More Tweaking of the Chicken Run

The wet and cold weather is coming on fast in Michigan. When the days grow shorter and autumn’s brisk entry turned leaves colorful and crisp the dipping temperature mean its time to think seriously about preparing your chicken coop and run for the coming winter. Because many backyard chickens live outside and are exposed to the elements cool chill we need to think about preparing their coop and their runs.

Our coop is brand new so most drafts have been eliminated. We’ve already added the pink foam insulation in the roof gable and screwed in the winter boards to the roof itself so we are already half-way there. The water heater is in the chicken waterer and the electric light is ready to turn on.

Today was my husband’s day off and it was time to make a quick and easy wind break for the chicken run. While this won’t help them a lot in the deep snow of winter, I am hoping this tarp may give them a few more extended weeks of free ranging. Our babies are still little and I have to be very careful of them getting wet and cold. 

Gene at corner USE

Adding a repurposed tarp as a wind break to the chickens favorite corner of the run. They follow the sun when it is out and lay and bathe in the warm and sunny soil.

We talked about buying construction grade plastic or a few cheap tarps. Then my husband mentioned repurposing our old brown tarp that was pretty much torn in half. Brilliant idea! This tarp had been sitting under a pile of pea gravel for many years and the wear and tear tore it almost in half.

Doing the tarp USE

I am standing in the vegetable garden facing the North side of the run. The black plastic mulch is laying on a large area of weeds to solarize and kill those weeds.

We picked the north and west sides of the coop to tarp since the wind blows in the hardest here from the west. Beautiful Lake Michigan is the final watershed located to the west of our property so that is where the wind blows in as well. This corner is generally the sunniest corner of the run when there is sunshine too.

VERT tarp at gate pole

Tarp stapled to the wood post at the gate.

We simply folded the tarp over the chicken wire and wood pieces and used the stapled gun to attach the tap to the wood pieces at the bottom and the wooden poles at the gates. We also moved the galvanized water tank from the chicken run and into the vegetable garden where we are really using it for spot watering.

VERT coop under trees USE

The view of the South side of the chicken run sitting under the tall White Oak tree that provides shade to the run and coop.

This is such a simple but important project for chicken babies who should not be left in windy drafts.

Small House homesteader and chicken keeper, Donna


One thought on “More Tweaking of the Chicken Run

  1. I love reading your posts! We’re considering raising some chickens, so this gives me an idea of what I need to do in the winter, although I’m in the South East, so winter here isn’t quite as rough as what you guys get!


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