pics of large coops suited for really cold weather?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by technodoll, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've decided to tear down the big old rotten century-old coop next spring, bulldoze all the crap away (rats and mice included) and rebuild from NEW! This horrible coop has zero ventilation and no way to add any, it's built directly on sand hence an open buffet to vermin... GAAAAH!

    I have 5 months to gather enough money for the project, lord willing...

    Would be MOST thankful for pics of your big, well-designed coops built for the cold and humid northern climate!

    I've been scouring the threads and have seen tons of awesome coops, however most seem too small for our needs and not very winter-friendly? We get a ton of snow... gets to the -30 degrees quite easily. We will have electricity and water since that setup already exists.

    Looking for:

    -off the ground coops with ventilation
    -attached, covered runs
    -botj tall enough for me to comfortably stand in (am 5'5")
    -inside of coop needs a separate section for new birds, broody hens raising chicks, etc
    -needs to be well insulated and sunny
    -need a section to store the big plastic food storage bins, bags of bedding, etc

    Does anyone have such a coop?

    Oh and of course, it has to be CHEAP to build... I will be using mostly new materials as recycled stuff is hard to find.

    This is mission impossible [​IMG]
     
  2. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bumping up the Mission Impossible... [​IMG]

    btw here is the current coop that is being bulldozed next spring. do not be fooled by its charming antique exterior appearance, it is riddled with vermin, cracks and holes, sports contaminated pink insulation (50 lbs of mouse crap!), it's built on sand so crooked and damp and dusty - [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  3. mightieskeeper

    mightieskeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not bulldoze it. I would cement the floor and clean up the inside. Build 2 cupola for a roof vents. Gave it a good paint job. You could fix everything for maybe a couple hundred dollars. If you do most of the work your self. I wish I had a building as cool looking as you do.
     
  4. Chicken Girl

    Chicken Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are coop was not cheap. lol But it was a shed! I dont have the best ventilation. I have about 24 nest boxes. And i now have a wier box for broodys and babys. I dont have a pic of that sorry! Here are some pics!

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    My run is not covered.
    it is 9' wide and 17' long.
    you can PM me if you need more help!


    Chicken Girl
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    First, let me say, are you CERTAIN you can't salvage the old building if it is structurally sound. The sand floor can be made pretty predatorproof (mix in dry cement with the top 4-6", dampen well and flatten, then when cured put a thin layer of sand and then 2x2' pavers tightly-set all over it, with buried hardwarecloth in any areas you can't tightly fit pavers) and ANYthing can have ventilation openings cut into it.

    If the old coop is failing structurally, though, or is in a basically undesirable location, or you just want a Project <g>, then sure, build a new one.

    When you say "large", whatcha mean large? My chickens are in a 15x40 building (built, not by me, as a dog breeding/boarding kennel), is that what you mean? Or just like 12x12 type large?

    In this sort of climate, you will by far get most benefit out of the largeness of the coop if you build it ON THE GROUND, with a concrete floor. If a poured slab is out of the question (although it would *work* best), I would recommend the above strategy of hardening the ground with cement and topping with *large* *tightly-set* pavers. With a good-sized coop and bedding on it, it won't crack and heave much (and a little is ok); and if it gets too bad in five or ten years you can remove the pavers, re-level the bed and replace them. The advantage of having your coop floor be the ground is that in a large coop you get a LOT of heat subsidy and thermal inertia that way. In particular it will not get nearly as cold on cold nights as it would in a raised-floor coop, because of the heat stored in the ground. If you have a large unheated barn or other outbuilding you may have noticed this (everyone should own multiple max-min thermometers, they are extremely educational toys <g>).

    Then I would recommend, if you can swing the materials for it, build 6" stud walls instead of the traditional 4". That is, use 2x6s instead of 2x4s for everything. This will give you a wall cavity TWICE as thick, thus room for TWICE as much insulation. It makes a tremendous difference IME. If you cannot afford to buy all that insulation at the moment, build the 6" walls anyhow, you can leave some partly-insulated or juryrigged with bags of leaves or even uninsulated if need be, then when more material comes your way later on, unscrew the plywood inside wall covering and add your new insulation. Do not forget to insulate the ceiling!

    If you are feeling particularly motivated there are also things you can do to capture more solar heat during the daytime that a good-sized coop will carry some of through the night -- popcan solar panel designs, a 'sunporch' or solarized run (mine works fairly impressively even in such a large coop as mine, and would be even more effective in a less-large structure), etc.=

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, about an hour north of Toronto so not quite as cold as you but still plenty cold enough if you ask me [​IMG]
     
  6. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quebec, Canada
    Love your input, photos, suggestions - thank you!

    The coop is such an eyesore and rotted through and through, my contractor said it would cost MORE to renovate it than to tear it down and build from new. Plus we want it in another place to open up our yard a bit [​IMG]

    However the main reason we want to bulldoze is to get rid of the vermin, there are hundreds of nests around (rats, mice, etc). They are chewing their way into the coop in dozens of places (eating the wood, the foam insulation, the plywood boards inside, etc).

    If a poured concrete slab is the suggested method in cold climates (vs raised floor), then that's what we will do - this is exactly the type of info I'm looking for! We need to use materials that rats and mice CANNOT chew through, they are MONSTERS!

    Looking for a coop size of about 12 x 15, that should be plenty for our future flock of about 25, plus pens, storage, etc.

    I had thought of a raised coop with some sort of insulated flooring, we have some spare tiles that we could put on the floor with heating wires under to provide warmth in the winter - would that work?? Or would we lose all the heat through the floor?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would getting 1-2 cats help keep down on the mice/rat issues?
     
  8. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2008
    Nebraska
    Quote:She can't have cats, her dogs kill them and she's allergic to them................read that in her Rat posting!
     
  9. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Monroe, North Carolina
    Technodoll,

    I've seen your previous posts from when you were going to renovate and use your old building. Yeah, it's "picturesque" and has possibilities, but if you have THAT big a vermin population, and your contracto says don't, then you're dead right to bulldoze it.

    At least you've got until spring. That gives you time.

    Might be a good idea to put up the new runs first thing in the spring. Then you could use a temporary shelter inside the run while you build the new building to go with it, and that would give you even more time.

    Spend the winter collecting your best materials as the best price you can find, and touring BYC coop designs. No one will have EXACTLY what you want, but there will be plenty of ideas you can combine for your own place. I'm planning a very small tractor of my own in the spring, and I've come up with SO many cool ideas that my finished design looks nothing like what I started out with, and I'm VERY pleased with the ideas I've collected.

    Be sure and read patandchickens sticky on ventilation.

    And keep posting your progress reports and pics!!![​IMG]

    ps: When you do bulldoze, be prepared for the accursed vermin to turn up EVERYWHERE after they've been evicted. You might think about rat bait for a few weeks in advance to mitigate this undesired result.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our landfill corporation recycles windows and doors- does yours? Might be a way to save some $$ and/or use freecycle. We have an old coop on our property and its floor joists are so rotten that all we could do is recover some cedar sheathing from it. It has some storage ability so for now it stands. I completely agree about taking yours down, and don't be tempted to move roosts or nests from it- start fresh to avoid northern fowl mites. They are the reason that farmers in bygone days used to burn down coops after rebuilding every 5-10 years.

    Or coop is built into a barn with concrete footings so it is probably not much help to you (links below) but you might get some ideas from the run we attached to it. Our climate is similar and we had a brutal winter last year so check our our 'seasonal concerns' page also listed below.

    It's difficult to put up a large coop for a little money, the run and the foundations can cost a lot but are worth the effort, especially if you can start out on new ground, rodent free. We support a feral cat colony in the barn and they keep us rodent-free. The cats never come into contact with the birds, though.

    Good luck with your project and if I can be of assistance please let me know. [​IMG]

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