Chickens in the Arctic
Okay, so we're not at the North Pole, but we get some very cold, long winters where I live. We only get 90 frost free days a year. I realize that if I get breeds such as buff orpingtons that are cold hardy, and set the girls up with a well ventilated, insulated coop, they'll make it through winters alright. My question is this, it's extremely unpractical to let chickens out into a run when the majority of our days in winter are at best -10C and at worst -40C. If I house the girls in a 4'X8' coop, with a few windows, will they be happy being (pardon the pun) 'cooped up' for the entire winter, or will they start picking eachother? I'm only planning on getting 3 chickens. Is a 4'x8' coop roomy enough for prolonged confinement? In the spring/summer/fall, the girls will have access to an 8'x8' run, but like I said, over half of the year will be impractical to let them out of the coop. Thanks in advance for your advice!