What kind of chicks/coop are Best for New England

Bret's RI Chicks

9 Years
Oct 5, 2010
I am looking to start a new flock and I am wondering what breeds are better for Rhode Island weather that are also good egg layers. Also, I am going to build my own coop. Should it be insulated. As you can tell at this point I know very little about raising chickens and I need all the help I can get. I live in an area that sees the occasional fox and coyote. Do they cause a lot of problems? I am really looking to start small with just a few hens and a small coop. Is there a better season in which to begin raising chickens?

Bret's (hopefully) RI Chicks
Bret, We live in Maine and my wife has done a comprehensive analysis on winter hardy and good layers (see signature below). There is a lot of information about our coop and run on my web page, so please take a look. Our six chicks are totally enclosed and well protected from any kind of predators. Our biggest fear was the neighborhood dog. We do not intend to insulate our coop, but will install two windows when it get really cold. Hope this helps and our approach is one of many good solutions. Good luck and enjoy your chickens...
Bret, you shouldn't have to worry much about cold hardy breeds in Rhode Island, most heritage type breeds are hardy in even colder climates. It would be more notable if a breed were not Rhode Island hardy. Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Australorps and a bunch of others would work fine.

No insulation needed. Just make sure the coop is not susceptible to winter drafts while still maintaining some ventilation.

While not meaning to suggest you should gather knowledge and understand what you're getting into: chickens are really easy!
There are lots of good reasons for insulating coops, even in the South, and vetilation to let out warm, moist air during winter is just as important if not more so.
I live in Indiana, and the weather doesn't seem to bother my blue and black Orpington hens or rooster. I've never had a problem with its being too cold.

See My BYC Page of how to build to protect from any and all predators.
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Hello Fellow Rhody!
I am in Riverside and I am "illegal". I have 5 bantams: 3 cochins, a Sultan and a Sebright. I built a coop this summer that is insulated for my Sultan. My other 4 hens are cold hardy. So far, I have also set up a heat lamp for the really cold nights. I have an angled roof coop and the ventilation is in the rafters. I plan on adding covers for the rafters for those really bad Nor'easter nights. I also plan on adding a Silkie and Ameraucana this Fall. Insulation and ventilation is key no matter what coop you build.

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