A-Frame Coop, Bantam Chickens, and NJ Winters...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mikecoscia, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    North Haledon, NJ
    Hello everyone. Just ordered my first chickens a few weeks ago, all bantams ( 2 Plymouth Rocks, 2 Easter Eggers, 2 Welsummers). They are scheduled to ship the week of April 6th. I just started looking at coops and I really like the A-frame style, particularly the Catawba coop. However, I had a few questions. Will this coop be sufficiently warm enough in the winter? Will there be drafts coming in between the gaps in the boards? I live in NJ and temps can easily drop into the teens during the winter. So want to make sure this style coop will work before beginning construction. Appreciate any info from someone with a similar coop and environmental conditions. Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Chicken tractors are not comfortable in cold and snowy winters. They offer a very small amount of floor space.

    I recommend a coop where they can spend the whole day inside if they desire. And bantams are not too fond of the snow (or cold). They do prefer to hang out indoors from my experience.

    Sheds are great! Lots of floor space and you don't have to be out in the elements to check on them. Also when the eggs freeze it really is annoying because they often split/crack.

    If you cannot do a shed coop, I recommend a coop like this:
    (you can scale it up or down to suit you for size.)

    Here is my coop:
    It is 4 x 4 and cost about $350 to make. We made it with fairly thin plywood. Next time I would not make it so tall though, and the plastic roofing has not turned out to be durable at all- I would go with metal. It is a good thing I tied it down with ground stakes as it tends to try to blow away with high winds. But with this size, 6 bantams could stay the whole day indoors. If you give them a covered run they may go outside a bit as well.

    So if you can spare the time you can slap together a pretty nice coop- basically a box shape where they will be able to live indoors. Sheds are the best though and Home Depot/Lowes will come assemble them for you for a fee. But they are more expensive.

    Just my opinion!
    I hope this helps!
  3. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chirping

    Jun 27, 2014
    My Coop
    The A-frame Catawaba Coop seems small, does not have enough ventilation in the coop, or enough room for water and food + chicken activities in the run below, even for 6 bantams.

    The rule of thumb is 4 sf of coop floor space + 10 sf of run floor space per chicken. Also, one sf of coop ventilation area and 1 linear foot of roosting space per chicken inside the coop. Draft that can ruffle the chicken feather is no good; but fresh air is good.

    If there is enough space and well ventilation inside the coop, the chickens are fine in the NJ winter nights. If there is a shielded, covered, and well ventilated run area outside the coop for them to roam in inclement weather during the day, they are perfectly happy as well.

    Chickens enjoys natural light and fresh air.I would keep an eye on the coop's humidity level, more so than the temperature during those winter nights, so the chicken don't get frost bite.
  4. bigmrg74

    bigmrg74 Songster

    Jan 28, 2014
    Clinton Michigan
    I have a modified A-frame tractor that I've been keeping my chickens in all winter here in SE Lower Michigan. My girls have been doing fine in it, but they're not bantams either.

    I parked it along our garage to block the west wind and I have straw bales all around the base to block the wind. After that big snow storm that hit us during the superbowl, I went and packed more straw around the sides to keep snow from getting into the run part. And on the wire there its just cheap shower curtains to block the wind. It stays fairly cozy inside there with my 6 hens. I got 4 eggs out of them today, and we've had a stretch of below 0 degrees F weather this week.
  5. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    North Haledon, NJ
    How about something like this?


    Or this?


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