I'm new and I'm wondering if any other members keep chickens throughout an extreme winter season. I found some other posts about keeping chicken in mild bellow freezing conditions, but I'm moving, and in the area I am moving to (Northern Alberta) winters vary tremendously; bellow freezing temps usually last Oct - April, and while avg winter temperatures are only about -15c, it can dip bellow -40 some nights, and even -50 on very rare occasions. It is also very windy.
We are currently considering Icelandics, Chanteclers, Amerecaunas, and/or Sussex for a nice mix of eggs/meat/suitability. I'll definitely take breed suggestions, just note I like breeds that are active foragers, with good (winter) egg production, but also tasty meat.
I want to avoid the suffocating death heaps, that seem to happen when they all pile up to stay warm. Also don't want the eggs freezing. In terms of heating the coop, without creating humid conditions, and running up an high electric bill, I'd appreciate some advice.
I was considering, maybe setting up a small solar/wind bank (it is quite sunny and very windy year round), just for the coop; so I would be really interested to hear any ideas involving that. Then in terms of heating, should it just be a collection of heat lamps (would that be sufficient?), or would maybe radiant heat from the floor be better. I could put whatever it is on a thermostat, to turn on at maybe 5-7c?
Thank you all ^_^