California hens & rain protection

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cheep, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Cheep

    Cheep Songster

    Jul 17, 2010
    Sebastopol, CA
    I'm new to having chickens, & have had my 6 hens ~3 months. The coop I built is large enough for sleeping & laying eggs, but if they had to stay inside on a rainy day, they couldn't move around that much. Their run is not covered, & they free-range in my back yard most of the day.

    What do I need to do, & how much space will be needed, in preparation for rainy weather?

    There is a photo of my coop & backyard on my home page.
    Thank you all so much for your interest & help.
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I think the standard for the run is 3 or 4 square feet per bird. I live in Nor Cal, and when it rains really hard, my flock stays inside the coop. They could go out, but choose not to, they dont really enjoy the rain. It wont hurt your flock to stay inside the coop for a day or two, just be sure to give food and water and, consider giving them a treat to beat boredom, like hanging a cauliflower from the roof for them to jump and peck at.
  3. Cheep

    Cheep Songster

    Jul 17, 2010
    Sebastopol, CA
    LOL thanks for the advice. The cauliflower sounds like a lot of fun for them, & I can start thinking of rainy-day games, like I used to for my kids
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have a tarp over my run. I am in Florida and it is so hot and rainy.
  5. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I have my run covered with heavy duty clear plastic and then with shade cloth because with the plastic alone you can end up trapping a lot of heat something I am sure you will have to take into consideration in your climate.
  6. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Coop space is 4 sq. foot per bird, run space is 10 sq. feet per bird. You could use 3/4" pvc pipe to make a hoop shaped top over your run, cover it with chicken wire, then tie a tarp over that. You could drive metal rebar into the ground and slip the pvc over it, then take a 1x4, or any long piece of wood (I used a piece of molding I found in the top of my garage) and screw it to the top of your pvc hoop, to keep the pvc pipes from flopping back and forth. Then put your wire over that, tied to the pvc with wire, hay string, zip ties, etc. put your tarp over it and you are done!
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Can they go under their coop? On most rainy days, you'll find mine outside looking like drowned rats. (rain is okay, hose is not - go figure) If it starts raining hard, they'll lay under the coop until it subsides. Snow is about the only thing that makes them stay in the coop.
  8. Cheep

    Cheep Songster

    Jul 17, 2010
    Sebastopol, CA
    Great replies, thank you for the detailed covered run instructions. I'm not so handy, but I just might go down to the hardware store to pick up some PVC pipe. It could be like an awning from a fancy hotel. Maybe even a doorman with an umbrella - they deserve it, I'm getting 2 eggs every day, & they're not even 5 months old [​IMG]

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