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Chicken Coop for desert area

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Desert Plum, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Desert Plum

    Desert Plum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    So. Calif desert area
    Greetings all.

    I live in Beaumont, Calif about 2900 ft level. Winters can dip into the high 20's but mostly in the 30 degree range. Occasionally we will get some snow. Summers from late June to late Sept run about high 80's to 100+ degrees.

    Purple Coop (named for the purple particle board that will be the door) will be housing 10 chickens. The coop will be located next to the fence line (neighbors are cool & amused by the chicken idea) and is partly shaded under trees. It will be 9ft long by 5ftwide by 6ft tall. A refurbished large size dog house will be the double large nests. Behind the dog house in the coop will be the roost area and a spot for dust bathing.

    The run itself about 5x5 with additional space under the dog house, and around the roost. The chickens will be allowed to free range on the property but mostly they will be in this coop. I plan on using plywood, fencing posts, 1/4 hardware cloth, chicken wire, 8x4 metal sheeting (2 1/2 ft in to the ground) all around the coop. The fiberglass roofing stuff (don't know the name) will be the cover but I'm not sure yet how I will angle it to keep the rain out. The floor will remain dirt but I'd like to try using both pine and straw.

    What do you good folks think? I will be doing all this myself so I am really trying to keep it simple [​IMG] but strong enough to annoy the opposums and hawks that show up in our space. Thank you for any ideas you might have or critiques for the Purple Coop. [​IMG]

    Kaisenji [​IMG]
     
  2. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    I'm in Mojave . . . my coop is the same as it was in Cherry Valley.

    Just a nice enclosed coop without allowing a draft in the winter. No heater needed as long as the adult chickens can roost together at night.

    As for the summers, I have an auto-waterer and lots of shade. I also have windows that crank open in the summer to allow a breeze at night. Those same windows have chicken wire on the inside to keep out the predators.

    We are at 3200'

    I only allow free ranging when I'm close by to watch. Too many stray dogs, coyotes and bob-cats. The coop gets closed up at night nice and secure.

    Michael
     
  3. WildBurroShirts.com

    WildBurroShirts.com Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2008
    Carson City, NV
    I'm new at this, but plan on making sure the run has several shady spots and possibly even shadecloth on top for the really hot parts of August.

    I've also cut vents on both sides and have a large window that opens...check out patandchickens homepage as it has the BEST info for ventilation on BYC.

    As long as they have shade and water I think they should be fine. I got Black Austrolorps specifically because they said they lay well even in the heat. I'm hoping the EE's and BSL's do too.
     
  4. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    You might want to consider building an open coop or at least one where the one side can be taken off in warm weather. We also live in a desert climate and figured an enclosed, four-sided coop would be too hot for the chickens in the summer. Our coop is open, but does give them protection from the wind and rain. It is attached to their run, which makes their enclosed area/run even larger. If you do something like this, you have to make sure the run is totally predator proof.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We have made a few modifications since these early photos. The roost is higher, we've installed nestboxes, have fixed the roofing over the run at a slant so that rainwater runs off easily, and filled in the vents/gaps with wire for extra security.
     
  5. Desert Plum

    Desert Plum Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jan 13, 2009
    So. Calif desert area
    WildBurroShirts.com :

    I'm new at this, but plan on making sure the run has several shady spots and possibly even shadecloth on top for the really hot parts of August.

    I've also cut vents on both sides and have a large window that opens...check out patandchickens homepage as it has the BEST info for ventilation on BYC.

    As long as they have shade and water I think they should be fine. I got Black Austrolorps specifically because they said they lay well even in the heat. I'm hoping the EE's and BSL's do too.

    I agree with vents though I think its open enough to keep them happy.
    The whole coop is open except for the roost which will have two walls and roof and the already enclosed dog house which has a little side door (I assume) for air. I figure with 10 instead of the original six they could stay warmer in the winter. I might think about opening another side for air in that doghouse though.​
     
  6. Desert Plum

    Desert Plum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    So. Calif desert area
    Quote:So my idea of using metal roofing buried in the ground as well as hardware cloth for use against predators is workable? The run/roost are all in the same space. The doghouse will be in the middle providing a The house is also sort of a "wall" for the Santana winds. The direction of the roost faces away from the majority of the wind that comes in during summers. Maybe I'll add rain gutters around the roof in the fall.

    I wish I had more space to make a bigger run but I didn't want an eye sore for parental unit nor the neighbors and leave space in that area the future goats.

    Oh I forgot to say that the coop is under several trees including pomagrantes.
     
  7. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Quote:Building your coop & run under trees is a big help for summer heat. If you do have your coop open to the run, that would make your run seem bigger. If your chickens are not free-range, I believe you need about 10 ft. per chicken in the run to prevent picking, etc.

    My run itself is 7 1/2' x 13', but with the coop being open all day, it makes their daytime penned area 7 1/2' x 18'. Mine do free-range for several hours a day, but there are times (vacation or rainy days) where they can't and it's nice for them to have space. You don't need as much room inside a nighttime coop as you do for the daytime.

    The metal roofing and hardware cloth sound very secure to me. Where I live, my only concerns are coyotes or bobcats. As far as I know, we don't have racoons here. We just have regular chicken wire around the bottom of the chain link to keep out the birds - if we had raccoons or possums, we'd need to use hardware cloth. We added cement blocks around the base of the run (with rocks next to the blocks), so that nothing can dig under. The top is also secure against larger animals.
     
  8. Desert Plum

    Desert Plum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    So. Calif desert area
    Quote:We have feral cats but not many thanks to the hawks and our neighbor's cat eating dog. [​IMG] (I shouldn't find that funny but my cats are inside only and crap in a box not my garden). Hawks, occasionally Owls, coyotes but not all the time and definitely opposums. They make all the overkill metal and locks on the door necessary. [​IMG]

    I also plan on sinking the seven fence poles in cement so its sturdy enough for maybe overly playful future goats to accidentally run against.
     
  9. Prester John

    Prester John Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Prescott, AZ
    Arizona Desert Chicks

    Any new pics of the finished coop?

    I'm thinking of doing something similar here in Prescott.

    Also, how many hens do you have? What kind?

    NVM - just saw your other post!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  10. Desert Plum

    Desert Plum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    So. Calif desert area
    Just keeping this on top so if others have ideas/suggestions or comments I can find it faster. [​IMG]
     

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