Our chickens are all of very cold-hardy breeds, so they do fine with winter. But chickens generally don’t like snow, so I was concerned that our new larger flock would get bored being cooped-up (rimshot!) all winter.
An old blog post by Walter Jeffries about his winter chicken strategy caught my eye, and I decided to adapt his “chicken sunroom” to our situation. His was standalone, but I thought it’d be easier and lower risk to extend our existing coop. Without the benefit of well-trained farm dogs, I also thought we needed a bit more in the predator defense department, so I put a proper door (made from an old wooden screen framed in scrap 2x4s attached to T-posts) on the exposed side of the sunroom.
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out (a door was cut from the sunroom into the coop after the pictures above were taken), and the chickens seem to dig it. Even though it’s not yet particularly cold out, it’s much warmer in the sunroom.
Next up in the chickens-in-winter department, I have schemes of building a passive solar heated water tank attached to the same Avian Aqua Misers I use in the summer.