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Cold winters...and renting -- tractor, coop, or ???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by IdaClaire, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. IdaClaire

    IdaClaire New Egg

    Feb 26, 2016
    Hi Folks!

    We're in southwestern Idaho on just under 1/4 acre in the suburbs, and were delighted to find out last week that our subdivision allows backyard chickens. (Yay!) We'd like to start with a small flock of around 4 hens, and because we are renting, can't put in anything that's permanent or would be too difficult to transport when we do move. We'd also like to leave the yard in nice shape. There is an RV parking area to the north of the house that is pretty much dirt (except for the areas we have tilled for a garden in the past), so that is one possibility for a coop area if necessary.

    My initial thoughts were that a chicken tractor would be ideal (for the lawn, the girls, etc.), but I know it needs to be big enough and include sufficient shelter for the rather long winter here. (It can snow anywhere from November - May and get down to around -12, but neither the snow nor the negative temperatures are long-lasting in the sense that the cold and snow come and go all winter long with warmer days in between.) Also trying to be economical about this....wish we had wads of cash to spend, but like most folks, we don't.

    I'd love to know what has worked for others in a similar situation, and would be grateful for anyone's ideas and words of wisdom!

  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    check out the chicken coops page there are categories for all sorts of coops that may fit your bill.

    four hens will take approximately four square feet per hen for housing and the run space should be about ten per bird. Tractors are different somewhat. you can build the housing above and include the runspace below.

    For the winter you can fortify the coop by bales of straw to help keep the wind chill down.

    I get high winds during the winter so everything has to be anchored. Doesnt have to be perminant just those screw in style anchors for lawn sheds. I even have to tie trash cans and lids to the fence.

    Oh and [​IMG] from San Diego High desert.


    There are some excellent coops on the above thread. Its a great resource on discussion of building materials.

    This is the official coops page each coop will have a write up and often step by step instructions. Here is the link to tractors:


    Happy planning and building

  3. IdaClaire

    IdaClaire New Egg

    Feb 26, 2016
    Thanks so much for the welcome and the info, Deb. We probably wouldn't have to much of a problem with wind as the yard is surrounded by fencing and a tall berm at the rear. (Having been though the high desert near SD, I relate. :) The dimensions necessary are helpful, and thanks for the good links. I hadn't seen the one with folks posting their coops. There were some really beautiful ones in there.

    :) Claire

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