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Greetings from Finland!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by vehve, May 2, 2014.

  1. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn


    Just joined this site a few days ago, after spending a lot of time admiring all the coop designs available. They were a great help when designing our own coop. We just moved the first 4 occupants into their new home last weekend, and two more are waiting to get in there soon. This is our first experience with keeping chickens, so this site has been an invaluable resource of information.

    Currently we have 1 Marans and 3 Marans-Araucana mixes in the coop, two of which are roosters. We'll see how long we can keep the boys, but since they're only 6 weeks old at the moment I'm thinking we still get to enjoy watching them grow for a few months. We also have 2 three-week-old Sussexes waiting to get in there, same 50-50 sex spread with these. We're thinking of keeping the rooster, because at least for now he seems to be a lot more friendly to humans than the Arau-Marans'es.

    We're probably going to get 3 older once the coop is fully finished to kick-start our egg production.

    It seems most of the users here live in a slightly warmer climate than we do, so I haven't read about that many experiences with insulated coops, but let's hope i managed to put together something that can weather through our winter as well. I did go a bit crazy with the insulation.

    If anyone has pictures of their insulated coops i'd love to see them. I also decided to document the progress of our build, so if anyone's interested, it can be found in the coop designs. Here's how it's looking so far:

  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Chickens are well adapted to cold weather, and given a draft free but well ventilated coop they will do fine. I keep one window in my coop open some all year round to vent warmer moist air. Most new keepers underestimate how important good ventilation in cold weather is for preventing frostbite and illness.
  3. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Thank you, 1muttsfan =)

    I have to disagree with the cutest dachshund thing, since she all ready lives here =)

    Yeah, I agree that ventilation is key, I currently have a 100mm intake and 100mm outflow duct at the highest point in the coop, if the moisture level gets too high i'll probably install a computer fan in the outflow to improve ventilation.

    I wanted to insulate the coop though, because -20 celsius for a month is not unheard of here during the winter, and sometimes it can go a lot lower. Luckily we're quite close to the sea, so that evens it out a bit. Also, since we're only planning on keeping maybe 6-7 chickens in there, they don't really heat it up all that much.

    What kind of heating arrangements do you have for when it's colder?
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA

    Welcome to BYC!

    Very nice coop!!! Yes, we have all the great coop designs in our coop pages. Be careful with insulation in the coop. Chickens are able to adapt to some brutally cold temps and too much insulation will keep the coop so warm that they are unable to go outside until the weather really warms. And you don't want chickens hanging around inside the coop all winter as they can get respirator ailments that way. They should go outside every day, even on very cold days. Ventilation is VERY important however, 1 square foot of vent space per bird should be in your eaves. These vents should stay open for the most part all winter. They only time you will want to close them is if it is going to be a very windy night and you will want to slow the air movement thru the coop. When chickens sleep at night, they are pooping and breathing. A lot of moisture is released from these activities and this warm moist air has to go somewhere. It is going to rise, and if you don't have proper ventilation, it is going to cool or refreeze and fall back down on the birds as water or frost, really chilling the birds or giving frost bite. So keep the roost bars low to the floor in quiet air, lots of vents in the eaves and your birds will stay very warm at night. I like to tact an old towel to the roost bar in the early winter to keep the birds feet warm. Warm feet mean warmer birds.

    Now this does not mean that occasionally you may need to add a heat lamp if the over night lows are dropping to -40 or so. You don't want to add too much heat, as this adds more moisture. But you can add just enough to take some of the chill off with lamps. Make sure they are permanently attached to the wall so they can't fall and start a fire.

    Enjoy this new adventure you are on! I hope your birds bring you great joy. Welcome to our flock!
  5. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    A square foot of vents per bird seems like quite a lot, I would imagine you can accomplish the same airflow with a fan and smaller vents, and keep the draft in check better. Why would heating increase the humidity? Shouldn't it help dry the air?

    I don't think I will be getting any condensation problems in the ceiling, the insulation should keep it from getting that much colder. I think the windows are where most of the condensation will occur. So far the humidity has been keeping in check, it's dryer inside the coop than outside (we've had a lot of rain the past few days). Well see how it develops once the chickies get a bit bigger and the rest move in.
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    When heat meets damp cold air, it makes moisture. I would imagine in your climate you have humidity in your air at all times. The requirement for venting is 1 square foot per bird. I did not make this one up. LOL Birds put out a LOT of moisture. You may not even see frost or condensation on your ceilings, but without proper ventilation in your area, you will have frost bitten combs.

    You do not want fans blowing in the winter. This will disturb the air bubble of heat that the birds themselves put out and will cause a draft around the birds causing them to chill.
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  8. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Well, I'll have to see how it develops. Right now we have ~50% humidity inside the coop at about 16 deg C versus the outsides 90% at 4 deg C. Even with the vents right now I have about a ten time bigger airflow in there compared to what I would build on a house. I'm not using any fans at the moment. I just feel that cutting massive vents would leave it too open to the wind. Also with a fan based system it would be easier to preheat the air that is taken in, that way you don't get the problem with condensation that you get if the cold air hits the damper warm air.
  9. gander007

    gander007 Overrun With Chickens

  10. SummerSaige

    SummerSaige Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2014
    Sunny California!
    Welcome to BYC from Northern California!

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