Coop question regarding cold winter..


11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
North Central Florida
Hey guys, we have one coop for the laying
hens, its not big enough to add 3 bantam
cochins plus avoid the pecking of the big girls.

The hutch we ...ahem, DH built for the meat
birds this spring is what is being constructed
as a bantam house.

So now it is a 4'x8' floor. Today (bless him)
began remodeling, building a "coop" in 1/3
(or one of the "doors") in it. He has insulated
it on 3 sides with styrophom between two
sheets of plywood/particle wood, with a chick
door 6" off the floor that will have plexiglass
door to allow light in, and the front door will
also have plexiglass window to allow light in.
Because I use the deep litter method in the Maine
cold winter, no insulation on floor.
Now, for 3 Bantam Cochins, is this going
to be warm enough through our endless fridged
winters? Lets say no heat or any outside
source except sun (if anything like last winter,
we didn't have that either).

The remainder of the hutch will be plexiglassed
in to stop drafts and they will have the
ability to go in and out of the coop.
Please share your opinions or concerned.
We'll be grateful, Thanks!


12 Years
Jul 1, 2007
Western, NY
Pexiglass isn't going to keep the chill out, so make sure it's sealed up nice or double pane if possible. I live near Lake Ontario in Upstate NY and we get windy winters here. My hens were fine with the insulated small coop I had for them but I could see our pexiglass windows would frost up sometimes. We eventually put in a small white light for supplemental sun light ( to help with egge production ) but that added just enough to keep it somewhat toasty inside.
You should be ok, but I had standard hens. They will keep close if they are cold but keep an eye on that too, if they don't spread out frequently enough, they may be too cold and they'll work too hard to keep warm and that will stress and they may cease laying?
Hope that helps.


Away for a bit
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
New Hampshire
well miss spook, the picture is kind of small, i think its like a rabbit hutch type idea? which i have seen people use and i think it sounds fine, also, i have seen people do nothing and their birds are fine.
i plastic the whole outside of my coop because i have small outside pens connected to inside with openings the size of cat doors in/out so instead of closing them in i still allow them in/out but plastic the whole outside, i dont have insulation in my coop, i do keep a heat lamp over a bucket of water in the middle of the coop so i dont have to carry water out daily.
we have also been doing a bit to get ready, caulking cracks closing up under the new coop etc, fun fun cant believe it is almost here.


11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
North Central Florida
Thank you guys, I appreciate your input. It is a hutch type building and we're going to put that thick clear plastic around the outside to enclose the "pen" part of the hutch. I believe this is larger then a rabbit hutch- of course I have no idea on rabbits. Thank you for doubling up the plexiglass, it confirned my thoughts.
I was in hopes that they could live in with the big girls, but not this year.

We do plastic in the "Porch" of the hen house so on warmer sun days they can go out and lounge in the sunshine, something we all miss terribly in the long dreary winter.

Thanks again!


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Make sure you still have sufficient ventilation in the closed-in and insulated part! Yes I realize you are wanting to keep heat in, but if you do not also have ventilation (even though it does let in cold air) you will create a stinky little humidity chamber that is ripe for frostbite and respiratory illnesses.

Have fun,



13 Years
Jun 14, 2008
That will be fine, Im not even sure the insulation is necessary with the cochins. As long as they stay dry, they will be fine. I can't wait for winter- as funny as they are running through the yard, it is 100 times funnier on snow


11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
Hastings, Nebraska
Our main coop door is an old storm door, during the coldest part of the winter we hung a blanket over it to keep the heat in. On sunny warmer days we pulled the old blanket and tied it to one side.


11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
North Central Florida
Thank you guys, making me feel better already. I did purchase a wireless themometer yesterday so I can see the temps when I put a bulb in it for the youngest chick when I put them out. I want to make sure its not a easy bake oven for a couple days before.
With the plexiglass window, I feel that in really super cold nights/days in NE here, that it may not keep enough heat in, but also, I will place a clear plastic 3/4 way down down to keep most of the heat in when I open the door to feed/water.
I did buy some Killz latex primer to put on the walls, brighten it up and easy clean walls. This is supposed to dry in 1 hour so you can put 2nd coat on. We shall find out if its stinky or not before I put it on!!!
Thanks again guys for helping me out, I appreciate it and cant wait to put pictures up!


11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
Middle Tennessee
spook, you might also check out some of the neat new coop heating options from Shop the Coop ~

Those new radiant tiles are pretty cool (er, I mean warm), and they are safe enough to use with shavings or hay.

For my own setup I keep a couple of ceramic heat lamps in my coop in winter, and they are plugged into a Thermo Cube that only cuts on when the temp gets below 35.

In my smaller, portable coop I will be using one of Shop the Coop's radiant tiles this winter, since I have less headroom for a lamp in the small area.

Good luck!

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