1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

I am soo concerned...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by YourGrace, May 6, 2011.

  1. YourGrace

    YourGrace Out Of The Brooder

    48
    0
    22
    Apr 14, 2011
    I need an expert chicken raiser in a cold climate to read through this thoroughly and give me advise... I am afraid I am going to hear that I have a big problem, but please be honest. I would rather you tell me I don't have a problem, lol! If I have a problem I need to know how to fix it without starting from square one...

    So, we have 10 chickens and we live in Central Oregon. DRY weather (high desert) but gets cold and snowy in winter (average of 40 high, sometimes as low as 0 high). We are on an extremely tight budget.

    The coop is almost done being built and I am afraid it might be too drafty and not enough insulation/ventilation. I have read through as many forum topics on this as possible and still do not feel comfortable so I am going to describe the coop and would LOVE some feedback!

    We used scrap wood from around the yard. The dimensions are 4 x 6 feet and 4 feet tall slanting down to 3 feet. The coop is on 2 1/2 foot tall stilts. No insulation. No vents. The door opening for them to come in and out is the largest hole and it 14 inches high and 12 inches wide.

    I feel like the roosts and the nesting boxes, as well as feeder and waterer are all in really great locations in the coop - that I have going for me. The problem may be in that the front door where we go to change food and water isn't sealed around the edges very well so there are small cracks around it. The door itself is 3 feet high and 5 feet wide, 3 inches thick. Then also the door we put in place for where we grab the eggs out has the same issue.

    My questions now are....

    Will my chickens be too cold?

    Will we need to install some vents?


    Thank you all so much!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes you will absolutely have to have ventilation. They will have a lot more trouble with an unventilated coop in winter than with a properly ventilated one. sounds illogical, I know, but there is good reason. Please read patandchickens' pages on cold weather coops and on ventilation:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    The one on cold weather coops is linked on the same page.
     
  3. miraclz5

    miraclz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    246
    5
    111
    Feb 5, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    I live in NH where it gets VERY cold and although I am pretty new at this, I have several friends who have coops that are not insulation. The biggest concerns that have been stressed to me are drafts....and making sure there is adequate ventilation. I have also read about this at great length as well given that I am about to embark on building a coop myself. The resounding messages are the same....no drafts and plenty of ventilation. As for the insulation....mixed opinions regarding that....chickens generally are very warm and keep themselves warm....I don't know if you have your chicks yet, but if you don't look for breeds that do better with colder climates. Good luck!
     
  4. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    1
    121
    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    The biggest concerns that have been stressed to me are drafts....and making sure there is adequate ventilation. I have also read about this at great length as well given that I am about to embark on building a coop myself. The resounding messages are the same....no drafts and plenty of ventilation. As for the insulation....mixed opinions regarding that....chickens generally are very warm and keep themselves warm....I don't know if you have your chicks yet, but if you don't look for breeds that do better with colder climates. Good luck!







    I agree with above post. Ventilation is the key to success;)
     
  5. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    793
    4
    121
    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    I'm a native Oregonian and very familiar with the climate in Bend. I'd worry a lot more about the hot summers. You will most definitely need good cross ventilation in the summer. Heat is hard on chickens. If possible, create nice size hardware cloth windows, making sure that one faces South. You can put hinged shutters on the windows for winter, or simply tack up heavy-duty plastic in winter to protect against wind (wind is worse than cold). Light and air in a coop are important for your chickens health. When it falls below freezing, we put a brooder bulb in the coop to provide extra warmth. Sounds like you may not have electricity in yours but I'm wondering if you could run an extension cord to the coop. If so, it would be a good idea for those coldest days in winter. Knowing the climate in Bend, I don't think you need insulation.

    Finally, I would go with birds without large wattles and combs as they can freeze. If you have birds with wattles and combs, cover them with Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) when it drops below freezing. It helps protect them from frost bite.

    I don't think you have a big problem, at all. And it's GREAT that you're in a dry climate. Dry and cold is 100% better than wet and cold. I'm thinking you can create windows for ventilation at very little cost and minimal labor, just make sure you use sturdy stuff. The Bend area is rife with predators.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  6. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

    679
    72
    181
    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    Quote:Little cracks will not be a big issue. Cut a couple of holes in your coop and cover with wire for venting. If you feel the need you can make a small hinged door to cover these if the temperature plummets but the birds will probably do fine either way. I was worried about my naked necks in the dreary cols winter here in MA but they didn't even notice it was cold... they just HATED the deep snow, which I will address this summer with a reinforced tarp cover...
     
  7. jimz1

    jimz1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    260
    0
    119
    Jun 6, 2010
    Coleman, Wi
    We get pretty cold here in Wis. and a friends Mom has been raising chickens in her barn for about 20 years without any insulation and a concrete floor.
    There is a little straw for the floor but thats it. He had to tell me this while I was insulating my coop.
     
  8. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    793
    4
    121
    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Quote:Little cracks will not be a big issue. Cut a couple of holes in your coop and cover with wire for venting. If you feel the need you can make a small hinged door to cover these if the temperature plummets but the birds will probably do fine either way. I was worried about my naked necks in the dreary cols winter here in MA but they didn't even notice it was cold... they just HATED the deep snow, which I will address this summer with a reinforced tarp cover...

    I want to note, again, that it's the HOT HOT summers in Bend that are the biggest concern. Small vents won't work. There will need to be plenty of cross-ventilation. It's the heat that's more concerning than the cold in Bend, Oregon.
     
  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,181
    31
    191
    Jul 10, 2009
    Will this help? My Coop has been in use over 20 years, see my BYC page for more pics.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    793
    4
    121
    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Quote:Love the composting!!! Great pics. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by