Best Coops for Hot Weather???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SB Austex, May 19, 2010.

  1. SB Austex

    SB Austex In the Brooder

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    May 9, 2010
    Austin
    We're building a coop this weekend for our new flock (8). I live in Central Texas. It's already 90 here during the day and there will be several months of upper 90's to low 100's every day (and a minimum of 80's at night). Winter rarely has more than a few nights below 32/freezing. There will be a 6x9 roof above the top of the coop (~3x8), as well as additional shade from the house. I'm afraid it will be too hot even at night to actually close them into a coop (even with good ventilation). I'm trying to build a pretty predator proof run around the coop, out of 1/2 x 1 welded wire (with buried edges or large apron).

    Question: What is your best hot weather coop advice?
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Lots of shade; as open as possible (mine all have wire on 4 sides, except for one that has it on three sides), run misters during the hottest portion of the day, run a fan in coops near electricity, fill plastic bottles 3/4 full and freeze, then place the bottle in the shade where they can get near it (in the path of a fan is best). I also use automatic waterers so that they never run out, but I check them often to make sure they are working properly.
     
  3. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Songster

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    [​IMG]

    I designed this smaller version of another guy's who has more chickens - we are in Florida. I am planning on putting the nest boxes under the little roost area so they can hop up to it. My leghorn flies up there on her own, but she is a leghorn. He advised me not to build a closed-in coop like you see up north. They are actually healthier if the have an open coop due to all the fresh air. Yesterday there was a fascinating thread on here about open coops - you should look for it. It started with a guy talking about the expense of his coop... wish I could remember the title.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  4. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here are some threads for you. #2 is my favorite, probably because it was the first one I saw when I had this question. You can also look at BYC pages for folks that live in hot climates to see what they have. I know one gal in Phoenix who has 2 hens. She took a wagon and made an arch that she covered with canvas. The hens roost on top of their shelter, even in the rain.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=281477&p=1

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=163417

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=111571

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5944

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=54302

    PS The consensus on the Arizona thread is that shade and water are the critical components to keeping chickens in the heat. Well, that and not locking them up in a closed coup that becomes an oven. Lots of tips out there to help them be more comfy, but folks have raised chickens in the heat for generations with shade and water. That said, if they are ever trapped in the sun and can't get to the shade...well, they have been known to expire. Also running out of water can be equally costly to your flock.

    This weekend we built a coup with 3 pallets, one for the floor, one on each of two sides and covered it with bird netting and left under a tree. It is a good candidate for the "ugly coop" contest, but isolates my broody, which is what I needed. Of course, before rainy season, I might need some more shelter.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    I'm in North Texas. I got my initial birds from a fellow in our neighborhood who has been keeping chickens and other birds here for twenty years. He uses roofed, open coops. He starts with a chain link dog kennel, then puts a metal roof on it. In winter, he tarps the sides. Works wonderfully.

    I built my summer coop along the same lines. See my BYC page for a picture. I don't have an Australian Shephard guard dog patrolling the yard as my friend does. so I used hardware cloth for the summer coop/run.

    Now, I have Serama hybrid bantams, so my chickens are heat hardy. My friend has some of the standard breeds, too, and for summer he puts out shallow pans of water for them to stand in and cool down. His yard is also heavily planted so there's plenty of shade.

    One of the things you could do is make your run as predator proof as possible, roof it, and put some roosts out in the run for summer. Then, your chickens could use the closed coop only in winter. That's sort of what I do.
     
  6. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
  7. Due to our extreme high and low temps, we installed 2" insulation to the 'coop in progress.'

    Since is so difficult to grow anything in our awful soil, I'll be partially covering the run and adding a couple of lean-to's for shade. Initially, I wanted a raised coop for shade but I was fearful that the frequent, strong winds would knock it over!
     
  8. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Songster

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    Lecanto, Florida
    I live in Florida just north of Tampa. Summers have many days in the 90's and a few in the 100's during the hottest part of the day. Winters can get a few hours below freezing at nights. LOTS of open air. Here is what I did...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I would consider an auto watering system as chickens regulate their body temperature with water intake. I add a frozen 2 liter bottle to the 5 gallon water bucket to keep the water cooled a bit.
     
  9. I live on the western edge of Central Texas and we plan on putting a roof on our run to protect the chickens from hawks that roost in the neighbor's large pecan trees all summer plus it will provide shade. Run will be about 20x10.

    Our coop will be in an old shed; plan to put in windows for ventilation during the hot months. I plan on putting roosts in the coop and run so that during our hot nights the chickens have a choice.

    We live in town; the shed is nearly on property line (grandfathered in from 1959). We are putting a privacy fence down the property line...it will form the back side of the run. We are replacing chain link with privacy fence due to neighbor problems...have rent house next door and in the past there were neighbors who had children that came into our yard to shoot birds out of our trees before we were able to put up a fence...never know what will move in next!

    The run will have wire on the end and front where it will attach to the shed. There is a walk on the front side so nothing can dig under at that point...the 10' end we will have an apron of wire to prevent anything from digging in...we have skunks, hawks, owls, snakes, feral cats and dogs in our neighborhood but as far as I can tell no raccoons. The privacy fence we are putting in will have a cement curb between the posts and in that curb we are putting hardware cloth down 1 foot.

    DH was just going to use chicken wire for the end and front but I told him I was concerned about a dog getting into our yard and ripping into it. I'm thinking cattle panels on the outside and hardware cloth on the inside.

    Today I found a 4' chicken snake where the run will be. [​IMG] We have been here 7 years and this is the first snake I have seen! I'm terrified of snakes--a wonder I did not have a heart attack. My husband works away from home for 4 days, then home 4 days...thank goodness today was an "at home" BUT he was away from the house when I found it so I killed my first snake...was not taking any chances on what kind it was...didn't have time to run in an look it up on the internet! [​IMG] The chicks are still on our enclosed porch so they were safe and our elderly dog was in the house. BUT after I looked it up online and found a photo...it brought back memories of chicken snakes going after the eggs on our farm back when I was a child collecting eggs. So another consideration! Do not want to be a pistol-toting chickie mama just to feed/water and collect eggs! [​IMG]

    Do the nest boxes have to be inside the coop or can I attach these to the shed within the run?

    I'm open to suggestions...DH has not got a clue.

    ETA: Plan to put gutters on the coop/run and collect the rainwater in a 300 gallon tank and from there put in nipple waterers in the run and shed.

    Peggy
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  10. SB Austex

    SB Austex In the Brooder

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    May 9, 2010
    Austin
    Thanks Y'all -- This is very helpful. Those links are great Cheerfulheart2!
     

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