Challenge: hot climate, chicken restrictions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by comp6512, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. comp6512

    comp6512 Songster

    Dec 3, 2008
    Here's what I have:

    1. Climate - central Florida, can get very hot and humid a few months out of the year.

    2. Zoning allows livestock, as long as it is not a nuisance.

    3. I want to have a roo to incubate my own chicks

    Need suggestions on how to build a coop that is pitch dark and well ventilated at the same time. Short of installing an air conditioning unit for the chicks [​IMG] - you think this could be accomplished?

    And, oh, they will be free-ranging in a decent size fenced-in area during the day. So the coop need not to be large.
  2. 3 sisters farm

    3 sisters farm Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    puyallup wa
    I'm new, but no expert but think a roo would not survive without sunlight, but having too many roos have found they will crow even in the dark....I live in WA state, days are very short particularly with our storms, one of my roos thinks it morning at about 2:30 AM....I acutally put lights on him to try to make it brighter durning the day than at night moonlight actually can make them crow! Keeping him artificially under light until 9 PM then in a very dark coop at night until say 7 AM on weekdays 9 AM on weekends might work...dogs are actually noisier. Now I would paint the walls and ceiling dark, make the coop small lenght and width but very tall and locate on the west side of house,garage,barn,coop, tree anything to provide protection from the morning sun. The ventalation could be top and an attic then exhaust the top with a greenhouse fan or other small outdoor rated fan or even just temp sensitve louvers in this upper area...the gable not in the roof....The ceiling and upper attic painted black with dark screaning covering ventiliation holes. Ice being placed in the coop to the freezer packs might help too. mary
  3. swampwander

    swampwander Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Mims, Fl
    Hi Comp. I'm on the East Coast by NASA.

    1. Mosquitoes can be a problem. If you are anywhere near a wetland, your girls can be made absolutely miserable by them. Use screen with any openings with wire.

    2. Ventilation is a must. Install the type of vents used for soffitt near the top and bottom of any coop. You can get them cheaply at the hardware stores. This allows for heat to escape from the top and cooler air to come in near the floor.

    3. Think about hurricanes- they MUST have somewhere to get out of wind and rain, be dry and safe. Make sure the coop is safe in high winds.

    4. They HAVE to have sun. They should be able to get plenty in a good run. Birds have a gland near the top of their brain that is their 'climate' control. It senses light to cue hormones to enlarge the reproductive organs and allow for egg production.

    5. Go for warmer weather breeds. RIR have always done well here as well as game hens and EE's.

    6. Try to get some shade on the coop and the run. Even if you have to plant a vine. Anything works better than full sun.

    Any shed will work. You just need to modify it somewhat.

    7. MOST IMPORTANT: let your neighbor's know what you're doing and why. Share eggs if needed. I'm not zoned for chickens, even though we are rural, but my neighbor's are OK with it .
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I live near Ocala Florida. I have RIR's. My coop is well ventilated even the nest boxes, and the run is covered. In the summer I put my coop under a big live oak tree. I make sure my birds have plenty of water. Their yard is also mostly shaded. In the summer, mine seek the shade. Once in awhile I put a sprinkler out for them, but it rains almost every day in the summer. I have a lot of pictures on my BYC Page.
  5. comp6512

    comp6512 Songster

    Dec 3, 2008
    Thank you everyone for great ideas. I am still in the planning area so your thoughts will help me not to make mistakes.

    I hope neighbours would be OK, I just plan on having one roo, maybe two, for backup. The neighbours are an oldish couple who sleep till 9 AM. I just did not want the roo starting crowing on the top of his lungs at 4AM every morning.
  6. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    last summer we had temps near 100 and I just kept putting ice in their waterer and installed a window fan the kind you can set the temp to go on and off and I didnt loose any. But I know your temps are higher. As for the roo, my coop doesnt have windows, just a door I can open in nicer weather and even this time of year when they are closed in tight my roo still crows, I came home at 1am one night and heard him. I checked it out cause I thought there may be something going on, no they all just looked at me like what was I doing up.

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