Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sandyj, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. sandyj

    sandyj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2008
    St.Paul, Minnesota
    I'm concerned about where to put my coop. I know for the cold winter months it's good to have in the sun, but summer months it gets hot and humid. Is nothern or southern exposure better. If in the sun in summer the coop will roast. If in the sun in winter, it will keep it warmer. What is the best thing to do?? I want the best for my chickens that will be coming this spring!!!
  2. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    If I were you, I would build in the sun. I think keeping them cool is easier than keeping them warm in your climate. I live in TX, so obviously keeping mine cool is my main concern. I think there are many options to keep them cool, depending on the size of your coop/run.
  3. Comet Mum

    Comet Mum Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 29, 2008
    Oxford, NC
    Considering you live in the frozen north [​IMG], I'd have a southern exposure for the winter warmth and then include several windows/vents that can be opened for summer ventilation. I found some inexpensive windows at a wholesale builder's supply store designed to be used on a shed and also others at the Habitat for Humanity store. Good luck!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'd put it in the sun -- which will help keep the run DRY as well as providing useful warmth and snowmeltage in wintertime. Build multiple BIG windows and LOTS of vents of good size... with them wide open in summertime, overheating won't be much of a problem, and you can always shade things with overhangs of plywood or shadecloth if need be.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. sandyj

    sandyj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2008
    St.Paul, Minnesota
    Thanks, we will build in southern exposure!!
  6. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Build it with a southern exposure and plant a few deciduous trees that will help with shade in the summer. While you are waiting for them to grow tall enough to be effective, plant annual vines that will cover the fence/run or .lattice work and help with shade
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  7. CedarLake

    CedarLake Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 31, 2008
    I live about 30 minutes south of the 'Cities and my coop is on the eastern side of a hill. Heat in summer is not a problem, freezing in winter is. I can't tell you how many frozen eggs I've tossed out!
    My coop has plenty of ventilation and is quite comfortable in summer. The birds would just go outside if it was too hot anyway. There are a few bushes they can hide under, but most of the time they just sit in the sun anyway. In winter I close off most (but NOT all) of the vents because we are on a hill and it gets very windy out here.

    They definitely don't like the snow much, though.
  8. Meisel Photography

    Meisel Photography New Egg

    Jan 28, 2009
    North Dakota
    Much will depend on the size of your coop, the size of your windows, and whether or not you plan to let the chickens out during the day. A coop in direct sunlight can become very warm during the summer. That is much more if a health concern than the winter cold.

    My present coop is small with one window in direct sunlight. It's cozy for the birds in the winter and fine in the summer if I let them out to wander. But during the hot days of July and August if I am going to be out of town and have to keep them inside, it gets much too warm even with ventilation and the window covered. I have to either leave fans running to circulate air through the coop or bring the chickens into my garage.

    I put the coop where it is now because that location drains well. I didn't want to have to worry about water issues during heavy rains or spring melting, and during normal winters that location usually does not collect a lot of snow. If the coop was larger the location would be great but as things are not it has not worked out very well. So when spring comes I am going to move my coop to the north side of my house, out of direct light.

    I am in North Dakota and it's been a horrible winter so far. Adult chickens can handle -30F with no trouble and can tolerate -40 for a while, so cold hasn't been a concern. But I have had seven feet of snow already and it has become a constant battle to keep the coop ventilated and accessible. I only have one vent left that I am still able to keep clear of snow and it takes about a half hour to dig down into the snow and make a space large enough to open the door to bring them food and water.
  9. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Hi Sandy!

    My coop is on the south side of my garage. I have both eastern and southern window exposures with the door facing the west. Most of our weather comes from the west, but omitting a window on that side seems to keep the coop a little cooler. Put a nice big window on the south side so that during the c-c-c-cold winter they can sunbathe while still inside.

    I have a large tree to the west, which gives me good shade in the summer, but the earlier post about growing a vine for shade is a good one. That would work.

    If you insulate (which I can't recommend enough) it will help keep regulate the temperature whether it's hot or cold.

    You can always pm me and I am happy to help in any way I can.

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