Cold climate coop designs

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kmarvin, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. kmarvin

    kmarvin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2012
    Northwest Alaska
    Can anyone point me to a link for cold climate (arctic region) coop designs? I'm wanting to build an insulated coop for a maximum of 10 birds. Free ranging isn't an option but I plan on adding a run. Winters are long so the birds will spend much of the time limited to the coop from December-April.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  2. penny1960

    penny1960 la la land awaits Premium Member

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    Welcome Kmarvin [​IMG]
    if you peruse the coop section you will find many ideas
    what artic region are you in, I lived in Juneau about 16 years myself
    but did not own chickens back then.
     
  3. kmarvin

    kmarvin Out Of The Brooder

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    Northwest Alaska
    I
    I live on the coast of the Seward Penninsula, about 1,100 miles North West of Juneau.
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]






    I am subject to -40º weather l live in Canada think North Pole. I have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.

    Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.

    Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".

    Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.
    This is done by feeding them whole corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.

    The extra nourishment is more then adequate to bring them through the
    "COLDEST" winter.

    Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.

    That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .

    I do not add any extra heat or lighting.
    Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).

    Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.

    I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.

    You really do

    "NOT"


    have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for

    "MAJOR" problems.

    When it comes to lighting if you find you are short on eggs it does apparently help. I personally do not bother in my operation eggs are sold only to neighbours when they are available (if the sign is out I have eggs). Eggs in my operation have a tendency to crack and freeze during the winter months (we do not discard them and are fine but use them in house not for sale) the more eggs you produce during these months the more eggs will fall into this category.

    I have roughly 24 Golden Comet hens the longest I ever been out of eggs can be measured in hours >12<24. You will find that the egg supply in any hen is a finite resource the quicker you milk the eggs out of a hen the faster it will be spent and end up in your stew pot.

    On average one hen produces somewhere between 600 to 700 eggs in its life time. Lighting only effect the speed of delivery of the eggs which at the end of the day would amount to less than a year in the hens life is my guess

    If you do decide extra lighting is necessary have your light on a timer to lengthen the day "MAKE SURE IT IS SECURED BY 2 MEANS OF SUPPORT" one being a "SAFETY CHAIN" in case one fails especially if it is an incandescent bulb or heat lamp.

    I personally raise hens as a hobby; and for their manure to enrich my vegetable garden any thing else the hens provide is merely a bonus.

    Here is one BONUS NOW not many people can enjoy seeing in their back yard on a regular basis.

    [​IMG]

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  5. penny1960

    penny1960 la la land awaits Premium Member

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    I know there is one guy up there at converted a
    derelict bus to a coop others have used old rv
    trailers or campers for easy coops.
     
  6. kmarvin

    kmarvin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2012
    Northwest Alaska
    Thanks for all that info! I currently have a coop of six birds, a few australourp, white rock, and Welsummer. This is our third flock we've over wintered. I'm adding a few more birds (Easter Eggers) and they need a larger space or an additional coop. The current coop we have was given to us. I'm exploring options before building so thanks again for the ideas. Building materials are very expensive here as there are no roads to my town and everything is shipped air freight or barge until the ocean freezes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Long Beach, WA
    Since your birds will be confined in the coop for long periods of time, you're going to need a larger than typical coop. A covered run will help, but you're still going to need more than the average 4 sq ft per bird. I lived in Kodiak for a few years, so I understand the kind of weather conditions your dealing with. Intense winds, and lots of wet weather year-round. In cold climates, it's not the temps that are an issue, it's moisture in the air. Ventilation is more important than insulation. You need lots of venting above roosting height to give moist air a way to escape. It's that moisture, condensing on the combs and freezing, that is the main cause of frostbite for chickens. If you have a well ventilated coop, chickens can handle temps well below zero, just fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. kmarvin

    kmarvin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2012
    Northwest Alaska
    I agree. One winter I had a rooster get frostbite so badly that he bled and then the hens killed him. He was a mean old thing so the irony of it wasn't lost on me but still something I want to avoid. Sounds like we need to add some ventilation to our current insulated 6x6.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  9. penny1960

    penny1960 la la land awaits Premium Member

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    @ kmarvin
    so how is the coop redo going up there?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop

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