Linda and Robert sent in several photos of their beautiful backyard Garden Coop chicken coop, all suited up for the Wisconsin winter. The rest of this post comes straight from them. . . .
Our Wisconsin Garden Coop
This is the backyard chicken coop we built for our six friendly chickens: one Rhode Island Red, four Australorps, and a California White named Cleopatra (the visitor favorite).
Most of the modifications we made to the plans were because we worried how the chickens would handle our frigid Juneau, Wisconsin winters. When I was a young girl, my family had chickens, and I remember the horrible summer night that we lost some to raccoons. Because I feared having to deal with that again, we were careful to make our alterations predator-proof.
The nesting boxes were moved to the outside to give the ladies more room in the henhouse, and the walls and permanent ceiling were insulated. The doors to the nesting boxes have knobs created by my husband that lock in place to prevent raccoons from easily getting in.
The ceiling has a vent hole and we added a window that we got at a local thrift store for ventilation. The screen to the window was replaced with hardware cloth. The people door has a spring-loaded safety latch near the top that we lock at night, but a convenient door knob to use during the day.
We also moved the position of the ladder and put a Lexan door over the entrance to the henhouse. A barrel bolt latch holds the Lexan up or allows us to lower it. We also added a light fixture on a timer to the henhouse. We initially used a nipple-style watering system, but even with a heater in the bucket, the nipples froze, so we changed to a traditional waterer on a pan-style heater when the cold weather hit. Before the snow came, we added canvas tarps attached by snaps to the lower half of the coop to keep snow from accumulating inside the run.
As it turns out, the chickens were more than fine in the cold weather and spent nearly every winter night out on the perch, even in some of the worst weather. The coop has worked well for us and is a nice, attractive addition to our yard. I also really appreciate the protection it provides for our ladies.
Thanks in large part to The Garden Coop design, chicken keeping has been a fun, rewarding experience for us so far!
Linda and Robert
Many thanks to Linda and Robert for sharing their experience with The Garden Coop design in the frigid Wisconsin winter. As you can see, it’s a flexible design that’s easy to modify to suit most any climate. If you like what they’ve done with their coop, leave a quick comment below. And for more coop idea, photos, and tips, subscribe to Coop Thoughts. It’s free, ad-free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.