We are currently building our first coop. We decided to go with an A-frame movable tractor because it was the best choice for our terrain. I've been trying to read as much as I can and modify many of the designs posted here to accomodate both the hot summers and very cold winters (-10 plus high winds @ 85 mph). I like the idea of having a lot of ventilation for the "fresh air style coop, but I also know that with the severity of these winters we could have some serious problems. We don't have the ability to run electricity to the coop for a heat lamp, and we don't have the funds right now to invest in a solar or wind set up (though that would be ideal in the future). So right now we are planning on having a metal roof on the coop with spray foam insulation between the metal roofing and the 1/4" plywood that is exposed to the interior of the coop. The floor of the coop is going to be 1/2" plywood with sand on the interior and the exterior of the floor is going to have some insulating board added too it. We decided to do the adjustable ventilation design foor the roof based upon the following plans: http://www.southernagrarian.com/chickens/chicken-coops/the-chicken-ark-project/building-a-chicken-ark-part-3/. We have the potential to make it really tight so that there are no drafts, but then there would also be no air flow at night until we open it up again in the morning... The other option would be to add a small (6") area at the peak of the A-frame where it is just screened in and venting 24/7, but I don't know if that will be harmful for my babies in the winter... So my options I guess are to either have no air flow at night or have a little bit of airflow that will also let the wind and cold air in during the winter... Please Help! Thanks!
Drafts and Ventillation
I would have the screened ventilation opening cut in ONE end. That opening would face away from the prevailing winds. In a very cold climate with high winds, with openings at both ends, you could have some serious cold draft problems. You have to have some kind of ventilation, even on the coldest days. How many chickens are you putting in there? That's going to have a BIG input on how much ventilation you'll need.
We have three 2 week old chicks right now, but we will probably get a few more because we are not sure how many are roos vs. hens... The A-frame is 6x8 at the base, and 3.5x8 in the coop. In the end we would like to have 4 hens and one roo. We have the adjustible ventillation along the entire roof as seen in the link posted above, so they will have lots of fresh air especially in the summer. Our terrain is very weird... we live in the Colorado Mountains and our property is 6 acres that is mostly sloped with the only flat area being in the hollar (I'm originally from Arkansas, so I still use words like "hollar" ). That's where we basically have to put our tractor, but it's also the area that accumulates the most snow and channels the brunt of the wind. I'll post pics of what our A-frames look like so far when I get home this evening...