New Coop Ideas For A Northern Climate

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rooster Rules, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Hey all, going to build a coop this winter, either as a whole building, or pre fab sections to be moved to my property. Either way, my plans must suit the needs of my area, number of birds etc.
    I live in Southern Mainitoba, Zone3ish, much like Grand Forks ND or Northern Minnesota, plenty of bitter cold every winter, that easily rivals Alaska and the Yukon.
    I am planning a building for upwards of 25 birds max, they wil have an appropriate run, and/or free range too.
    I am leaning toward some type of Opan Air design, like Jack has.
    I need some stowage space, the walk thru door should access a hallway but not directly into the coop itslf. I do not think exterior nestboxes are practical for this climate, at least for the winter season.
    It does get very hot here too, 80s to 90, and very humid, but is short lived, usally only 1 to 2 months of th real hot weather.
    So any ideas? The birds will be standards, going to keep my other coop exclusive to the bantams...

  2. Hmmmmmmmmm, is all I can say.....
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm unsure of using open air design if your in the north like me. For 25 chickens your looking at a good size coop. 8x8 for just the chickens then you want a hallway and storage area on other side. You've quite the little project ahead of you.
  4. Thanx Eggie, this morning it was 3 or 4 above, with a nasty bitter cold wind. all of my chickens came out into the run. I poured new water, about 2 gal into the bowl, 5 hours later it is still fluid. the run is covered and tarped, so water is freezing slowly. It is very sunny, about 4 above, and really no wind, dry and comfortable. it is above freezing in the coop, warm sunlight through the window, and very insulated coop.
    Not really any bigger deal to build another larger coop, going to built in a huge heated building at work, then move to my place later.
    I was just looking for ideas from northern folks on this subject, when I mean northern, mean folks like you, who have bitter temps in the dead of January..... PS, I may also just put an open air addition to my present coop...

  5. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    You could build a Wood's style coop and use it where you are. You would not be the first, it has been done before. I'm sure you've seen the link on the old book, where it tells of open air coops in use, up in Canada, with -40 temps.
    I would recommend the book 'Fresh air poultry houses' from Amazon. It has measured drawings for the Wood's coop. 10X16', which is good for 35-40 birds. Build it and properly site it, and you'll have no problems.
  6. Thanx Jack, will look at the link again.
    Both sets of Grandparents kept Hens, right in this area, of course no eat or insulation. Old coops, 1 was a log shack, probably very drafty too, they had hens for years as all people did in 20s to 70s on the small family farms.
  7. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.

  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I would greatly greatly greatly recommend the wonderful coop from the guy above, JackE.

    Marvelous coop design!

    Especially since the back part is where the perches are, and then you have lots of running around space in the front for the super snowy and gusty days when they don't go outside.
  9. I certainly am in favor of the "Woods" open air design coop. It was tested in Quebec Canada, although it is cold in quebec, it is plant zone 4 to 5 where this was tested, Jack may be in plant zone5B to 6. We are zone 3, you in that part of Alaska may also be zone 3. Now for most of the winter this design should be fine, but if we get a bitter 3 week cold snap with -40 every night, or close to that, will this coop work, with the correct stock, most likely, will the birds be cold stressed, most likely.
    Quebec is cold, but along the St. Lawrence, and southern Quebec is no where near as cold as Manitoba,Saskatchewan, North Dakota,Montana and Northern Minnesota.
    The frsh air design is is no doubt superior, and the coops are appealing to the eye alos, and most importantly, will be comfortable for the birds....

  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    You could always do an interior partition between the back perch area and the front so that the perch area can be closed up more if you need to do so.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by