Originally Posted by chickengr
some people here don't have coops at all. their chickens sleep in the trees. but those are heritage chickens or better local mutts. my first chickens were hybrids. they came from the battery farms or similar. they are good layers but need central heating, lol. although they had a coop they didn't go in. it is not rain that they had a problem with but they were soaking wet and it was windy (north wind). that is real pain here, I hate it.
but I learned the lesson and made another coop with covered porch and protected the sides with palm tree branches. it will be good in summer too. they are wiser this year, they gather in there when it is raining or too windy. I never close the door on that porch so my coop is always open. no predators here (just mice and rats but they can always find the way to get in if they want to).
I'll take predators over mice/rats...I have the very easy cure for predators but the mice and rats still find their way into the barns, once in a while. I think the cold (extreme cold) kills off lots of 'bugs' that would otherwise affect the birds and people.
Good luck. I'm thinking we should have traveled to Greece this winter. Just might do it next year or the year after.
EDIT: the 'cure' we use for predators is dogs. We rarely have to shoot one. The bear that was taken just a while back was taken legally. My daughter was alone, caring for the farm and our neighbor took the bear LEGALLY, with his Bow.
Edited by hellbender - 2/16/16 at 11:49am