I think our coop is too big. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Lyranonamous, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Lyranonamous

    Lyranonamous Songster

    When we bought this house it had a coop inside an old barn (concrete floor, real walls, a ventilation window covered with hardware cloth, and two doors) I thought this was great but now looking at coop pictures on BYC I think it's too big and there is no way our chickens can keep themselves at all warm.
    The interior is about 12 X 12 (maybe more) and the ceiling is about 6.5 feet. (about 900 cubic feet). That's a lot of space for 10 chickens, and when I see those smaller coops, I realize those chickens are probably much warmer at night than mine. I worry most about my two oldest girls.....The most recent repost on not spoiling our chickens just reinforces my belief. That coop is small enough for those chickens to warm the space at night.
    Would it be better for our chickens to make some kind of enclosure around the roosting poles, even if it was just curtains we could close at night?
    DobieLover and townchicks like this.
  2. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    More space is always good. They will huddle together for warmth. They wear down jacket all the time, anyway. Is the coop draft free where they roost? If so, they are warm.

    Assume there is an additional run/area for them during the day?

    Generally, 4sqft per bird in coop, and minimum 10 sqft in a run area is how many look at it. So, if this coop is only where they sleep, you could have 30 chickens!!! Not that you indicated you are looking to expand.

    Good luck!
  3. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

    Nov 21, 2018
    I'm trying to understand here. So you have a space that's large. Good "run" for them. Now put in some nesting boxes, roosts, etc and enclose that; it can be your "coop". The lady I bought my 2 SLW from had a large "shed" like that with about 20 pullets in it. Very high ceiling probably at least 9 ft. And she didn't even have nesting boxes. Or roosts. She was raising to sell the birds. The room seems quite warm. Also she was definitely doing the DLM. (Deep layer of litter. Pine shavings, some DE if you like, some sand as a base. And then PDZ) That helps them stay warm. Chickens are much more hardy than you think. Mine were out one morning at -9F. And it has been below 0 several night this winter. I check their combs in the morning. Cool but not cold. Chickens sit on their feet and put their feathers around the feet to keep them warm. And some will put their heads under their wings. Someone post pics here of that. Cute pics. Remember chickens average body temp is around 106. Or get more birds. LOL
  4. puffypoo

    puffypoo Like Machine

    Oct 3, 2015
    Right. If you keep the coop draft free, maybe put some straw in there to keep them warm, and give them nest boxes, roosts, etc. they will be glad to have a big coop. There's no such thing as too big a coop--much better than a coop that's too small, where the chickens are cramped and 'bored' or stressed, which leads to pecking.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Noooo, it's not too big....
    ....many coops on BYC are too small and not well ventilated enough.

    Post some pics of your coop, inside and out.

    ..and tell us....
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
  6. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Enabler

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    My Coop
    Good advice above! More room is good.... Dry and draft free are important, deeper bedding helps. I’ve had different size coops over the last 9+ years. No problems in the biggest coop in winter for the girls to stay warm
  7. townchicks

    townchicks Free Ranging

    Dec 1, 2016
    Contra Costa county, Ca.
    Sorry, you do not have a problem here. The space does not get heated by the chickens bodies. They wear a down coat over 105-106 degree bodies. The down keeps the heat in. Lucky you to have a large, pre-built coop to get started with. Enjoy!
  8. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

    Nov 21, 2018
    Then why is my coop warmer when they are in there. What is warming my coop.
  9. puffypoo

    puffypoo Like Machine

    Oct 3, 2015
    Is it just when the chickens are in there or it just because it's protected from the elements?
    RWBP, townchicks and DobieLover like this.
  10. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

    Nov 12, 2017
    Northwest New Jersey
    Assuming your coop is draft free it us warmer because there is no wind factor. At least that's what I think because mine us definitely warmer even when the chickens aren't hanging out inside. Just a thought.

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