Coop Suggestions for the South - Hot Humid summers/Cold Winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PiratePrincess, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. PiratePrincess

    PiratePrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am starting the process of designing and building my coop and would like some suggestions. I live in Arkansas where it gets really humid in the summer and sometimes pretty hot - 90's and up. It also can get pretty cold in the winter - down into single digits and snow. I'm a little stumped. I am planning on having a permanent coop versus portable and I have six bantam cochins. Any suggestions or advice would be really appreciated!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Hi neighbor.

    I don't really know enough about your situation to be able to give much specific advice.

    How pretty does it need to be or how imnportant is that to you? Your chickens really don't care but you or your neighbors might.

    A big question is how are you going to manage them. Most days they can get outside up here, even in single digits weather. Our occasional snow does bother them and mine like to stay out of the wind, but I seldom leave mine locked up. How much waking time will they spend in the coop, coop and run, of just free-ranging? Are you going to feed and water in the coop or outside?

    How many do you eventually plan to have? That's not always easy to answer.

    Do you have any existing buildings on your property that you can convert or are you building from scratch

    Pick out an area where you want to build it. Think areas that do not get wet!!! You do not want a coop or run positioned where water drains to it. Bad! Bad! Bad! Also think of sunlight. You want the coop and run where it gets partial shade, especially afternoon shade, if you can. If you leave them locked up, they need to be able to find shade.

    Something to consider. Pick out one of those buildings at a big box store or a building supply store and use that. The only modifications you have to make are to cut a pop door, put in a roost, and put in nest boxes. You will need to cut out under the overhang and cover that opening with hardware cloth for ventilation. To me, that is about as easy as it gets if you don't have an existing building to convert.

    Just A few quick ideas. Good luck!!!
     
  3. Chicken0Boy

    Chicken0Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in S.C. were we get about the same weather. I built a 6x6 coop that I could move around with a tractor. For the humidity I have 3 windows that i can open in the summer and close in the winter. I built some vents that will be open all year for ventilation. (a must) I also have a fan in my coop that suck the hot air out. It stays about 20 degrees cooler. Even on our hottest days. If you can't do all that I have heard of putting milk jugs filled with frozen water in the coop and run. They will lean on it. Another thing you could do is build/move your coop to a tree so they will have shade in summer. I don't really worry about winter, because there body temperature is hotter than us. My chickens have not had any problems with making it through the winter weather. They are all bantams. If you have any more questions just ask

    Hope I helped! [​IMG]
     
  4. PiratePrincess

    PiratePrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay for a neighbor!

    I can't have them free range because I live in Fayetteville city limits. I am only allowed to have four chickens by code so six chickens is just enough rule breakage to make me happy. I am thinking about a coop like Nadine's MASH unit but not sure if that will work here in the south. I will keep reading the threads here (they're fabulous) and drawing and planning. Thanks for the advice! Since we just moved to our new house a month ago I will have to see where the rain drains on our lot.
     
  5. Chicken0Boy

    Chicken0Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, if you live in city limits you might want to make a nice coop like this... https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=26319-hennebunkport-coop-design . Mine look almost just like it. Also, If you can't free range at all you better make the run big! If you got 6 chickens and could free range you could make your run a 5x12 or a 6x10. Since you can't free range, though it would atleast need a 6x20 or 11x11 run. That would be a very pricey run! [​IMG] I have 6 bantams too! 3 Silkie hens , 2 Frizzle hens and 1 Cohcin Roo. [​IMG]
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Mostly, plan for the summer and don't worry about the winter. You don't want a small building with 4 solid sides, I promise you. And if at all possible, you want it shaded and where it will pick up breezes. Chickens re quite cold tolerant; people keep chickens in unheated coops in Alaska with no problem. However, heat can actually kill them. 100 degrees F is their danger point. In order to be halfway comfortable in the summer, the require plenty of breeze and shade, along with plenty to drink.

    Here's a good thread with lots of ideas.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=163417&p=1

    And here's another thread about an open air coop, a whole lot farther north than you are:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=445004
     
  7. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here in the moist side of Texas, my coop is mostly wire .

    Suggest you build a city-friendly coop, raised up off the ground, with lots of hardware cloth for walls. Be sure to make it dog-proof.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  8. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Mine is 3 sided!! Works great for us!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:Barred Babies? You mean you have been keeping this magnificent coop hidden from me????? I LOVE the roosts!!!! WOW!!! [​IMG]

    I love it !!!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  10. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:I'm redoing my big coop into one of those MASH units. Check out the thread on the Wood's coop. It's also an open air coop
     

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