Alittle piece of advice for someone new...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mtn Cur, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Mtn Cur

    Mtn Cur Songster

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Seymour, Tn
    Early spring I bought a dozen chicks and like most, there was a lot of after thoughts and questions to raising chickens, but absolutely no regrets. A week or two in to owning my new chicks I happened upon this site which has been a great deal of help. So then the research began on coops, feed, temperature, ventilation, and designs. But....

    I got so caught up in the pictures of the wonderful and colorful coops that I didn't really consider the temperatures for my area. So I then based my coop off of different designs from this site. I utilized an exisiting shed and built my coop. And now after losing three pullets to the heat I wish I would have took a few minutes and considered the whole picture, instead of getting tunnel vision on a four wall coop that is really to hot for my area. I have been battling heat ever since then and the index or (feels like temp) around 105 it's not very cozy for the chickens. Although i'm getting eggs now, this fall I will build a much more open coop. Probably more like a run with a partial roof and one solid wall. So please learn from my mistake and take the time to figure out what your chickens need.

    Basically what works in one place, may not work in yours. I had to learn that the hard way.
     
  2. BlueRoseMama

    BlueRoseMama In the Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    That is good advice! I have seen TONS of coops that are beautiful and open with out a roof and we just get too much rain in my area to not have a roof on a coop. I did think about it (and made a simple 'summer run') for my chicks that doesn't have a top, but this fall, we are planning on making a coop with a top for a very similar reason. Our climate just needs that feature!
     
  3. BlueRoseMama

    BlueRoseMama In the Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    BTW, I am also a 'thin blue line' family. [​IMG]
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    I've never heard of anyone trying to keep chickens in a coop with no roof! Open at the sides, sure, but chickens do need somewhere to get shelter from rain.

    I'm in North Texas, and the friend of ours who got us started with chickens has kept poultry successfully for 20 plus years in open sided, roofed coops. He uses chain link dog kennels, then puts a tin roof on them. He puts up tarps on the sides in our mild winters. When he first started keeping chickens, he tried the conventional closed coop and had a similar experience to the one you had.

    I'm sorry for your losses. Live and learn.
     
  5. E.G.Glayer

    E.G.Glayer Songster

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    Jan 29, 2009
    Blanchester OH
    Dont scrap your coop just yet, You might just be able to keep what youve got with very little expense or trouble. This year has been hotter than usual in many areas.

    You might try cutting areas out under the soffit sections on the sides and covering with small rabbit wire if you want these to remain open all year.

    Or you could add roof/attic vents just like you should have on top or ends of your house.

    Or you can buy cheap trailer style windows at Lowes for under 20 bucks, cut a hole in the side of your coop and install, this will allow you to open in the summer and close in the winter. I covered the outside of my window with the small rabbit wire and I can still open and close from the inside.

    I have done all of these things to my lowes shed / chicken coop.

    Any way its good of you to share your experience with everyone,

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Doesn't it get pretty cold in TN in the winter? I'm thinking the open sided shed type coop may be a booger bear to keep warm when the cold winds blow. Why not just adapt your coop you presently own to allow for more airflow?

    I have an ancient coop that has one whole wall cut out for windows, which are covered with hardware cloth and chicken wire. I went one step further and opened another space on the opposite wall and placed a storm window like the one described in the above post and covered it with chicken wire also. The result is a lovely flow through of air and windows that I can cover with plastic when winter hits.

    Its also pretty simple to place a box fan in the window openings to create a better push of air if needed. Much simpler than building another coop.
     
  7. Chateauredneck

    Chateauredneck Hatching

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Outside of Blacksburg
    how about do the same thing I have done to my transition pen for my quail since at night i still heat it with a brooder bulb. I meshed all sides and then hinged the sides with plywood ...Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  8. joedie

    joedie Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I don't live too far from you and my coop is a converted construction site building with insulation, dry wall, windows on 3 sides, vinyl siding etc. I started with chickens last year and have lost 7 pullets out of 32, but none due to the heat. I'd lose one every few months or so, just find them dead and at all times of the year but never when it's hot. After reading several threads on here, many people had said the same thing, a loss for no apparent reason and no illnesses among the flock. One person had a necropsy done and was told by the vet that the internal organs were smaller than usual and abnormal. My hens are from a hatchery and I was wondering if they possibly have genetic deformities since they are not really selectively bred. I can't figure out otherwise why they just drop over. Just a thought. it might not be the heat? [​IMG]
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    Quote:You really don't need to keep a chicken coop warm inside for it to be a good winter home for chickens. Just dry, well ventilated, and free of drafts blowing onto the birds. Unless you have cold intolerant breeds ...or you live in Alaska....
     
  10. Anguissette

    Anguissette Songster

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    Jan 31, 2010
    Eastern NC
    This is really good advice! I know when I started my coop it was based on a pretty closed in design from a much cooler climate.
    It really has been unusually hot this summer causing us to add some serious ventilation.....luckily we don't have the chickens yet!
     

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