For those that aren't familiar with our climate, here's a quick picture. Most of the year it's very warm to downright blistering hot. It's not uncommon to go 90+ days over 100 degrees, in the summer. We do not get snow but we occasionally will get into the teens and get ice storms. Generally, our coldest months average about 34 degrees for a low and the low 50's for a high. Notwithstanding the freakish rains we've had this year, we're a pretty dry area. We average only about 22" per year but we've been in a "drought" for 8 of the past 10 years.
I had planned to build a fully enclosed shed 8' x 10' and 8' tall, with some ventilation; but, after reading through here, I'm realizing that ventilation is KEY. So, now, I'm thinking about a solid wall on the north side and a partially solid wall on the west - our west sun is brutal in summer and I want them to have shade. But I'm thinking a ventilation section (covered in wire mesh for ventilation) would be good. Should I just make the east and south sides mesh as well? Our predominant breeze comes from the south and east.
I guess chickens are a lot more cold resistant than we had thought. In our climate, cold (for them) isn't really a problem - is that right?
We let our birds free range during the day, so this is just a coop for sleeping and laying. Ideally, we'd like to have 10-15 birds. We MAY add a run later, for those days when we don't want them running loose.
We will have power and water to the coop. So, we could always put a heat lamp or fan if necessary and we're going to install a permanent watering system. I'm planning a PVC feeding system so that we only need to feed every week or two. And, if I can find the money, I may install one of those automatic doors- at some point. Lol.
Am I thinking about this right? What suggestions do y'all have? Any advice you can give will sure be appreciated. Sorry for the long read.