Coop orientation.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pistolero, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. pistolero

    pistolero Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm still in the planning stages of the coop/run. No chickens yet.[​IMG]
    Looking through the "Woods coop" thread. It specifically shows to orient the coop so that the open end faces south. We live in central NC just south of Raleigh. Most winters are mild. We can, rarely, get single digit or sub-zero temps, but I'm more worried about the 4 months + of hot humid summer we ALWAYS suffer.
    Would it make more sense for us to orient the "open" end of any coop we build Northwards to minimize heat? In the summer any and all shade is a good thing here.
    Just thinking. Plus the coop will be south of the house and I'd like it better that way to see in it from the house.
     
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  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
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  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Oops I double posted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You do have a point about your hot summers, but the big issue to consider when orienting your coop is wind, rain, and snow. From which direction does the worst of the worst weather come?

    I love those Woods coops, but it concerns me that not much protection is afforded the interior from intense wind-driven wet weather. It's fine in regions where wind is a mild occurrence, but I wonder how these coops would fare in regions that get high winds, and from two different directions depending on time of year.

    For example, I live where the wind reaches 60mph at times, and it blows almost all the time as a matter of course, especially when a storm front moves through, shooting rain and snow like a shotgun into any exposed opening in my run. In winter, the weather comes out of the north, and in summer and spring, it comes out of the south and can be even more intense than the north winds in winter. I wouldn't stand a chance if I had to choose orientation. As it was, I chose the south side for my entrance to my run so I wouldn't have to shovel a ton of snow just to get in in winter. But there have been days where the wind blows so hard from the south, I could barely wrestle the door open against it.

    You could solve your hot sun exposure to the open end by constructing an overhang that cuts out some of the worst sun exposure during the time of day the sun is at its peak, and still retain the open-air quality of the coop design. It's how I would solve it, and I've read other discussion of Woods coops where this solution has been brought up, so I imagine some people do make this alteration to address regional weather quirks.
     
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  5. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there,
    here is my opinion on heat, I can't give much on cold weather though because it only gets down to 30 degrees in Charleston, SC.

    - Make sure there is plenty of draft, and not too much metal, because it gets extremely hot during hot summers.

    - I suggest A-frame coops because they can be made pretty ventilated.

    - Plenty of water! Sometimes, I just let the hose run into a large bowl in the yard.

    - Having dirt available allows them to dirt bathe, which cools them down.

    - Don't feed a lot of starch ( corn, etc.)

    - I know this sounds kind of stupid, but I used to put industrial fans behind my coop... they would lay there beside it and just bask in the cool air stream.

    All these facts have been tested to work, in the summer in Charleston, SC it stays between 90 and 100 degrees, plus a steady level of humidity.
     
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  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Below is a copy of the book, about the Wood's coop, and open-air coops in general. The coop is sited the way it is, so as to collect as much natural sunlight into the coop as possible. Pointing it in the wrong direction will lead to a poorly lit, shadowy coop. If you are concerned with summer heat, add some 3-4" foam insulation under the roof. That will help soak it up. It really isn't a coop, you can just throw together and point in any direction that looks good. A lot of time and thought went into the design of this coop, back in the day (Over 100yrs ago), before this coop was put into wide spread use. Failures have been documented, lessons learned, and now, the final design, is practically a perfect coop. Changing dimensions of this, pointing it in another direction for the view, is just not a good idea.

    As far as wind driven rain, strong cold winds, or whatever. They don't mean anything to this coop, if it's built properly built. I've had 30- 40mph winter winds blow right at the open front, and whatever precipitation that comes with it. It DOES not penetrate into the coop. Flat out does not. Inside the coop, is as calm as it is, when you are sitting in your house watching TV.


    http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924003138272;view=1up;seq=47
     
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  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To piggy back onto what JackE has said (mine works about the same way when all closed up), in the summer, when it is hot, you then open it up. In addition to the open front, you can open two side windows, the two upper monitor windows and if you build it, you can leave the main door open and have a screen door in it's place. We get hot humid weather in summer too and it is not much hotter in there than it is outside, plus with it all open, the breeze does blow in and through it.

    I see the Woods house as being like a run enclosed on three sides, with options to open it up if you want.

    Whatever you build, I would still stick to the basics. Open side facing south to the winter sun and build it as high and dry as possible.

    BTW, in areas with brutal winter winds, a wind break is recommended. That has always been the case......even 100 years ago.
     
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  8. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, good point, it can be open up in the warmer months, like the pic below shows.


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being that I am sneaking in here on my lunch break, I don't have the time to buzz through all the responses. I will get there later.

    You need to work WITH this coop design, not against it. Being a Meteorologist, I LOVE THIS COOP!

    It needs to be faced to the SE in most of the United States to take full advantage of solar heading in the winter, the rarity of harsh weather from the SE, and the prevalence of wicked weather year round from the west, NW, north, and SW.

    The prevailing winds coming from the NW in the winter, allow the winds to ride up and over the coop, creating a low pressure to the SE of the coop. This creates a slight exchange of air not only in front of the large open windows, but also allows the coop to be its own wind block.

    In the SUMMER, you are correct, our winds- wet and steamy, come from the south. HOWEVER, the SE design and the oversized windows use the orientation to push hot air into the lower windows and up and out of the upper one, even WITH the wind blowing directly into the upper window as well. My coop has an additional vent in the NW wall, which is closed air tight in the winter months. Nebraska can easily see heat indexes of 125' where I am at. Temperatures of over 100 and dew points near 80' are NOT uncommon in this area. I have lived in the deep south, and it rarely gets as revolting as this down there. We also have days with no wind, which usually happens when we are at our hottest. In the winter temperatures can get to -20 and wind chills of -40'F. An amazing spread, eh? My extra vent in the back wall, allows me to open a full flow through the whole coop when I decide to kick on the barn fan.

    IF you turn that top window to the NORTH West, with the large open face window to the southeast, not only will you be inviting a beating from the hail and rain from prevailing thunderstorms, but you will kill the inherent air flow this coop is known for. The hot summer wind will flow up and over the window creating a low that will hinder the air being pushed through the windows below. In the winter, you loose your solar heating through your window and invite in the colder NW winds. (OH how I would LOVE some of what NC considers cold right now! LOL was -11 here this morning)

    You of course can orient it anyway, and design it anyway you choose. But the woods is designed like it is for a reason. In the days before heat and air and farm electricity, the birds were warm (or cool) and had plenty of light and fresh air.

    My two cents. :D
     
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  10. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like your coop, especially the Yankee barn style.
     

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