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Newbie* is our coop sufficient? Wanting to know if we need to make changes before winter hits.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by heatherg13, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. heatherg13

    heatherg13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Two views of the coop (right after building) it's 4x4. front door has a removable plexiglass window that we leave on if it's cold and inside the run is their door to the coop(we always leave that open) no other vents. We have buried mesh wire under the entire area of the run. It has insulation under the floor and on the walls, we had it on the ceiling as well but we did not have that covered with additional material and they ate it, so we had to take it out. There are 2 roosting bars inside. They are let out to "free range" in a small fenced area of our yard around the coop and run. At dusk they go in their coop and are we lock the run up. We have 4 hens and one cockerel, 4 months old.
    Ok so now that you have an idea of our coop I have several questions.
    1. Is our coop/run large enough, or should I say will they be happy with the space? The plans for this coop said up to 12 chickens- no way! In my opinion.
    2. One of my biggest concerns, I find so many contradicting info on this. Is there enough ventilation for winter leaving only the chickens door open?
    3. Will it be warm enough for them with no additional heat? It gets cold here in northwest indiana..really cold. Should the roof be re insulated as well?
    4. What type of litter to use in the winter? Currently using a mixture of shavings and straw. I see some use sand?

    Being a new chicken owner, I feel overwhelmed with everything that i need to know. I just want them to be happy and comfortable! With winter coming I'm nervous :/
     
  2. missbecky

    missbecky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems to me that you have plenty of space. Chickens produce a lot of heat, so they will roost, and keep each other warm in the winter. They also create humidity so make sure you keep the ventilation -with no drafts, because damp & cold is no good.

    Depending on where you live, and how cold it gets some breeds do better with the cold than others. I have read that in areas where temperatures drop real low that it is wise to put some Vaseline on chickens combs & waddles in order to prevent frostbite. <Those that have long ones may need it.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I would not say you have plenty of space.....barely enough, if that, for 5 large fowl adult birds.
    You will definitely need more ventilation as high as possible, maybe some gable vents would work.

    Can you post a pic of the inside?

    There are links to 2 very good articles about space and ventilation in my signature just below this post.
    I suggest you read them.

    It is overwhelming, but you'll figure it out and get thru and will be much more confident next winter.

    -They do not need heat, they have down jackets. Wider roosts to keep feet warm and ventilation with out drafts will keep them just fine. The insulated floor will help too.
    -Plan on how you will keep snow away from the run door so you have access all winter.
    -You might want to block off part of the run walls, leaving the top 6" or so open for ventilation depending on your prevailing winds, to keep snow from accumulating in the run.
    -How will you keep the water liquid? That cup, and maybe the pipe, will freeze.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with aart about both space and ventilation. Consider roofing your run, and plastic or some coverings on two of the run walls, leaving the south wall more open. That will enlarge your usable coop space to more acceptable sq. ft. Mary
     
  5. heatherg13

    heatherg13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for responding! I am a little angry that the plans we bought online said for up to 12 birds :/ we plan on using construction plastic around the run for winter and using a normal chicken waterer, maybe running A extension wire to the run for a heater waterer,if needed.
    I am concerned about making vents at the top because the roosting bars would be in the path where the air would cross through. I'm not sure if you can tell by the photos? :/

    Here are some of the inside of the coop, there you can also see the size of the coop compared to the chicks.
    [​IMG][/IMG][/IMG][/IMG][/IMG][/IMG][/IMG][/IMG]
     
  6. heatherg13

    heatherg13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well images didn't all load.. Try again.[​IMG]
     
  7. heatherg13

    heatherg13 Out Of The Brooder

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  8. heatherg13

    heatherg13 Out Of The Brooder

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  9. christine9

    christine9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could add ventilation to the wall opposite the door. This will provide you with some cross ventilation and would probably help a lot.

    If you cover the opening with something like a heater vent cover, it will keep it from being drafty.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  10. heatherg13

    heatherg13 Out Of The Brooder

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    The wall opposite of the chickens door has the the nesting boxes.
     

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