Originally Posted by UrbanFarmOC
We built ours mostly out of pallets, but the support beams, concrete piers and roofing material were purchased. Our roof should hold up, but our coop is open & fully ventilated (by that I mean there's no solid walls) with wood slats and wire mesh all around. We had to cut a little into a hillside, but there is concrete sunken in around the perimeter, so as far as sliding, hopefully it'll hold up. The roof should protect well from rain, but we have tarps that we wrap around the sides of the coop if there is heavy rain. What we plan to do though, is to make sure we have a system in which we keep the tarps secured in place so that they won't blow away with stronger winds. If the dirt coop floor gets too wet and pools a little, we have stumps and other material we can put in there so the chickens aren't standing in lots of water.
We let our chickens free range. In the few slightly rainier days we've had here in SoCal, I also set up a tarp tent for them to hide under when they want to get a little break from the rain, but don't want to go into the coop.
Good question! I'd like to hear what other folks are planning to do as well.
I've made good use of tarps as well. I've also found that a nicely woven shade cloth can be substituted on side walls. In most cases, the water runs down the shade cloth similar to a window screen, and still provides ventilation and reduces blowing winds/drafts. Maintaining ventilation offsets some other problems.
I'm adding ditches where water runs down hill towards my coops. In some cases the ditches are filled with gravel, others also have perforated drain pipes. In general my coops/runs are set on at least two stacked rows of garden ties which also buffers surface drainage. This system is very flexible and can be used for any style coop/run.
For the average pre-fab coop, it is helpful to reinforce various parts, including the roof. The roof may need additional support so it doesn't sag, and another layer of roofing material, possibly metal flashing around the edges, gutters if needed. I prefer to make a light weight frame which fits around the edge of the pre-fab roof with a few cross supports that sit on the roof, and affix a corrugated plastic panel to the top; the square channels get a lot of use around here. If you have snow, the coop needs a more substantial roof system.
For any coop/run, I would recommend having an extra "bag" of wood shavings and a container of Sweet PDZ on hand. The Sweet PDZ will offset ammonia issues if your coop/run become wet, and the shavings help to dry things up, although they should be removed and replaced shortly.
ps I should give my chickenista friend credit for the Sweet PDZ =)
Edited by sol2go - 10/31/15 at 10:18pm