We need to make a winter chicken coop, and we live in Central Alberta. We have COLD weather, frequently getting a couple weeks straight of high -25C(-15f), and -40C/f (doesn’t matter!). This last summer we got 7 layers and 5 more female ‘broilers’ that look to actually be white leghorns and have been staying out at the piece of land we’ve just bought. Come August/September we will be moving back to the city, and we want to bring our chickens with us (undercover – they aren’t allowed in town). We have a shed in our back yard (8’x10’ about?) that we would like to convert to a winter chicken coop. It looks like this (not ours but same size): What are the most important things to know? I messed up on the first round construction for the 7 layers (not enough roosting space). Now I need to think about enough roosting and nest boxes for 12 chickens (5 will be about 3 months old in September, and joining the other 7 that are currently laying). So in designing my coop/run, I need: Items to include in our plans – winter coop for 12 chickens: - 10-12’ of roosting space - Minimum 10-20sqft of indoor coop space (1-2sqft/chicken, but more since they will probably be spending more time inside) - Minimum 3 nest boxes - Minimum 48-60sqft outdoor run (4-5sqft/chicken - probably on the smaller side since in the summer they have a bigger run at the ‘farm’, and this will likely only be used for the winter). - Heat lights (how to do this without making it a fire hazard?)/ day lights – what wattage and what type of light regime do they need to allow moulting properly and enough rest for laying? Our layers are 5 ratty-looking two year old leghorns and 2 nine-month old ISA Browns – we may cull a few old leghorns for soup) - Insulation (r-14 enough? How much body heat do the chickens produce on their own?) - We will use the deep litter method since that will help create heat, and requires less work! - How high do roosts need to be? What I’m thinking is that I should make a larger coop, with a roosting area inside that can be closed. The reason I’m thinking that is that if the ladies are only roosting they don’t need much space, and they could keep a smaller area warm themselves rather than over-heat with power. Then when we come feed them in the morning we can let them out of the roost, and they will have an indoor and outdoor run. We could feed scraps in the outdoor run since it’s easier to clean up! Considering our cold weather, how much of the run should be open to the elements? The only way we can set it up is so that the hardware cloth would be aiming NW – right where all our weather comes from. Perhaps we should make a cover so when we have going to have a big storm they will not have lots of snow blow into their run? The only predators we need to worry about are red squirrels, dogs and cats (our own dog and neighbour’s dog!!!). Incidentally, I could see this shed/run turning into a future chick hatchery/nursery. What types of things do I need to know about chick needs? How dense should they be? How much space do you need for 100 2wk broilers? What are the chances of any of our hens going broody and how do I try (if I want them to take care of some chicks?) Maybe I should make a coop for 20 chickens instead of 12… LOL! Where do I find about about ventilation needs?