Cold Climate Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RossChickens, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. RossChickens

    RossChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2017
    Southern Alberta
    Hi everyone, new here, just working on my first ever coop and had a few questions and would love any photos as well!

    I live in southern Alberta where our winters can be downright cold -20C to -25C (-4F to -13F) as a high some days, average about -10C (14F) during the dead of winter. Given this I assume the chickens will be spending more time in the coop then out (correct me if I am wrong). I have read that they each need at least 3sq/ft and up to or more then 10sq/ft if indoors a lot. What would you suggest for size per chicken given the cold winters? Should I go with the 10sq/ft? That seems fairy big for 6 chickens, but then again if they need it to make it through winter, then its the right way to go...

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. chickenweirdo1

    chickenweirdo1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I would say 10 feet. If they are going to be cooped up for weeks at a time i would make the coop as bis as possible.
     
  3. RossChickens

    RossChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2017
    Southern Alberta
    Just to add more detail, the above post is in regards to the indoor coop. The run will be separate and will be at least 10sq/ft per chicken, likely more as we have plenty of space. Our chickens are currently a mix of heritage breeds (still too young to know for sure which). They will have access to the outdoors everyday from morning to eve, but will likely not want to go out in the dead of winter very much (per post above, very cold).
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Agreed. The bigger the better if confined full time.
    However, there's no reason they can't come outside even in those temperatures. Just make sure they have a windbreak and something to walk on besides snow. I spread straw over the snow and they do fine outside.
     
  5. RossChickens

    RossChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2017
    Southern Alberta
    Quote:Thanks! I was leaning towards 8-10sq/ft but didn't want to be over thinking it!
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    However large or small you go, keep in mind that they still need big ventilation. They are, after all, outdoor animals. The reason for a coop is to keep the rain off and predators at bay.
    IMHO they need fresh air as much, if not more, than clean water and fresh food.
    Bad things happen in a tight coop. Among them are pathogens, ammonia and humidity. The latter is the main cause of frostbite.
     
  7. RossChickens

    RossChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2017
    Southern Alberta
    Quote:Thanks! Yes I have been reading all about the ventilation needs, and will take a more is better approach, they can always be shut down if needed. :)
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine have big windows at roost height on both east and west walls. I only close off one side if a big storm is coming in and then only the prevailing wind side. The coldest it has gotten recently is -19F. That's -28C for you guys.
    I've lost birds to heat but never to cold. Good bedding, fresh air and wide roosts are key.

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