Coop Rebuild for Winter, need help on sizing please


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
London, OH
So, I live in central Ohio and our winters can be.....well...harsh would be a nicer word for it. Chaotic is another.....and this past winter leaves me worried about the feathered ones.

Our "henhouse" right now is flimsy and isn't the best so I'm rebuilding it (and how I wanted it in the first place)

I have a total of 9 chickens. 2 reds, 6 tetras, and a black and white rooster. I'm wondering if a 4'x4'x4' cube of sorts would work to hold all 9 comfortably with a feeder and water thing and a heat lamp.

We're planning on expanding our flock next year so I'm not wanting anything too fancy, just enough to keep them safe and warm throughout the potentially dangerous winter ahead and up until we do expand.

Can you help? please?
That would be big enough for 4 of them. Most breeds of chickens don't need protection from the cold. They need big ventilation and shedding humidity. Heat and bad air kills chickens, not cold. 4 sq. ft. per bird is a minimum and that's if they get outside.
I don't recommend a heat lamp. It's expensive and what happens to your birds if the power goes out? Or acclimated to warmth at night and then go out to a cold sub-zero wind in the morning. It's stressful and worse than staying in a cold atmosphere. That's why they molt and grow a new winter coat.
Unfortunately I don't have much room to work with in the run and they probably wouldn't be going outside the house. See, when this was built I was saying things along the lines of it needed to be a bit bigger and a certain way, but no one likes to listen to me so I got ignored in the planning and the building of it. Now I'm trying to fix things while I have a chance and going about it alone :/
The link that ChickenCanoe gave you is very good!
And this should help greatly as well!
So I think we have a plan. I finally took my concerns to grandpa (who knew I was already redesigning it). I live with him so he kinda helps me out. We're going to take my shed and repurpose it into a coop and attach a larger run onto it. There are shelves built into it we can revamp a bit to make nesting boxes. A couple of additions and when all is said and done, it should make a great place for them to stay. I've been browsing the site so I have a couple of ideas for it. And it'll be more than a "winter home" for them too
In the winter I have that problem as well, and the best solution I found on this site is putting in a water heater. I've never personally done this myself because I'm always worried about things like maybe the coop burning down, but if you take the right precautions I'm sure you can avoid that easily.
What I've been doing is dumping a pitcherful or so of REALLY hot water in it, and all the ice melts. Then I fill it up with regular temperature water so they don't burn themselves.
The problem is that I have to do it several times a day.
I think you'd save a lot of time and energy though by just getting a water heater.
I was thinking that and in the original plan that's what the heat lamp was going to be for, lol. TSC has a seemingly good one. I still have time for planning.

First step though is to empty and clean out the shed

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