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Need some advice on designing a coop for cold snowy conditions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by domromer, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    I'm in the beginning stages of planning a coop for 4 hens and maybe a bantam.
    I plan on making the coop 6x7 ft. Giving each bird 8.2sqft. The climate where I live in cold with 120" of snow per year. My previous hens were raised in Oregon so I'm used to building hen houses for very mild climates. I've been reading the stories guide and they talk about making the chicken house pretty small to conserve heat and making the roof 2' over the perch.

    My question is, if the perch is 2ft off the ground and the roof is 2ft over the perch, how can I achieve proper ventilation without having a draft blowing around the chickens head?

    Also if you live in a climate similar to mine and wouldn't mind posting pics of your coops that would be great.

    I've attached the temps for my town so you guys can see how cold I need to build for.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Faverolle

    Faverolle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Massachusetts
    Quote:First of all I would gladly take those temps! I think your main issue is the amount of snowfall that you will be getting. Where I am in Massachusetts we get colder temps then that during the winter and slightly warmer temps in the summer with slightly less snowfall and my birds free range every day all year other then during a snowstorm. I have about 4 square feet per bird but again that is taking into account that they are out all but maybe 10 days all year. I have my ventilation right near the top of the roof and it is a small vent that was originally made for sheds. My perches are about 2' below the vent and I never had any issue. Just make sure you have a fairly steep roof pitch.
     
  3. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    Quote:First of all I would gladly take those temps! I think your main issue is the amount of snowfall that you will be getting. Where I am in Massachusetts we get colder temps then that during the winter and slightly warmer temps in the summer with slightly less snowfall and my birds free range every day all year other then during a snowstorm. I have about 4 square feet per bird but again that is taking into account that they are out all but maybe 10 days all year. I have my ventilation right near the top of the roof and it is a small vent that was originally made for sheds. My perches are about 2' below the vent and I never had any issue. Just make sure you have a fairly steep roof pitch.

    Is your coop insulated?
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Our coop is designed to where the shelf is for the nests it is covered with metal. Same metal that goes on a roof. The door is the same door as would go in a house, screen door with glass to slide down in cold weather but we never use the screen. To keep out predators. The rest of the coop wich is about 2/3 of the coop is wire. The walls have metal on them for 2' from the ground. The top part is wire. The roof is also metal and it has a gap most of the way around it of about 3" for ventillation. During the winter we cover the wire with what ever we have that will keep out the cold winds and we put in windows thata came out of a mobile home. We can raise up the glass to allow air flow on warmer days and the chickens always are able to look out and have sunlight. We also have a florescent light that is always on. In the summer it attracts flying bugs which the chickens love. We let them out on nicer days during the cold months and they are let out in the morning and we lock the door at night when they go to bed during the warmer months or when we let them out in the winter.

    We don't have any insulation at all. Their water will get a thin layer of ice only a few days out of the entire winter. It seems to keep it warm enough for them and they don't even seem to notice the colder days.

    The way our weather goes it can freeze one day then be warm a few days later. We have a saying if you don't like the weather today just wait a few days and it will change.

    We live in South Fulton Tennessee.
     
  6. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    Sounds like a nice coop, but I don't think the temps in Tennessee will be applicable to our temps at 7,000ft in Flagstaff AZ.
     
  7. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

    704
    1
    171
    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    Quote:First of all I would gladly take those temps! I think your main issue is the amount of snowfall that you will be getting. Where I am in Massachusetts we get colder temps then that during the winter and slightly warmer temps in the summer with slightly less snowfall and my birds free range every day all year other then during a snowstorm. I have about 4 square feet per bird but again that is taking into account that they are out all but maybe 10 days all year. I have my ventilation right near the top of the roof and it is a small vent that was originally made for sheds. My perches are about 2' below the vent and I never had any issue. Just make sure you have a fairly steep roof pitch.

    It's funny, coming from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, The temps in Flagstaff seem subarctic!
    Guess it all depends on your perspective.
     
  8. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I grew up very near Gary Indiana and the winters there are just crazy. Very cold and lots of snow. Around here if they even hear the word snow they panic and call off school and church and etc... They even start having wrecks before the snow hits.

    But here it is more ice than snow. It will rain then freeze. this pasy january we had a real bad ice storm that put usout of electric for 5 days and some for as much as 2 weeks. I was worried for my flock though becuase of all the trees they are under. All night we heard limbs snapping and trees falling. The next morning there was a small tree leaned over the coop but it wasn't broken. It was just weighed down. We had to chip our way into the coop. Chickens where fine except their water was a bit frozen. They had broken limbs ontop of the coop but no damage. They where very lucky
     
  9. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    I'd take a foot of snow over an ice storm any day. I grew up in. CT and it seemed every storm was either an ice storm or started out as one.
     
  10. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I don't like the cold at all. I would prefer to live in Florida but the grandkids are here. I just can't seem to tear myself away from them so I deal with it. If I had my choice of either snow or ice it would be snow especially since it melts the next day around here.
    But it is so muddy around here during the fall thru spring. I think we may be near over all the rain.

    No work and decent home is hard to find and everything cost so much. I know it is low compared to other places but when the work is scarce it's hard to pay for things. This year we are being self-sufficient. WE are planting a large garden. I'm working on building the flock of chickens and we are going to get a calf and pig to raise for meat. Gonna have them butchered in the winter and put in our freezer. That should cut down on the grocery bill. Gotta do what one's gotta do to survive.
     

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