1. foamspoon

    foamspoon Songster

    Apr 17, 2007
    I have a question.

    My coop is a little small compared to the standard excepted space needed. It is 4 x 4 dog house and i have 6 RRs. All spring, summer, and fall they spend all day outside of the coop only using the coop to lay and roost at night. At night i lock them in the coop and the morning i open the door.

    As the temps drop i am curious on what to do. Should I keep the door shut and keep them inside the coop all day when it is really cold? i would like to give them the option to go outside if they want. But, if I do that the cold and wind will enter the coop.

    Has anyone used heavy plastic strips over the door that would allow the chickens to enter and leave freely and attempt to keep heat in and wind out?

    Has anyone tried this? Any suggestions.

    In the spring I am going to build a bigger more funstional coop for the birds but this will do for the winter. i thought the small size of the coop would be better for the winter.



  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I really like your setup. Very cute and functional!

    If the chickens are basically just sleeping in there, I'd think its big enough if they all get along. My girls all just sleep all huddled together in a row anyway. And, their body heat should keep it reasonably warm this winter with the smaller size.

    I'd just leave the door open during the day and close it at night. Their body heat will get that small sized coop up to an OK temp pretty quickly if they are sleeping together in there.

    You could just block off some of the opening to make it more chicken sized with cardboard, etc to block some of the wind, as the door is definately bigger than your chickens need.

    I don't know about plastic strips - chickens are so easily freaked out I wonder if they would figure out how to get past/through them or would they be afraid??

    Oh, one more thing - it may depend somewhat on where you live? If in the southern states where it doesn't get really bitterly cold/blizzard conditions I think you are fine. If in the north where there are long stretches of below freezing temps, then I'll let someone else override my opinion who has more experience with that type of cold with chickens. I don't do cold or snow!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    They will spends alot of time outdoors in the winter, too. You don't have to change their routine except on the days you might have snow, freezing rain, etc. They will wander in and out at will even with snow on the ground.

    If you worry about them getting cold at night give them some cracked corn late in the evening. It will ramp up their body temp. Roosting together in the house will keep them nice and warm when you shut them in.
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Bryan. What an adorable coop!! Typically, 4 sq ft per bird is recommended. With your measurements, 4 RIR would be ok in there. Is that a nest box on the exterior? That would help some. I would not keep them locked in there for too long a period...they might start pecking each other. I have not used the plastic strips, but know some have, I think they start with one or 2 strips, let the hens get used to going through them, then slowly add more. Good luck. I let mine out in the winter, and just prop the door open a little for them to go in and out.
  5. First-time-raising

    First-time-raising In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2007
    Mid - Michigan
  6. foamspoon

    foamspoon Songster

    Apr 17, 2007
    Quote:Here's a link to a posting a week ago or so about using plastic over the pop door. Lots of great ideas in it.

    Hope the link works.


    That was great! Thanks for the link. i might make the hole a little smaller and try the platic strips and see how that works.

    Thanks again,


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