1. poultryrookie

    poultryrookie Hatching

    Apr 1, 2012
    Hello all,
    Thinking about chickens and I have a 8' x 8' shed that I was thinking about converting. My worry is that it will
    be to big to stay warm in the winter without keeping more birds than I want. Is there a rule of thumb on size?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    :frow Welcome ot the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    You don't have to worry about the coop being too big. Chickens have a permanent down coat. Cold as such does not bother them nearly as much as you think.

    There are two things I suggest you concern yourself with. One is ventilation. The big risk with chickens is frostbite, not them freezing to death. If humidity builds up inside the coop, that can lead to frostbite. It may sound counter-intuitive, but to protect them from that happening, the best thing you can do is to provide good ventilation. Several people have posted on here that they were having trouble with frostbite, but when they opened up the ventilation, the frostbite problems went away.

    The other thing I'd be concerned about is a breeze blowing directly on them. Think wind chill. How do you get good ventilation yet keep them out of breezes? Have the ventilation openings above them when they are roosting.

    I think you will find great benefits to giving them a lot more room than the absolute minimum. You generally don't have to work as hard and you have a lot more flexibility in how you manage them.

    Good luck and once again :frow
  3. poultryrookie

    poultryrookie Hatching

    Apr 1, 2012
  4. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Build a coop like mine, and you can have the ventilation right at chicken level year round.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  5. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Songster

    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    Jack, I LOVE your coop and we're getting ready to expand my current coop out about 5 feet to make a fresh-air house. Do you have your roosts in the very back like the plans in the book? How far off the ground are they? My current coop is 12' x 16' with the add on coming off the front of the 16'. It will end up looking exactly like the one you have only bigger.
  6. Joe.G

    Joe.G Songster

    Nov 16, 2011
    Eastern NY
    Always go bigger, I wish i made mine bigger. Mine get's the job done but could always use more room, I do plan to put up a another full size barn this year and every week I keep making it bigger.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by