What should a Winter coop be like?

The Red Rooster

Poultry Observer
8 Years
Aug 14, 2011
Rapid City, South Dakota
I have a Summer coop and a Winter coop. When Winter comes i'm moving the chickens to the Winter coop (which is just a tarp shed). Can you name some things that would be good during SD's cold long Winters?

Right now I can think of these.


heated water bowl

Food cantainer


And what else?
In my opinion, winter quarters need to be a stout as possible to withstand the blowing cold wind and snow. They need to be very dry and free of drafts, yet have great ventilation to allow the gasses to exit through the roof or at the roof line. The more room the better, especially since it is common to have days and days of being cooped up. The litter should be deep.

Roosts should be wide, a minimum of 3" of foot rest enabling the birds to snuggle down on the feet, keeping them warm. A narrow roost means the bird must grip the pole and expose their feet to the cold.

Water founts need to be heated, or you'll be carrying water twice a day. Nesting boxes will likely need to be emptied twice a day to prevent freezing of eggs. A light to help brighten their days is optional, but a nice touch.

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