1. YourGrace

    YourGrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    I need an expert chicken raiser in a cold climate to read through this thoroughly and give me advise... I am afraid I am going to hear that I have a big problem, but please be honest. I would rather you tell me I don't have a problem, lol! If I have a problem I need to know how to fix it without starting from square one...

    So, we have 10 chickens and we live in Central Oregon. DRY weather (high desert) but gets cold and snowy in winter (average of 40 high, sometimes as low as 0 high). We are on an extremely tight budget.

    The coop is almost done being built and I am afraid it might be too drafty and not enough insulation/ventilation. I have read through as many forum topics on this as possible and still do not feel comfortable so I am going to describe the coop and would LOVE some feedback!

    We used scrap wood from around the yard. The dimensions are 4 x 6 feet and 4 feet tall slanting down to 3 feet. The coop is on 2 1/2 foot tall stilts. No insulation. No vents. The door opening for them to come in and out is the largest hole and it 14 inches high and 12 inches wide.

    I feel like the roosts and the nesting boxes, as well as feeder and waterer are all in really great locations in the coop - that I have going for me. The problem may be in that the front door where we go to change food and water isn't sealed around the edges very well so there are small cracks around it. The door itself is 3 feet high and 5 feet wide, 3 inches thick. Then also the door we put in place for where we grab the eggs out has the same issue.

    My questions now are....

    Will my chickens be too cold?

    Will we need to install some vents?


    Thank you all so much!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yes, you will need vent openings. Since your coop is rather short, you'll probably need to work something out just under the roofline so that winter drafts won't hit your birds while roosting at night. Does the pop door close? That will help on winter nights. Assuming you chose winter hardy breeds, most say they can handle temps. down to zero and below even if it's not drafty.

    Your coop is pretty small for ten birds, so it will be very helpful if you can give them a covered area w/windbreaks for winter time, as overcrowding in coops (in winter time) can cause behavioral issues.
     
  3. DickGJ

    DickGJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sumter, South Carolina
    They say you can never really have too much venting. Most adult chickens do better in the cold than they do in high heat. The dimensions of your coop aren't that different from mine (see my BYC page). I have a 3" vent across the entire back of the coop near the roof, four 4" vents near the roof of the front of the coop, and a 4" vent just above floor level of the coop on each side. You can always cover your vents in the winter if necessary, but you may find that you won't have to. Yes, I live in South Carolina so are winters aren't bad at all compared to my homestate of PA, but it does get cold down here and we've had snow for the past 2-3 years. I haven't insulated either. I'm told a problem with chicken coops is that they create lots of humidity as a result of chicken poop, waterers, and even the chickens themselves from respiration. This is particularly true if the coop is overcrowded. I've also read that if you question whether you need more vents on your coop...."you probably do!". That's how important venting is...

    Just my thoughts...I hope it helps some. [​IMG]
     
  4. YourGrace

    YourGrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Quote:AWESOME, THANK YOU!
    GRACE
     
  5. YourGrace

    YourGrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Quote:THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    WE CAN DEFINITELY INSTALL SOME VENTS.

    I WAS JUST CONCERNED WE WOULD HAVE TO REBUILD COMPLETELY.

    GRACE
     
  6. YourGrace

    YourGrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
    I have read that 2-4 sq ft per bird is necessary for inside the coop. We have just over 2 sq ft per bird in our, yes tiny, but hopefully just right coop. Plus their run is 100 square feet. I suppose we will need to install some vents, however, I just talked to the lady at the country feed store who told me that I'll be fine without vents in the winter, but will need to open the front door and place a screen there for summer. Makes sense, but I still think we will install some vents... where, I do not know, lol.
     
  7. DickGJ

    DickGJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Sumter, South Carolina
    Quote:[​IMG]
    Well you're at the right place for help. BYC is fantastic and the forum is awesome. It's amazing the number of folks that are here and willing to help!
     
  8. jaydweight

    jaydweight Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2011
    Pleasant Grove, UT
    Quote:Here's a pic of the vents in my coop, one on each side...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. YourGrace

    YourGrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2011
  10. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    40 degree in the winter? That is balmy! [​IMG]

    We see 20s & 30s on regular basis and minuses on some days.

    My coop is not insulated but pretty tight. There are seams but that has been OK.

    There are 6 small openings with flaps. There are also 2 windows for solar heating. The pop door can be closed on the extremely windy cold nights. I can close everything but the air quality would not be healthy. So I open and close the vents and windows based on temperature and wind direction to keep the coop draft free.

    All vents and windows are opened wide in the summer.

    My coop density is similar to yours at 2 to 3 sf/bird. Your run is much larger in terms of sf per bird. So I think your birds would be fine.

    And last thing... you picked the cold hardy breeds, right?
     

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