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Maine chicken people, I have a question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have some chicks and am hatching some more. Dh is going to build a coop but he wants to get it right the first time. What steps does he need to take so the chickens will be safe (and warm) for the winter? Any and all info appreciated , Thanks!
Krista

Krista- mom to 7 with an amazingly understanding husband   . chocolate runners, b/b/s orps, jubilee orps, bantam chocolate orps, project lf choc orps, blue breda fowl and a some cool exotic hens for eating eggs

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Krista- mom to 7 with an amazingly understanding husband   . chocolate runners, b/b/s orps, jubilee orps, bantam chocolate orps, project lf choc orps, blue breda fowl and a some cool exotic hens for eating eggs

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post #2 of 5

welcome-byc

Winters in Maine can be tricky with chickens.  Make sure that your coop is insulated but make sure they cant get to the insulation.  Windows are great for summer ventilation and great to let in winter sun.  You will probaby want a water heater or you will be chiseling ice all winter. 

Their perches should be wide enough so they can sit on their feet and not curl them around the pole, this will help them keep themselves warm.

Make sure that you have a good floor to keep out predators.  If you are going to have a run make sure that it is covered as to not loose any to hawks or eagles.  The coop door that access yoru run should be one that you can close at night and during the cold winter months.
Your run should be buried underground some so that predators can not get under it. 

Have traps ready in case you start to notice unwanted animals (rats, mice, coons, weasels)
Maybe a gun and a good eye if you have coyotes or anything else trying to get in there.

Good luck and have fun

2 Jersey Black Giants, 2 Barred Rocks, 12 Ameraucanas, 12 Black Sex Links, 1 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Ameraucana Rooster, 1 Cochin Rooster. 1 Dog and 2 Cats
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2 Jersey Black Giants, 2 Barred Rocks, 12 Ameraucanas, 12 Black Sex Links, 1 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Ameraucana Rooster, 1 Cochin Rooster. 1 Dog and 2 Cats
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post #3 of 5

Whether your in Maine or any other cold state, keep it insulated and protected from drafts.   We have run power to the coop as well but any power units are out of reach from the chickens.   We get days where it's below zero here in NY so I will occasionally put on the heat light.    I also keep the supplemental light on to help them continue to lay.
Keep coop off ground, make a solid floor to prevent pests.    Chicken wire keeps chickens in but nothing else out, so if you can put a stronger wire on the run do so.   For summer make sure you can ventilate the coop too.   And make it easy to clean.   

good luck and have fun.

Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
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Fondly called the the crazy lady neighbor with- 1 Hubby, 3 children, 2 Springer Spaniels, 1 crazy cat, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Deleware, 1 Barred Rock, 1 guinea pig, 1 Arab/QH gelding, 1 Spotted Draft mare, and a tank full of fish...am I forgetting anything??
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post #4 of 5

I don't run heaters or lamps. Couldn't if I wanted to.
As long as they can get out of the wind and wet they are fine.
I lock the coops up every night all year long because of predators and not weather. Unless it's seriously subzero I open the door every morning. The hardy souls venture out and wander from outbuilding to outbuilding.

I do like windows. Lets the warm sun in and ventilates things in the summer.

I hang a cheap tarp around the windy corner of the pen to block winter winds. There is a partial tarp over the top for shade and rain protection. Be sure it can take snow load. Better grade tarp goes on the top.

The pen itself is chicken wire surrounded by chainlink. Chicken wire won't keep predators out.

post #5 of 5

I built a smallish coop, about 4'x8', out of insulated board.  There is a guy in Thorndike, ME who makes it.  What it is is two sheets of Pressed board, you know the plywood looking stuff that is all chips glued together, with that pink insulation board in between.  The stuff is about 6" thick and comes in 4'x8' sections.    I did use regular press board for the peak and roof and sealed that up with the tube gel, Geoseal.  I know this spring when it was chilly out it was toasty in there.  I don't know how much the stuff costs as I got it from a guy who had it left over from building his house.  I love Free Cycle!  He said it is something like R30 for insulation. 
d

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