Can chickens be kept in a chest freezer in a MN winter?


7 Years
May 29, 2012
I live in SE MN and this year we got 3 chicks. (Wyndatte, Sex Link, and Orpington) They are winter hardy varieties but I do want to keep them comfortable in winter. I know that they need good ventilation. We built a coop but it is a bit drafty (Ok in spring and summer and fall) but for WINTER I don;t think I will be able to insulate it enough so that it would still have enough interior room.

My thought it to get a huge broken chest freezer - free, insulated, easy to clean, easy to install a window and vents into, and use that as a coop in winter. Has anyone seen this before? Google returns no similar hits, and I don't think I am smart enough to have hit on something no one else had tried.

I know I need a nesting box, roosts, places for feed and water, access to outside....Any suggestions for what I might not be considering? This is either genius or complete idiocy.
I bet your existing coop will be fine. You do not need insulation for the coop.
Just make it draft free, but still have some ventilation up high.
The hens are insulated with a nice down coat.
No need to the freezer, fix up what you have because it is their home and they will appreciate it much more. Take care of the drafts which could be as simple as using plastic sheets wrapped on the outside of the coop, keep the ventilation up high to remove excess moisture and keep it ventilated...add a half or a whole bale of straw inside and they will have a fine time fluffy it up for extra warmth if they need or want it. You can also stack straw bales around the coop to insulate and take care of drafts.

You could insulate the coop or add a flat panel heater made for coops, research winterizing coops and so forth. Good luck to you but the freezer would need so much modification to be safe and functional, I would fix their coop up for them.
I guess that one of my issues is that the coop we built was for 3 chickens and it is pretty small. About 3 feet square. I can make it taller, or lower to the ground, (more multilevel) but if this is not enough room for 3 adult chickens, maybe a freezer would be a better alternative than rebuilding. What do you think?
Here is a pic of the coop while we were building it...

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