building our first coop and some questions

Sunshine Chick 1

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
Longwood, Florida
We live in Florida near Orlando and are building our first coop this weekend. So I have been reading what everyone is saying and I am gathering that windows is a big thing? So we would need to put some in. We are building it 6' wide by 8' long then a run from there. We have 10 (week old) chicks right now under a heat lamp in our garage. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I guess my other question would be for the Florida chicken fans. What do you do when a storm (huricane) comes? I know I need to close the chickens up in the coop at night time, so when a storm comes would I need to do the same thing? I have seen some coop runs with roofs and others with just wire. What is anyone's thoughts on that? Sorry for so many questions. Thanks
PS: my husband is a contractor so he is pretty handy at building things.


11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
Windows are great. I'm putting 2 in my coop for light and extra ventilation. Making them by basically just cutting holes in the walls of the coop where I want them, covering the holes with hardware cloth and then putting removable plexi-glass "covers" on them so I can adjust the amount of air flow. If I can find some real windows on craigs list, I'll pick those up too. I also like building the nest boxes in so that I don't actually have to go in the coop to get the eggs. Some other things to consider, that you may have already are how you plan on dealing with their droppings... Pine bedding, deep litter method, etc and design the coop to accomodate whichever you want to go with. Roof style... shed roofs, gabled roofs, shingles vs. metal vs. roll style roofing..Will your coop be elevated or on the ground? Pros and cons to both I guess and definitely a factor in determining how to design your run, and the chickens' door. Can't really offer any advise regarding huricanes
Sounds like you'll want to over-engineer the structure a bit. I'd imagine during a hurricane the chickens will be smart enough to hole up inside the coop, but if not, I know I'd make sure they were inside. Based on your location, you probably won't need to insulate the coop at all like I will.

Good luck


11 Years
Mar 9, 2009
Central Utah Mountains
Quote:If your run will have plenty of natural shade then wire/mesh is fine. You might consider putting a roof on the run if there is no natural shade. I have only visited Orlando but it seems like it gets pretty hot in the summer. Some shade would be nice.

Also, I'm not from the area but I would secure them in the coop before a storm. If the run gets compromised in the storm, you don't want them getting out or predators gettings in.

Happy Chicken Mama

12 Years
Apr 23, 2007
Hello from Florida!!!

Yeah windows are nice. You can see ours on our page 'My BYC Page'... then go to darling coop.

My husband is a contractor too! Big tools help!

We figure if a big storm comes... the bathroom will be the coop (or the guest bedroom). We could use hurricane straps... but we don't.

I would put a roof on just because it's florida and it gets hot. Shade is nessicary. I don't know how it is where you are but here it rains everyday at three for at least four month of the year (in the summer).

Good Luck!

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