Tag / weatherproofing chicken coop

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Bad Hair Day

Clockwise from top left: Autumn, Feathers, Meesha, Feathers

 The northeast was slammed again with more snow.  The Cape got rain and let me say, lots of it.  The ground was already frozen with a combination of old snow and ice.  This did not allow the freezing rain to go many places.  In some areas of our yard, the ice is at least 6 inches deep.  Salting and sanding our driveway did little to help.  The salt drilled holes into the ice but did not melt it. 

The chickens were kept pretty dry thanks to my weatherproofing.  However, most of the Silkies ended up today having bad hair days.  Dried mud caked onto their head feathers made for pretty silly looking birds this morning.  Dolly was the only one who maintained her gorgeous coif.  That doesn’t surprise me, she is our most sophisticated and proper Silkie in the bunch!

Lookin’ good Dolly

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Chickens Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

Jack Frost Nipping at My Coop

Earlier this week we had some of the coldest temperatures in years.  Two days ago, I awoke to find the thermometer reading 1degree F with a wind chill of -15 degrees F.  I certainly forgot how cold that truly felt.  The warnings on the TV said frostbite could happen in exposures lasting 10 minutes.

I was nervous to see how the girls were fairing in the weather.  I found the water dish in the coop was a frozen block of ice.  Some say the coop remains about 10 degrees warmer inside than outside in the night.  All I know, is that for the first time in a while, the water was frozen through.  The girls ran out into the run as usual.  They did not seem to be affected by the cold.

I then checked for eggs.  Suddenly, I heard an unexpected cracking noise.  Uh oh…what was that?  I put the lid down, revealing the weatherproofing cover I had made for the coop had become brittle and cracked; snapping into shards of little pieces.  I felt defeated.  My heart sunk.  I also knew that I needed to repair this problem before the afternoon.  Predictions said we were going to get snow and rain later in the day.  If I did not make the repair this morning, the flock would get wet.

As quickly as I could, I removed what remained of the old plastic.  My gloved fingers were like ice kabobs.  My nose was frozen and I knew that time was not on my side!  Into the house, I took some new plastic from the garage, what remained of the old original plastic and the screws.  After about 5 minutes, the plastic warmed up enough to regain flexibility.  Warm in the house, I used the old plastic as a template.  In the new plastic, I partially turned the screws into their preset locations.  Then back outside I went with my new cover.

As fast as my fingers could work, I screwed in the plastic.  It is not perfect.  Within 2 minutes of being outside, the new piece began to become very cold and lost most of it’s flexibility.  By the last screw, a corner cracked off when I mistakenly placed my hand there for leverage.  Oh well,  I thought, at least the coop is weatherproof once again.  I had a sharp reminder that I am not is Southern California anymore.  I learned what happens to plastic in the cold!  For now, the job that I did should last until Spring.  I just hope Spring does not take it’s time to arrive as it usually does on Cape Cod.

Chickens Coop Care Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

Bring it On, We are Weatherproof!

Oyster Cracker staying dry.

One of the cardinal rules in raising backyard chickens is to maintain a dry weathertight coop with excellent ventilation.  For the past 2 months, I have been trying to fix a leak in the nesting boxes.  I had troubleshooted like crazy, trying to figure out where the water was getting in.  Obviously there was a flaw in the design and I was determined to remedy the situation.  The leak did not cause puddles in the boxes.  It just caused the walls to get wet. I could not accept wet walls, as they can lead to mold and sick chickens.  Since we live in the Northeast, I also wanted to create a cover for the run that would serve a few purposes.  The cover would allow the chickens to go out in nasty weather.  It should keep the run dry and protect it from snow.  In addition, I wanted the cover to be removable and easy to store.  Thus, I made a trip to Home Depot with my ideas firmly planted in my head.