I have three girls here in Northeastern PA who live at the base of a very steep mountain where temperatures in winter can reach -10F and we can receive many feet of snow. Though they are three winter hardy breeds - an Australorp, a Silver Laced Wynadotte and an Easter Egger - the insulation and design of their new coop would have to do the rest to keep them warm. Plus, an A-Frame design is perfect for heavy snowfall amounts - no fear of roofs caving in.
We started with the a design we found in a book called "Reinventing the Chicken Coop" but made a few modifications that I felt made for easier cleaning and access. The platform was made of rot resistant 4x4 legs cut to 24" and a platform frame measured 48x48". We insulated the base with hard foam insulation instead of fiberglass and covered the insulation with a another sheet of plywood.
The next piece was to frame the side walls of the A-Frame design with 2x4 rafters. The angles at the bottom were 63 degrees and the top was angled at 27 degrees.
The door was framed out of three pieces of 2x2" with the top ends angled at the same 63"
Five 45" 2x4 purlins were placed between the A-Frame. We also insulated with hard foam insulation and lined the interior with additional 1/2 " plywood sheets.
There is also a low roosting bar that we put in, but the girls never had the least bit of interest in using it, so we eventually removed it.
To allow enough room for the nesting box, we did not cover that area with insulation or plywood.
Ventilation windows measured 20" at a 63 degree angle from a 20" base. Hardware cloth was attached
The windows being screwed into place above the siding that measures 48" at the base and 32" in height.
The original design called for two doors, but I adjusted it to have only one framed out door and a second "door" that was basically the entire base of the triangle at the back cut into the plywood so that I could slide an entire piece of vinyl flooring in and out for easy cleaning of the pine shaving bedding. Also this makes for easier access to the nesting box. You can see how it looks in this shot of the coop being painted.
With the addition of the metal roof and the ramp into the coop. A plastic turtle sand box holds supplies and his big eyes scare away any predators from above .
The Mountain Scramblers are enjoying their newly hardscaped grounds at the base of their mountain.
And they are enjoying scrambling around the ferns above their new digs.
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