Coop for 10-15 that stands up to hard winters...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DzieChick, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. DzieChick

    DzieChick Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2017
    Hi there- my family has just gotten our first ever chicks. We currently have them in an extra large dog crate-turned brooder in our basement and are thinking about what type of coop to build. We have 10 chicks and would like to keep about 10 hens (I know some of ours will be Roos so I will have to get more when the time comes).

    My 1st question is- I've seen hoop style coops that I like, and our southern family members turned their greenhouse into a coop. Does anyone have experience with that style in an area with hard winters? We live in western ny and get a lot of snow and cold from the Great Lakes.

    If that style doesn't work, does anyone have any awesome plans? I've generally had trouble finding coop plans to fit our need. Everything is either 2-6 chickens or 30, I am struggling to find plans for 10-15 hens that we can insulate for winter. Any ideas are welcome! My husband is handy and will just make his own plans if need be, but Im sure someone has something they can share!
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hi there and welcome! [​IMG] If you join up with the NY chicken lovers in 'Where am I?' thread you will get all sorts of advice from local folks. My personal preference is either a bought or build house/shed/coop. If you have large fowl - speckled Sussex, RIR, sex links etc. you will need to plan for about 8 sq.ft/bird, with 1 nestbox/4 hens.
    I have built my coops/sheds and they are quite easy to put together.
    If you go to the learning center tab here, you will find all sorts of coops and plans, the choice is yours! Just make sure it's sturdy and predator proof, good luck! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I agree about the shed idea; easy to find and set up, and modify. My dream would be a Woods coop, and consider that if you could build it or find a carpenter to do it. Most 'chicken coops' available ready- made are awful; tiny, flimsy, and expensive for the square footage. Predators are a huge issue; a dig- proof foundation, and no openings larger than 1/2" diameter anywhere! Lots of ventilation, and space, and walk-in for you. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    I agree with all the above comments, since you're husband is handy, as is mine, a homemade coop and run will serve you much better and last much longer.

    The next best thing would be a purchased garden shed modified for chickens.

    We repurposed a homemade shed and built an attached run. Plenty of room and safe from predators.

    There are many ideas in the "coop" section of this forum.
  5. Sristi

    Sristi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2015
    Western NY
    Hi, I'm from wny too. Originally my hubby built me a hoop coop with a hardware cloth skirt and metal roofing. I found it difficult to winterize, though it's great for summertime. Others have had more success with that. Right now I have ducks, they only have a rough windproof shed. For my chicks we're planning a woods-style coop. 8x12. Someone on here has a great thread with lots of pictures featuring his woods coop in the winter. That's what convinced me. I'm not very savvy with the mobile app, but hopefully I can hop on my desktop later and find it for you.
  6. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2015
    Please don't judge me , this picture is to show hubby we have to vacuum the walls tomorrow!
    My 8x8 coop has foam insulation sheets ,in the walls, floor and drop ceiling . We have 10 hens in it. Three nesting boxes and a 8 foot roost along one wall . We have plenty of space , we are in Canada so we do heat it to above 0 in the winter . We bought two shed windows that fit inbetween the wall studs...

    Works for us
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  7. HomesteadingCox

    HomesteadingCox Just Hatched

    Mar 15, 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    I built mine last year, if it helps! I am in Ontario and get hammered with winter, I am between all the great lakes!
    Build laws state I cannot build over 10x10 without the $600 permit, so this is how I got around that:

    Pallets as a base covered with plywood - since it is not a fixed building, the law enforcers can suck an egg! haha
    coop walls are built out of 1x3x8, and structured just like you were framing a house addition.
    Open trusses in the top allow better ventilation in the summer (the peaks are hardwire cloth on ours, covered in the winter with plastic)
    Barn board run vertically with batten strips to cover the cracks,
    Insulated walls with left over insulation from the house, covered with plywood

    "Floating" roost board with sand to catch the poop, the chicken door is right under this and managed with pulleys and marine rope
    Nesting boxes on opposite side of the roost, mine are on the floor as I have ducks too, but can be mounted on the wall
    Center hook for their fancy smanshy chandelier in the summer, doubles as a heat lamp hook in the winter, dropped down with marine rope Chickens normally sit on the roost poop board close to the heat and ducks on the floor under it.

    This houses comfortably 20 mixed birds (chickens and ducks) but could probably house 30 chickens on their own.
    Attached is a 31x25x12 run for the winter when the foxes are out, but they can free range in the summer
    Coop is 8x6 with a 10ft high peak, 9 nesting boxes, and there is still a ton of room for more roosts, rabbit cages, more nesting boxes, or a feed bin. I have a "chicken jail" under the roost poop board for introducing new chicks and locking up a drake when they start poop with the others. I also can hang the water under the poop board and use pvc pipe as feeders, best part, no crouching to clean it! Grab a hay fork or manure fork, open the full size man door, scoop it all out, use a kitty litter scoop to clean the poop board sand, and nesting boxes if needed, throw down new bedding/DE/PDZ and done! Less than a half hour to be compeltely clean, including cleaning their window! In the summer the window comes out and it is just hardwire cloth, the winter door is a dutch door the top is open on nice days in the winter, shut at night and on cruddy days, spring fall both top and bottom are open, and in the summer both stay open and the inner hardwire cloth screen dutch doors are all they have!

    Total cost was less than $200
    1 person likes this.
  8. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    Unless you are way north in the tundra I have not seen evidence that insulating the coop is necessary. As long as they have proper ventilation and keep the wind off of them the cold itself shouldn't bother certain breeds. There are many people on here from north into Canada that do not insulate their coops. While we didn't have extended cold spells this winter in my neck of the woods we had many nights well below zero and I kept all the windows open on the coop year around.
    1 person likes this.
  9. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2015

    I totally disagree... you don't have to live in the tundra to have an insulated coop. The problem as I see it is our ( and a mean mine), coops are stand up coops which means more square footage which is harder if not impossible for the chickens to stay warm in even huddled together and puffed up .

    I don't care what anyone says , if I see my girls are cold , even though god gave them the feathers ...etc ... I will do anything I can to keep the comfortable. I bought them with the intention of keeping them safe and fed and warm , and that's what I do . Keeping it above 0 Celsius keeps them laying all year!!!
    1 person likes this.
  10. HomesteadingCox

    HomesteadingCox Just Hatched

    Mar 15, 2017
    Ontario, Canada

    We live in Southern Ontario, our major temp drop was almost near the -40s C this year with only 3 days being near/above 0, and even with an insulated coop, no drafts, a heat lamp, somehow 2 ducks and 3 chickens wound up with frostbite and will be losing part of their comb in the spring. It is owner preference. I thought the same "Theres enough of them to keep the heat in the coop" Nope. We insulated in the middle of winter, and then still added the heat lamp, and invested in an indoor/outdoor remote thermometer to monitor the temps. You learn your flock, if their coop drops to -8 or lower, they make sure they are heard.. If you've never been scolded by a flock of chickens and a guard drake.... don't tempt them, Haha.

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