Winter weather has arrived in Zone 4 Canada, although the homestead and I are not quite ready. We hastily installed the new poly plastic roof on the outer cage of the hen house yesterday, in the dark, as it started raining. This morning it started snowing and the snow continued to blow through the open coop door and accumulate on the wood chips. Tonight, I brushed as much snow off the wood chips as possible (using a car snow scraper) and just managed to squeeze the door shut with all the ice built up around the door frame. Then later tonight we got the poly panel up on the north side of the coop. Instantly all the winter weather nastiness stopped blowing on the coop and all was quiet. We had a peek through the coop window and the hens looked like they were having a disco party with the coop softly lit with christmas lights. The christmas lights have really done the trick with getting the hens laying. After one week we started getting eggs again after about a two month hiatus.
Only three more poly panels to go.
It's taking us awhile as we wanted to get the fire wood loading window installed in the basement first and rather than throwing a tarp over the hen house we're building removable poly panels for all the sides of the coop and a permanent poly roof. We're hoping this will last a few years and the hard work upfront will pay off year after year.
Also on the chicken to do list is another ventilation opening to increase air circulation. I want the girls to have more fresh air because even with six inches deep of wood chip bedding, the ammonia smell is too strong, so that I end up propping open the egg laying door to let fresh air in during the day.