Will coop made out of 1/2" plywood be good enough in winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Germaine_11.20, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Hi! I have some plans for a small coop to hold about 8 chickens. It is made from 1/2" plywood, and no insulation. It does have adequate ventilation, nest boxes, roosts and dropping board.
    Will this be warm enough in winter? We get in the 20's on average, and a little lower once in awhile.

    If it won't be warm enough could I use a low wattage light bulb at night?
     
  2. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Not sure. I live in E Tenn and have no insulation. Mine can be closed up tight except for gable vents and soffit vents. No drafts is a vital thing. Dry is vital too to prevent frostbite. Also do a flat wide roost for winter, about 3" like a 2x4 on it's side. With a narrow one, their toes can freeze as they will not be covered by their feathers when they settle down onto the roost. I would put in really extra deep (12") litter if nothing else. They could huddle in there if it got too cold. Don't know of they would tho. Their instinct is to roost, higher the better. You should have no vent or window on the north side. You could staple cardboard to inner walls for first winter. That would make a dead-air space and would help, especially on the north side. They may peck at it tho. An old bedspread/comforter could be pressed into service. A large 250 W heat lamp would do well too, suspended just about 2 ft above the roost. No good without reflector behind the bulb. All heat will just rise. Better yet might be a string of several of the lower wattage heat lamps, say 3 or 4 spaced along just maybe 14-16" above roosts. BE SURE TO FASTEN HEAT LAMP STRING TO WHERE IT CANNOT BE KNOCKED DOWN BY AN EARTHQUAKE. Chicken are spastic and will knock things down that are not well fastened. I recently read of a coop burning down from a heat lamp fire. I think it got knocked into the litter on the floor and that started the blaze.
     
  3. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would buy bales of hay and stack them on the outside of the coop. Also would use the heat lamp on really cold nights.
     
  4. Galaxiedriver

    Galaxiedriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Mid Missouri
    Where in Idaho are you. I thought Idaho got much colder than the 20s?
     
  5. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    eww. I wouldnt think so-I have the same plywood coop 8 x 8 and we just now are insulating-did the roof/ceiling ad the walls are next with a heating light in it!
     
  6. rdranch

    rdranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Strasburg,CO
    A little lower than 20 once in a while is not that cold for chickens. If your coop is relatively draft free and food and water are always available they should be fine. When the weather is at its worst it a great opportunity to spoil them with things like warm oatmeal or cooked scratch. This is our first year with Andalusians that have large floppy combs. I was worried as we were approaching winter but now I have no worries. They have been through three good snow storms with very cold temps and all did very well. Just do the basics really good and the rest should take care of itself. [​IMG]
     
  7. DragonFeathers

    DragonFeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 27, 2009
    Maryland
    I think they will be fine, when it gets cool/cold out all of the girls seem to get real close together on the roost (body heat) or should i say birdie heat [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Does it seriously seldom get below the 20s F in *Idaho*? Even southern Idaho? Even at night? (Clearly I am no climate expert LOL, but I would have thought it'd be colder)

    If it seriously seldom gets below the 20s F, there is no major pressure to insulate although you do want to make sure the coop is well-ventilated but NOT drafty (including no air leaks thru gaps). Insulation would make your chickens' life more pleasant and your management of the coop easier but is really optional at those temps.

    If you get down to like 0 F on a regular basis, it tips things more towards insulating having a lot of benefits; if it regularly gets below that, it is a really good idea to insulate although you can probably get your flock thru the winter with minimal losses/frostbite as long as you manage things well and are not unlucky.

    IMHO it is a good idea to go into scrounge mode on insulation (and insulation-covering) materials, and do it as stuff becomes available. If nothing else it will decrease your electric bill [​IMG] but it really does make things comfier for the flock and easier management for you.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Yes, it has been much warmer each year. But everyone had me second guessing myself LOL so I checked on the internet. Ya gotta love the internet. Is everyone going to move here by me now? [​IMG] Thank you all for the GREAT info. Great ideas. All of them

    Average Winter Temperatures (Dec,Jan,Feb)
    Boise, Idaho (airport)
    for the 69-season period 1940-41 through 2008-09
    normal (1971-90) = 32.5 degrees

    Rank Rank
    Among Among
    Data Season Coldest Warmest
    D, J, F.
    22.1 1948-49 1 69
    22.6 1984-85 c-,c-,c- 2 68
    24.9 1983-84 c-,c-,c- 3 67
    25.0 1988-89 c+,c+,c+ 4 66
    25.8 1978-79 5 65
    26.8 1963-64 w 6 64
    27.1 1954-55 c,c,c 7 63
    27.4 1976-77 w- 8 tie
    27.4 1992-93 w-,w-,w- tie 61
    27.5 1977-78 w-,w-,w- 10 60
    27.7 1985-86 11 59
    28.0 1990-91 w-,w-,w- 12 58
    28.1 1961-62 13 57
    28.2 1951-52 w- 14 56
    28.5 1959-60 15 55
    28.9 1956-57 c- 16 54
    29.1 1941-42 17 53
    30.0 1981-82 18 52
    30.6 1943-44 19 tie
    30.6 1949-50 tie 50
    30.7 2000-01 21 49
    31.1 1986-87 w,w,w 22 48
    31.2 1945-46 23 47
    31.3 1972-73 w+,w,w 24 46
    31.9 1965-66 w+,w,w 25 45
    32.1 1947-48 26 tie
    32.1 1955-56 c+,c,c tie tie
    32.1 2001-02 tie 42
    32.3 1987-88 w,w-,w- 29 41
    32.5 1942-43 30 tie
    32.5 1946-47 tie tie
    32.5 1971-72 c- tie tie
    32.5 2007-08 c+ tie 37
    32.7 1975-76 c+,c,c 34 36
    32.8 1967-68 35 tie
    32.8 1974-75 c-,c-,c- tie 34
    32.9 1944-45 37 tie
    32.9 1989-90 tie 32
    33.2 2008-09 ,c-,c 39 31
    33.3 2006-07 w-,w-,w- 40 30
    33.5 2003-04 41 tie
    33.5 2005-06 c-,c-,c- tie 28
    33.6 1993-94 w- 43 27
    33.7 1995-96 c-,c-,c- 44 26
    34.0 1962-63 45 25
    34.1 1950-51 c,c,c 46 24
    34.3 1998-99 c+,c+ 47 23
    34.6 1980-81 48 22
    34.9 1960-61 49 21
    35.0 1970-71 c,c,c 50 tie
    35.0 2004-05 w-,w-,w- tie 19
    35.1 1996-97 52 18
    35.2 1968-69 w-,w,w 53 17
    35.3 1966-67 54 tie
    35.3 1979-80 tie 15
    35.4 1964-65 c,c-,c- 56 14
    35.5 1953-54 57 tie
    35.5 1973-74 c+,c+,c+ tie 12
    35.6 1991-92 w,w+,w+ 59 11
    35.9 1999-00 c,c,c 60 10
    36.0 1940-41 61 tie
    36.0 1957-58 w,w+,w+ tie tie
    36.0 1994-95 w,w,w tie 7
    36.3 1982-83 w+,w+,w+ 64 6
    36.5 1958-59 w-,w-,w- 65 5
    36.8 1997-98 w+,w+,w+ 66 4
    37.2 1952-53 67 3
    37.3 1969-70 w-,w-,w- 68 2
    37.6 2002-03 w,w,w 69 1


    3/1/2009 c = la nina w = el nino

    weak c- or w-
    moderate c or w
    strong c+ or w+


    average winter temperatures at boise, airport.txt
     
  10. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Ahhhh maybe this is a little easier to read. Sorry!



    Average Winter Temperatures (Dec,Jan,Feb)
    Boise, Idaho (airport)
    for the 69-season period 1940-41 through 2008-09
    normal (1971-90) = 32.5 degrees

    Rank Rank
    Among Among
    Data Season Coldest Warmest
    D, J, F.
    22.1 1948-49 1 69
    22.6 1984-85 c-,c-,c- 2 68
    24.9 1983-84 c-,c-,c- 3 67
    25.0 1988-89 c+,c+,c+ 4 66
    25.8 1978-79 5 65
    26.8 1963-64 w 6 64
    27.1 1954-55 c,c,c 7 63
    27.4 1976-77 w- 8 tie
    27.4 1992-93 w-,w-,w- tie 61
    27.5 1977-78 w-,w-,w- 10 60
    27.7 1985-86 11 59
    28.0 1990-91 w-,w-,w- 12 58
    28.1 1961-62 13 57
    28.2 1951-52 w- 14 56
    28.5 1959-60 15 55
    28.9 1956-57 c- 16 54
    29.1 1941-42 17 53
    30.0 1981-82 18 52
    30.6 1943-44 19 tie
    30.6 1949-50 tie 50
    30.7 2000-01 21 49
    31.1 1986-87 w,w,w 22 48
    31.2 1945-46 23 47
    31.3 1972-73 w+,w,w 24 46
    31.9 1965-66 w+,w,w 25 45
    32.1 1947-48 26 tie
    32.1 1955-56 c+,c,c tie tie
    32.1 2001-02 tie 42
    32.3 1987-88 w,w-,w- 29 41
    32.5 1942-43 30 tie
    32.5 1946-47 tie tie
    32.5 1971-72 c- tie tie
    32.5 2007-08 c+ tie 37
    32.7 1975-76 c+,c,c 34 36
    32.8 1967-68 35 tie
    32.8 1974-75 c-,c-,c- tie 34
    32.9 1944-45 37 tie
    32.9 1989-90 tie 32
    33.2 2008-09 ,c-,c 39 31
    33.3 2006-07 w-,w-,w- 40 30
    33.5 2003-04 41 tie
    33.5 2005-06 c-,c-,c- tie 28
    33.6 1993-94 w- 43 27
    33.7 1995-96 c-,c-,c- 44 26
    34.0 1962-63 45 25
    34.1 1950-51 c,c,c 46 24
    34.3 1998-99 c+,c+ 47 23
    34.6 1980-81 48 22
    34.9 1960-61 49 21
    35.0 1970-71 c,c,c 50 tie
    35.0 2004-05 w-,w-,w- tie 19
    35.1 1996-97 52 18
    35.2 1968-69 w-,w,w 53 17
    35.3 1966-67 54 tie
    35.3 1979-80 tie 15
    35.4 1964-65 c,c-,c- 56 14
    35.5 1953-54 57 tie
    35.5 1973-74 c+,c+,c+ tie 12
    35.6 1991-92 w,w+,w+ 59 11
    35.9 1999-00 c,c,c 60 10
    36.0 1940-41 61 tie
    36.0 1957-58 w,w+,w+ tie tie
    36.0 1994-95 w,w,w tie 7
    36.3 1982-83 w+,w+,w+ 64 6
    36.5 1958-59 w-,w-,w- 65 5
    36.8 1997-98 w+,w+,w+ 66 4
    37.2 1952-53 67 3
    37.3 1969-70 w-,w-,w- 68 2
    37.6 2002-03 w,w,w 69 1


    3/1/2009 c = la nina w = el nino

    weak c- or w-
    moderate c or w
    strong c+ or w+


    average winter temperatures at boise, airport.txt
     

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