Cooling chicken coop in HOT weather?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BWchicken, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. BWchicken

    BWchicken Songster

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    Jun 4, 2009
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    It looks like it's gearing up to be another Texas scorcher of a summer. Temps hover around 97, humidity is almost 80%, and it's only going to get worse. My chickens are starting to really feel it, they pant hard all day long in this heat. I only have 4 chickens right now, and I want to get another 3 or 4 pullets soon, but I worry about heat stroke.

    I have a small (I would guess around 8X6) plywood coop covered in tin with windows on 3 sides and a big door. One of the windows has an inward blowing box fan mounted in it, but it doesn't seem to help much in this kind of heat. The chickens have a small run during the day, but there's very little shade until late evening. They are HOT and panting whether they are inside or outside the coop. I close the coop door when they go in at night for safety, and the fan is always on. It stays hot and muggy at night too, but nothing like the heat of day.

    I was just now reading all the good ideas here on BYC (freezing water bottles and milk jugs, ice in their water, showering the tin roof, etc) and I plan on doing all those things starting tomorrow. My chickens have nowhere to go to get out of the daytime heat, so what I really want to do is make their coop cooler during the day so they could go in there to cool off a little. Even with the fan, it's not much cooler in there than it is outside.

    So...... I came up with an idea that I was wondering if anyone else had tried, or if anyone even thinks it will work. There is a good sized ledge on the outside of that window with the fan in it. If I froze and stacked several of those blue freezer packs (the big ones for coolers) on that ledge directly behind the fan, wouldn't the fan suck in the cooler air from around the freezer packs and blow it into the coop? I probably shouldn't leave the door and the other windows open, though. I guess if it worked well, I could close them and shut the chickens up in there for the hottest part of the day. So does anyone think this might work? I know it won't be anything like A/C, but it would be great if it lowered the temp in there by 10 or 15 degrees. Isn't that how people cooled the air in their homes years ago, by using ice blocks the same way?

    I might just try this after I buy some more freezer packs, although I'm not sure it will even work. In the meantime, I would love to hear any of your thoughts about this idea.
    Thanks!
     
  2. SpunkyTheMonkey

    SpunkyTheMonkey King of the Intardnets

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    May 8, 2009
    Naoussa, Greece
    big fan. get a floor standing fan and stick it outside the run or wherever it is they spend most of their time. i'd also stick some shade cloth on top of the run.

    temps here are hitting 35C/95F already and can hit 40C/105F if we're unlucky. our girls' favorite possession is the floor fan outside the coop.
     
  3. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Columbus,IN
    frozen fuits and veggies, frozen water bottles, misting with hose
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    I usually get a bag of ice and put it in a tub in front of the fan, in the shade.

    Sounds like you need to insulate the tin roof and cover the run with something to provide shade during the day. Even if you only do part of it with a plastic tarp. If they are stuck in the coop all day they may start pecking/picking at each other.
     
  5. calgal98

    calgal98 Songster

    Get a pet mister and put it on the roof.

    My coop gets shade cloth on the overhangand I put the misters on those. Any breeze goes through the shade cloth and cools the interior. I also have a fan on the north side of the coop to blow the air around. My birds may still pant, but it does help with the temp by a few degrees. I'm considering a misting fan that will blow the cooler air directly into the coop. My coop is built with full chicken wire on the upper half that has drop down windows to cover it in the winter. The dropdowns also shade the side of the coop during the heat of the day. I hang the shade from the dropdowns and put the mister there. We've been really fortunate so far, but I know the heat is coming.
     
  6. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    The ice packs will work but not for long in this heat. I'm in Ft. Worth and it's already hot here as well. I agree that a mister on the fan would be better. The ice packs wouldn't last more than 30 minutes in this heat. You can put a piece of burlap on the fan and keep it damp. It would be a makeshift swamp cooler. Hmmm wheels are turning. LOL New project.
     
  7. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

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    Apr 12, 2009
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    I've been worried about that as well... Where the chickens are at, the lake, there's a nice breeze, but when they're in Dallas/ Fort Worth, I have no idea what to do.

    Are there any tried and true methods out there?
     
  8. annek

    annek Songster

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    Mar 12, 2009
    I agree, it would work but you will be out there every hour or so replacing the bottles. You need to provide some shade in the run for them. This could be as simple as a lean to made out of plywood so it blocks the sun on one side with the others open. Put sun shade up, maybe even a table umbrella, anything to block the sun. I just bought a mister from sams club yesterday for 30.00, I am going to hook it up in my run. I bet it would lower your temp by at least 10 degrees, especially with a suncloth over the top blocking the sun.

    Also make sure they can get cool in the earth, wet some areas that will cool them down. Also, the pan of water they can stand in works well, I use a plastic extra large pot bottom. It is shallow and at least 2' across so they can drink and cool their feet.
     
  9. tomdeggeater

    tomdeggeater Songster

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    A small 4-6000 btu window unit could be mounted in a window or through the wall. If you've got high relative humidity, a swamp cooler won't work; as part of the cooling effect is the result of evaporation of water. Which would be OK in a dry climate like Arizona.
    The new ones can be as efficient as 23 SEER, and cost little to run if you were to be happy with 80°.
     
  10. sbarab

    sbarab Songster

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    May 25, 2009
    Conroe, TX
    I am working on figuring this out as well. My chickens have all been panting too. Plenty of shade here all day long.

    I am also thinking about pulling out the misting system that I used a long time ago for my horse that had to be stalled due to an injury during the heat of the summer. It was originally intended for use on a patio has several misting sprayers and attaches to a water hose. I think I paid $15-$20 for it from Lowes or Home Depot.
     

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