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Hot weather chicken coops? - Page 2

post #11 of 21

My chickens are in Norco, and I don't have a "coop" per se. Mine are in chain link runs. Key for my birds as far as keeping cool in the summer is keeping the sun from hitting the dirt in their pens, or at least a large part of their pen during the hotter months. I try to block the sun as much as possible, completely on the south side, full roof and completely open on the north side. Ditto the wetting of the dirt, keeping it loose enough for them to fluff around in and even though it may seem like overkill, you can buy the metal parts at the swapmeet to make a tarp cover like what they have at swap meets. The pipe you buy at steel supplies. For pretty cheap you can make a frame and put one of those heavy duty tarps on it with those loop shaped bungies with a ball on one end, shiny side up. THAT really cools them off during the summer. The tarp does not last two years and has to be replaced every year, but it makes a HUGE difference. That is what I have over my lovebirds and it has made a world of difference for them. On really hot days I will run the sprinkler so it wets down the tarp even and they are many degrees cooler because of it under there.

post #12 of 21

Here are my 4 coops. The first is a simple "A" frame 8'x8' with a wire floor, 12 nest boxes (they don't spend much time in there and they have a very large run that they can access 24/7). The next is a smaller "A" frame 5'x6' with wire floor that we use for breeding our RIR roo with BR hens, 4 nest boxes (they too have a large run and 24/7 access to it).  The last pic is a new style that I tried because it is bigger, cheaper and quicker to build. It is basically a 3 sided, low (5' tall) shed with attached run, it is 24'x18' total size 27 nest boxes, and free standing roosts, we have 2 of these coops now.

In the morning, I open all (not the breeder coop) the coops to allow them to free range, they pick and choose which coop they lay and which coop they roost. At night I close the doors to the runs and some stragglers will roost in the trees. I have food and water in ALL the coops AND runs AND water outside for easy access when free ranging. I have NEVER lost a bird to a predator while in the coops at night (only while free ranging).  It has been several years now, and I have not ANY problems with the wire floors or injured feet or legs. I only need to clean the wire floors 2 times a year. All our birds are mixed ages, so I have both chick starter and pellet food out and the younger chicks seem to always roost in the coop, so that coop we put a non medicated chick starter. All other coops get layer pellets. Last count I have 184 birds not including 30-40 3-6week old chicks. (since the pics, I swtiched to an automatic cup watering system and added shade cloth to the one run that was not as well shaded by the trees. )

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w81/gwizrc/chickens/EmailE.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w81/gwizrc/chickens/EmailF.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w81/gwizrc/chickens/EmailC.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w81/gwizrc/chickens/EmailB.jpg

Duck run:
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w81/gwizrc/chickens/EmailG.jpg

Central Coast of California, 20 acre back yard, Lovely Wife, Precious Daughter, Grandma (my Mom), 1 Boston Terrier, 2 Horses, 1 Pony, 2 Mini Donkeys, 4 Nubian Goats, 20 asst. Ducks, 1 Turkey, too many chicks, hens and roosters to count, (over 200).
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Central Coast of California, 20 acre back yard, Lovely Wife, Precious Daughter, Grandma (my Mom), 1 Boston Terrier, 2 Horses, 1 Pony, 2 Mini Donkeys, 4 Nubian Goats, 20 asst. Ducks, 1 Turkey, too many chicks, hens and roosters to count, (over 200).
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post #13 of 21

I have a warm weather coop pictured on my BYC page also.  Our lows get down to 32 degrees occasionally and the chickens don't seem to mind it.

post #14 of 21

Plan on a coop that is tall enough to keep roof heat away from the chooks when they are roosting.  I did an 8 x 16 x 7 1/2 ft tall.  It has 6 sq ft permanent ventilation above the wall headers.  It includes a turbine vent, two 12 x 12 gable-end vents, and continuous soffit of 18 ft length on front and back soffit.  That is 1 sq ft permanent ventilation for every 4 chickens.  In addition, I have 4 sizable windows that add around 40 sq ft additional ventilation at mid-level that can be opened or closed.  The pop doors can be left open too all day and usually are.  I can also set a box-fan in the west window or east window or both at the same time to create a steady cross-draft at mid-level height.  We get temps in 90's here, but not often above 100.  Humidity bad in summertime at times.  My run has about 1/2 natural shade via trees.

I would consider a coop with one side open where you live.  If you close it then do continuous soffit vents as well as a turbine vent and if gables, then two gable vents.   In addition, I would do windows all around for additional ventilation that can be opened when desired.  Run both electricity and water to the coop area.  You will be forever glad that you did.  cool  A raised coop will provide it's own shade.  A small plastic tub or water heater overflow pan will provide a wading pool for them when it gets really hot.  If they can get their feet wet, they will be cooled down enough for some reason.  Some folks set a block of ice in their chook wading pool.  But I would plan for at least one vent fan.  As cheap as box fans are, could do one under the coop too for a cool spot during the day.  cool


Edited by gsim - 1/3/10 at 7:59am
NECESSITY MAY BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.    (G. Simpkins)
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NECESSITY MAY BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.    (G. Simpkins)
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post #15 of 21

if its in direct sunlight at light all and you use tin for the roof put insulation under the tin. I used the styrofoam about 1/2" thick. it will make a big difference. the only thing I know to compare to it is a frying pan a piece of tin in direct sunlight will get real hot, to hot to touch so imagine the heat coming off the opposite side. under a shade tree(s) is by far the best option if possible. wire for walls as mentioned in earlier post is a great idea but have a way to block strong winds a curtain or plastic anything temporary before I figured this out I had several pens with one partial side blocking the north and 2x4's around the bottom and my chickens would get on the ground and lasy flat as they could to try and get below the 2x4 to block wind instead of sleeping on thier roost so I figured they really don't like wind.  heat rises be sure it has a way to escape at the top. wire sides will eliminate that problem. if you choose not to go that route a vent at the top will create a draft and fresh air flowing.

  shade tree option can make it muddy when ready because of lack of sunlight to dry it be ready for that. also if you insulate with styrofoam keep roost low enough the birds can't reach it learned that the hard way the will peck it. till its gone. hope this helps


                                                                  Just some ideas for thought
                                                                                        Kenneth Flippen

I'm looking for blue birchen marans blue wheaton or blue copper also olive eggers in a month or so hatching eggs may work also Thanks
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I'm looking for blue birchen marans blue wheaton or blue copper also olive eggers in a month or so hatching eggs may work also Thanks
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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Flippen 

if its in direct sunlight at light all and you use tin for the roof put insulation under the tin. I used the styrofoam about 1/2" thick. it will make a big difference. the only thing I know to compare to it is a frying pan a piece of tin in direct sunlight will get real hot, to hot to touch so imagine the heat coming off the opposite side. under a shade tree(s) is by far the best option if possible. wire for walls as mentioned in earlier post is a great idea but have a way to block strong winds a curtain or plastic anything temporary before I figured this out I had several pens with one partial side blocking the north and 2x4's around the bottom and my chickens would get on the ground and lasy flat as they could to try and get below the 2x4 to block wind instead of sleeping on thier roost so I figured they really don't like wind.  heat rises be sure it has a way to escape at the top. wire sides will eliminate that problem. if you choose not to go that route a vent at the top will create a draft and fresh air flowing.

  shade tree option can make it muddy when ready because of lack of sunlight to dry it be ready for that. also if you insulate with styrofoam keep roost low enough the birds can't reach it learned that the hard way the will peck it. till its gone. hope this helps


                                                                  Just some ideas for thought
                                                                                        Kenneth Flippen


oh, so true about the styrofoam.  I have come to believe that it is the equivalent of chicken popcorn...   roll


Edited by crtrlovr - 1/3/10 at 8:25pm
Momma loves her babies!  8 cats, 45 inside birds, 3 guineas,  RIRs, BRs,  BOs ,  Lorpie girls, Golden Comets, OEGB  BBreds, bantam frizzle cochins,  3 white Silkies, EEs, some silkie/cochin mixes, silkie/frizzles, ducks (3 white Pekins, 1 buff Saxony & 1 Silver Appleyard), and 1 Blue Slate turkey who thinks she's a chicken...   (did I miss anyone?...)  Nope!  Now let's all have pie. 
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Momma loves her babies!  8 cats, 45 inside birds, 3 guineas,  RIRs, BRs,  BOs ,  Lorpie girls, Golden Comets, OEGB  BBreds, bantam frizzle cochins,  3 white Silkies, EEs, some silkie/cochin mixes, silkie/frizzles, ducks (3 white Pekins, 1 buff Saxony & 1 Silver Appleyard), and 1 Blue Slate turkey who thinks she's a chicken...   (did I miss anyone?...)  Nope!  Now let's all have pie. 
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post #17 of 21

Forgot to mention that I had an idea for hot climate coop using lattice walls with hardware cloth mesh or chicken wire inside for security from weasels, rats, etc.  Could install small hooks at tops of walls all around for hanging tarps in cool weather to block some of northerly winds.  Would breathe and allow breezes to pass thru all summer long too.  cool

NECESSITY MAY BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.    (G. Simpkins)
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NECESSITY MAY BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.    (G. Simpkins)
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post #18 of 21

I have a small hot weather coop here in Florida where it gets just as hot. I put one wall up in the direction of where the wind and sun come from and have the other three sides as wired doors that give very easy access to anything in the coop.

The chickens go in there at night and sleep on their perch and they lay eggs in their nest boxes during the day but spend most of the day in the run.

http://s805.photobucket.com/albums/yy334/E1war/CIMG0040.jpg

The run is all open which gives them plenty of air and they have a little place to go underneath for when it rains (they don't think to go back into the coop during the day).

http://s805.photobucket.com/albums/yy334/E1war/CIMG0058.jpg

The only upgrade I'll need to do this summer will be to add some better shade. The light hits at an angle where they have no shade in the later part of the day so I resorted to laying a towel over one part of it for shade.

1 Buff, 1 New Hampshire Red, 1 Georgia Brown (RIR/Leghorn mix).
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1 Buff, 1 New Hampshire Red, 1 Georgia Brown (RIR/Leghorn mix).
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post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much for your wonderful ideas! I think I'll certainly use a lot of them and have some very happy chickens in the future.

post #20 of 21

Hi Tikichicken,

I live in Orange, just a few miles from you.  My approach to dealing with the summer heat was to ensure that the hen-house was connected directly to my run, which is an enclosed 7x3x3 frame covered in hardware cloth.  I cover the top and side with canvas (the kind gardeners use for leaves/grass clippings - you can get one at Home Depot).  I also have an automatic waterer.  So basically, the girls stay outside in the run all day but they're always in the shade and they always have plenty of water.  The henhouse itself is well ventilated.  They seemed fine last summer.

Scott

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