In need of coop advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tonupbandit, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Tonupbandit

    Tonupbandit New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm new to this and have 10 chicks coming in a couple weeks - 6 Plymouth Rocks and 4 Rhode Island Reds! Anyway, I have an area in the bottom of my barn that is sectioned off into a 10 X 14 space that I'd like to convert into a coop. It has one south west facing wall and one northwest facing wall, both of which I figured I'd insulate with foam board and cover with plywood since it gets bitter cold here (central Vermont) in winter. I'm also building a 4.5 X 10 foot roost platform/dropping pit 18" off of the ground. I'm worried though that 10 X 14 might be too big of an area for the birds to keep warm in during the winter? Am I just being neurotic, which would be bad since the little ones haven't even arrived yet. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, on the one hand, no, 10 birds are not going to do all *that* much to the wintertime temperature of a 10x14 coop. However, chickens are cold hardier than you might think as long as you keep them draft-free and dry (non humid).

    If you do find yourself wanting a smaller compartment for them to keep warm at night when roosting, it would be fairly simple to build a smaller enclosure (perhaps with aluminized bubblewrap, or just any ole thing you have around) around the roost area, so that their body heat is concentrated into a smaller space (with a ceiling no higher than necessary to give them clearance when roosting).

    Also, if this is inside a larger barn you will get more temperature-buffering than if it were a stand-alone coop, especially if the barn is concrete- or dirt-floored or has concrete or cinderblock lower walls. To give you an idea of what I mean, last winter I had two (2 [​IMG]) hens inside a 15x40' insulated but unheated, concrete-floored building. The temperature in there never dropped below the mid to low 20s F -- and this is in Ontario, with outdoor lows down to -20 to -25 F or so. And my horse barn, which is concrete-floored but not very insulated and ventilated like a sieve [​IMG], only ever gets down to about 0 F (and not for long) -- WITHOUT any horses living in it (I just use the barn for hay and tack).

    So I am quite sure you will be ok, and am not even certain whether you will *have* to partition off a smaller area for them.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Tonupbandit

    Tonupbandit New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2008
    Thanks much for the reply. The coop area is in the corner of a larger barn, which is well beneath the ground surface with a foundation of large granite blocks. The floor is dirt, so I figure with a lot of shavings and the insulating of the outside facing walls it shouldn't get to cold in there...hope, hope. Thanks again for the advice.
     

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