutches for her chickens. She put them down on the ground and put straw in them. Do they have a roof? If you didn't mind having to clean them up weekly or so, you could use newspapers in the bottom of the cage and put the straw on top of those. You do need to have protection for their feet, they can get frostbite too. A little straw ought to do the trick.

-- Nan (, November 08, 2001.

Several layers of cardboard under coop, held tight to the bottom with bungee cords. Will protect from wind, easy to change, has insulating value, and is free. Thick layer of straw or leaves inside. And - your birds need a perch to sleep on.

-- Sandy in MN (, November 08, 2001.


How about stacking bales of old hay or straw around the bottom? That would keep the wind out and still allow the droppings to fall through and your husband wouldn't have to do any carpentry.

We get straw to use for insulation and to spread on the floor of the coop for the winter. We have also stacked some covered by a tarp on the north side of our kennel fencing for the dogs to have a windbreak. The used straw will go to the garden as mulch in the spring. Perhaps you could stack straw around the hutch/coop and cover it with a tarp too?

-- LBD (, November 09, 2001.

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