Virtual Chicken Coop Tour No. 12: Six Garden Coops Built and Prepped for the Winter

DIY chicken coop builder holds one of his chickens in front of his backyard chicken coop

In this twelfth ride of the Krewe of Coops, we tour a half dozen coops built using The Garden Coop backyard chicken coop plans and customized for the cold. 

Coop 1: Stephanie’s Garden Coop Chicken Coop near Worcester, Massachusetts

“This is after two blizzards and a few major snow storms. And I can hear the chickens laying from the window.”

Stephanie's Garden Coop chicken coop in a wintry landscape with a few feet of snow atop the roof.

Coop 2: Ingrid and George’s Canadian Garden Coop

“We built our coop with your terrific plans in 2017. Our main concern was how the chickens would cope with an Ontario winter. We didn’t want to add a heater to the coop, so we went with extra protection against the cold. The hen house walls were insulated with three extra layers: 1/4-inch Styrofoam, plywood, and Reflectix insulation. We added a plywood lid to the henhouse, using an insert of polycarbonate for lighting and ventilation. We also wrapped the run in tarps as a final measure.”

Ingrid and George's self-built Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop in a snowy setting

“Well, the chickens loved it. We let them out to roam around the backyard every day. Even in -15 C (5 F) weather, they wanted to go out. They would typically head straight for our bird feeders to look for seeds on the ground and then scratch in the flower beds around the house. The coldest recorded temperature in the henhouse was -21 C (-6 F) on a couple of nights and the hens were fine.”

Backyard chickens inside an insulated henhouse

“We did treat the hens to a three-night ‘staycation’ inside our garage in a covered dog pen with kennels when the overnight temperature dipped below -25c. Other than that, hens and coop handled the cold very well.”

“Chickens and dogs get along just fine.”

Relaxed dog lying in the grass next to a chicken perched on the arm of a chair

Coop 3: Luigi’s Minnesota Chicken Coop, Built Using The Garden Coop Plans

“I fully insulted our coop, including using a double paned window for the front. I partially covered the top with a heavy cloth for the winter, and I installed a temperature controller connected to a heat lamp.”

Pink walk-in chicken coop with external nest boxes and temperature controls

“I also put a wifi-enabled temperature sensor (and probe for the water) and camera in the unit so I could remotely monitor conditions and ‘the girls’ at any time. Thanks for your well-crafted designs. They were a pleasure to work with!” 

Coop 4: Kevin’s Chicken Coop with Solar Panels, Douglas, Massachusetts

“I added solar panels to the roof to power lights and, if needed, a water heater in the winter. I pitched the roof towards the front to give a better angle for the panels.”

Solar panels on roof of Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop in Massachusetts

“I also made external nesting boxes and another box in the back to hold the stuff needed for the solar equipment. I added some vinyl stick-on tiles to make it easier to clean and made a little stick perch for them to hang out on.”

External nest box on the back of a Garden Coop chicken coop, used to store solar panel control equipment
Electronic equipment for solar panel used to heat water for chickens in a backyard chicken coop

Coop 5: David’s Chicken Coop with Poured Concrete Foundation, Bellingham, Washington

“We are very happy with the chicken coop. The doors and windows are used and were bought from our local re-store.”

Bellingham chicken coop built using salvaged materials and The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans

“We poured the foundation, and it has worked out very well. The first reason we did this is that we wanted to make the chicken coop ‘bulletproof,’ because we have many, many predators around our property — raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, etc. The second reason is that we built the chicken coop on a little bit of a slope, and I thought it would be easier with a poured foundation. Thanks for the wonderful design!”

J bolt to hold chicken coop to poured concrete foundation
Bolted chicken coop to foundation

Coop 6: Ryan’s Insulated Garden Coop Walk-In Chicken Coop, Rochester, Minnesota

“We insulated the coop and modified it for side access. Thanks again for the plans and hardware!

Red chicken coop built using The Garden Coop plans
Insulated door on chicken coop henhouse
Four pullets in the henhouse of The Garden Coop integrated coop and run

Thank you to everyone who shared their photos and comments for the dozenth ride of the Krewe of Coops! Like what they’ve done to get their backyard coops ready for the winter? Let us and them know with a comment below.

You can learn more and buy/download The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans here. See more Krewe of Coops posts here, or browse all of our Make It Your Own coop profiles.

Subscribe to Coop Thoughts blog here (you can unsubscribe at any time). And find all of our coop design plans, hardware kits, and coop accessories at

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Leave a Comment


Other posts you might like...