Cold snaps - coop too small?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by loracarroll, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. loracarroll

    loracarroll In the Brooder

    13
    30
    46
    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.
     
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Free Ranging

    1,593
    8,798
    642
    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    If you have the run covered in plastic to block the wind, I would just leave the pop door open for them to come and go as they like. They should be fine if the coop is nice and dry, well ventilated and free from drafts.
     
  3. loracarroll

    loracarroll In the Brooder

    13
    30
    46
    Nov 14, 2018
    Ontario, Canada
    Thank you.
     
    DobieLover likes this.
  4. Bryant Redhawk

    Bryant Redhawk Songster

    304
    163
    146
    May 11, 2015
    Vilonia, AR. USA
    Inside the coop you actually would want 4 sq.ft. per bird instead of one. The reason for this is to reduce the probability of aggression.
     
    loracarroll likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    51,368
    31,992
    1,202
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Even actually 4sqft can be too little when confined during harsh weather.
     
    Cluckerzfamilyfarm likes this.
  6. Cluckerzfamilyfarm

    Cluckerzfamilyfarm Songster

    260
    435
    152
    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.
     
  7. Cluckerzfamilyfarm

    Cluckerzfamilyfarm Songster

    260
    435
    152
    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 ;)
     
    loracarroll likes this.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    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.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: