Will this coop need to be further winterized?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by msviolaceous, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. msviolaceous

    msviolaceous Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Greetings! I live in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Our area has evil summertime highs in the 90's with "feels like" temperatures well over 100 many days during the summer. In the winter, our climate is more like coastal North Carolina than what you may think of as Virginia, with average lows right around freezing. That being said, we can have blizzards, and the past two winters have been especially bad with several Snowpocalypses. But obviously I've been more focused on controlling heat and humidity, with cold protection in winter way at the bottom of the list.

    The coop is almost done (finally, and yes I'm one of those freaks with fully feathered clucking birds in the house waiting on the half-built coop!) and we're debating which of our vents to make "winterizable." Here's the plan:

    - Roughly 4' by 4' coop on stilts, plus a nesting box extension. Nesting boxes on one side, blank wall, cleaning/access hatch side, and pop door side.
    - The pop door and the blank wall will each have two smallish (6"x6" to 4"x4" depending on what we have room for) windows covered in hardware wire up near the roof. I am not planning on ever winterizing these.
    - The cleaning/access hatch will have a removable door, and right now the plan is to make two versions, a solid winter version and a "screen door" made out of hardware cloth in a frame, which I can switch out as the seasons change by undoing the hinges. The access door will be huge, the majority of the wall on that side.
    - On the opposite wall, above the nest boxes, I have room for a large window that runs the length of the coop, 3' 10" by 7". This will be covered in hardware cloth, and this is the window for which in my mind there is debate about whether we'll need to winterize it or not. It will be up at the top half of the coop. There will not be cross breezes coming through it as the opposite wall will be winterized in the cold season.
    - The roosts will run parallell to the nest boxes, so parallell to the walls with the long window and the access hatch.
    - Our chickens include two Buff Orpingtons, a Cinnamon Queen (RSL), two Wyandottes, and a White Leghorn. I know the leghorn is the one I have to watch for frostbite etc.

    (If somehow this doesn't turn out to be enough ventilation, we still have the option of cutting holes along the bottom of the blank wall, and cutting out another window in the small portion of wall above the access hatch so that it really is the case that the whole side is hardware cloth.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm learning that the more open hardware clothed walls the better--those hens put out a HUGE amount of heat!I'm more concerned with summer ventilation and cooling than winter cold--southern New England.

    You may want to set it up so you can be flexible. We are cutting out large sections of wall, that will be covered with rat wire and then covered again with the cut out now fashioned into a "door" with a hinge and lock.

    GL
     
  3. msviolaceous

    msviolaceous Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    I would like to know what's "necessary" in terms of winterization, though. Not just what I could do. We've already put a lot into this coop and I don't want to take unnecessary steps. Our climate is pretty mild, after all.
     
  4. chawk

    chawk Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
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    I live a little north of you on the bay in Maryland. All we did was make doors for the windows for winter, and foam sealed some drafty areas by the roof. I was also more worried about keeping them cool in the summer vs. warm in the winter.. Depending on how cold they seem to get will determine if we'll put some form of removable covering on the built in vents DH made in the roof eaves..
     
  5. msviolaceous

    msviolaceous Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Quote:Wow, you're going further than I am, for sure. What are your average lows in winter? In a normal year we hardly get a few dustings of snow a season.
     
  6. Jay-Mar28

    Jay-Mar28 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ontario Canada
    We get hit with - 30'C weather here (not sure what that is in Fahenheit, i think close to -22) and what ive had to do was hang a heat lamp within the coop at night. Aslong as there are no dafts the cold outside wont bother them much. Spray foam works great for those little cracks.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    All coops anywhere near the coast should have windows you can close. or partially open to control temperature and WIND.

    A hurricane will cause more problems than cold weather , and being able to shut windows securely when needed will solve both situations
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  8. chawk

    chawk Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Southern Maryland
    Quote:Wow, you're going further than I am, for sure. What are your average lows in winter? In a normal year we hardly get a few dustings of snow a season.

    It depends on the winter to be honest, but being able to close the windows seemed very important in case of severe weather, where DH cut out for the windows he just added hinges and voila. A closable cover. We sealed the cracks since he built large vents in. That way we could control it. There have been times where it gets cold enough here that the DOT lifts regs on oil delivery drivers to keep people warm. Other winters are nothing. Our last winter wasn't too bad. The one before? Way worse with drifts you wouldn't believe. We were also considering tropical storms etc when he put window covers up. We decided it was better to have a plan in place than be scrambling in a weather emergency. I'm geussing our temps run at the lowest(Nighttime) in the 30's.. we regularly get forecasts for freezing rain. DH says you are in a warmer area, esp with being by the ocean(lucky you). Maybe skip the foam, but make window covers for bad weather?
     
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have actual windows you can open & shut. But I do have big window opening & there hardware cloth covered. Last winter I sealed off one window completely with plexiglass because it was cold & the birds roost where the window is located. The problem I encountered one day was a norther blew in & I wasn't prepared. I was freezing my tail off the wind was cutting like a knife & I was scrambling to cover the other windows with tarps. It sure would of been nice to have something you can open & shut that's for sure. I have now positioned my other coops that I built to block the bad winds out & the good wind blows in. I also only build three sided coops because of the extreme heat here in Texas.
     
  10. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm north of you, and I have the whole front of mine open. You don't want to close them up tight in the winter. They need alot of fresh air.
    Jack
     

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