Cold snaps - coop too small?


In the Brooder
Nov 14, 2018
Ontario, Canada
We have five Ameraucana hens and five guinea fowl (three females and two males). Our coop is 8’x6’ (8’ high). There is an attached, fully enclosed pen, that is also 8’x6’. They typically free range all day, save for days like this, where it is -14C. The pen is wrapped in plastic (not airtight), so they can venture in between the coop and pen, on colder days. On days where it is really cold, like today (and days in January where it can get to -30C), is it okay to leave them in the coop, with the small door to the pen closed (in order to keep it “warmer” in the coop)? I realize chickens are supposed to have one square foot per chicken; will my small flock be okay in the closed coop for periods of time, in the bitter cold? There is plenty of roosting space, nest boxes that extend out of the coop...

Thank you in advance for your insight.
Aug 2, 2018
I agree with the above but dont. Every case is different. Breeds are a huge factor. I have 7chickens and 4 muscovys all living together in a coop shed. Never had any fuss with them. All they need is out of the wind, a place to get away if wanted (roost), and make sure the roost is flat so they can completely cover their feet with their body. Poles/2×4s where the toes hang over run risk of frostbite on the very cold nights.
Aug 2, 2018
Just remember as much as you want to completely seal the coop, dont. They need ventilation. Or moisture/morning dew will be your worse enemy this winter. Just my opinion based on all my birds surviving every winter ;)

chickens really

I am a legend
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 8, 2015
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Hello. When it's that cold they tend to not move around too much but eat drink and Roost again to stay warm. I provide heat and open the pop door for a couple of hours a day incase anyone want out for a bit. Then I lock it back up.

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