New coop in Vermont

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by adam802, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. adam802

    adam802 Chirping

    Feb 25, 2012
    Looking into getting 5 buff orpington pullets soon and have a question about coop design. I know the general rule is 4 sq feet per bird in the coop, but I've been reading on forums that for colder climates (VT winters can get -15+ with windchill) should I still aim for 4 sq ft per bird or go with a smaller amount so they stay warm during the winter months? I do intend to insulate the coop.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Actually, in colder climates they are more likely to do better in a larger coop, if they will stay indoors some days. Cold is not a problem for them nearly as much as ammonia and humidity. You will need good ventilation at the high point of the coop so the humidity and ammonia can escape. Here are a couple of excellent articles, written by a Canadian:

    Personally, I would build an 8x8 walk in coop with the roof slanting to one side and ventilation under the high end of the roof. Most people find they want more chickens, and this gives room to store food and supplies, and room to separate a broody or injured chicken.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Totally agree with flockwatcher! Huddle boxes or curtain-like structures around the roosts, etc. can be used to reduce space/conserve heat while roosting if needed, without sacrificing valuable floor space. We built a simple drop ceiling that we tack in over the winter months...
    While most chickens will go out into really cold weather (when it's not super windy at least), they still spend a LOT more time indoors over the winter months, so the more indoor space you have, the better. They'll get on one another's nerves less, plus poop management will be easier on you.
    And since most lumber comes in 8ft. lengths, an 8x8 wastes the least material... I started with 5 chickens and thought I'd just go with a 6 x 8 for some reason. I've kicked myself for the past three years that I didn't go ahead and build it 8 x 8....

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