Originally Posted by MinHemmingford
Hi all, I am also in Canada (southwest Quebec to be exact, not too far from Ottawa). I just got 6 hens and one rooster (Rhode Island Reds). I converted a small outbuilding for their coop. I've been told, it'll be too cold for them, I'll need to insulate it, get heat lamps, etc. On here, I've read they should be fine! I think I'll just keep a light bulb in there and a heated waterer, and lots of food. I haven't built their run yet but it will be off to the left of the coop. The coop is under tree cover and doesn't get a lot of sun, it will get more sun in winter since some of the trees will lose their leaves. As for ventilation, there are openings up in the peaks of the gables, I was going to fill them in with wood. Do you think I should just put up some hardware cloth? Please see attached pic. Thank you in advance for any advice!
Hello MinHemmingford! Welcome to BYC! Looks like a good solid coop. I would definitely go with the hardware cloth to keep out the vermin, rat, mice, weasels snakes etc etc. You have to remember everything likes to eat chicken. If it is drafty just stable up PVC 4 mils stuff from your local hardware store. It should be dry and ventilated. Chickens body temperature I think is normally between 104 to 107 degrees F, 41 degrees C or thereabouts. With all those feathers body temp should be OK. That having been said keep them dry and out of drafts. If they get cold they will huddle and maybe a nice floor of straw. The straw bedding will collect the poop and create heat also. No worries until spring when you can clean it all out and put out for the garden. Heat lamps are a very bad idea. They collect dust and are the main cause of coop fires. If you are serious about heat, then consider a flat radiant heat panel which has no heating elements in the open.
Do not use foam insulation, they will peck it and if they ingest it they can get clogged up and die. Unless you cover it with something they can't tear into.
It is good that you have all of one breed. They discriminate by color and get down right nasty. I started with three RIR's, and three Barred Rocks from chicks they formed two flocks. All was ok with normal pecking order stuff until I lost two due to illness. I tried two Buff Orpingtons, man what a time I had keeping peace. then a raccoon got a Buff and a Barred. So the one Barred became the "bully" and tried to kill off the Buffs every chance she got. I tried the time out method, which worked for a short while. I finally had to put her in the freezer and now have peace in the coop again.
Looks like you live in the woods as do I. I don't know what predators you have there, but nothing give peace of mind like 14 gauge fencing and then smaller 1/2 inch wire mesh that paws can't get through. Check out a BYC thread on predators, good read there. I have everything but black bears (so far) out there in the woods. Feral hogs too!
Anyway have fun with your flock. They are very enjoyable.
Edited by RnRRidgerunner - 9/14/15 at 9:36pm