The fellow I am horse trading (actually goat trading) for labour and his dad put two coops up on straw bales this year. It will be better for the removal of the coops in spring because there is at least a foot of straw and manure on the floor in the coops by then, if not more. This way, a couple of fence posts can be slipped under the coop on the bales and the coops should roll off without dragging the mess. What was happening too was that the manure was rotting the base of the coop, so that will be avoided this year too. The next step is to get the insulated tarps out and cover the coops to the ground including the bales they are sitting on. The summer tarps can be left in place.
The thing is that the chickens did not know where to find their coop though, so they had to be caught one by one and carried to the coop at its new location, only maybe 50 feet from the wood pile and tree they hang out in all day. Once the tarps are on, a few livestock panels will form the enclosure, which will then be covered with chicken wire to keep the birds from slipping through the holes in the panels, and the winter camp, aka Winter Chicken Town (for ducks, geese and guineas too) is ready. The waterfowl tend to sleep on the floor of the 16 foot coop and a few chickens remain in it all winter, but most move into the pink insulated coop and the half plywood model. The other one is just a day house, not for nights at all, as it will not be covered with an insulated tarp and not warm enough for living in. Feeding and watering takes place outside though, which helps cut down humidity and mice in the coops. Some of the chickens got their wings clipped tonight to prevent them from roosting in the trees, which they were plucked out of to put in the coop. They won't have much choice except to go back to the coop, since they can no longer fly up to the tree. The feathers will grow back by spring, though, but by then, they will like the coop and stay there voluntarily. There is still the bantam and one chick to catch and the broody hens with their young ones, but I didn't know where they were sleeping tonight.
Chicken Town is almost ready for winter!