coop vs climate question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ki4got, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

    Apr 24, 2011
    Roanoke VA
    I'm still in the planning stages for my large coop, but reading up on some other ones made me wonder...

    I live in SW Virginia, in the Blue Ridge mountains, so we do have pretty well distributed seasons. Summers the highs tend to be upper 80s to mid 90s. Winters we do get some snow, but it rarely stays below freezing for more than a day or 2 at a time.

    Anyways, here's my question...

    Would a coop have to be totally enclosed, or would a 3-sided coop be sufficient protection?

    I like the idea of having an open coop, especially in the summer, but at the same time don't want them to get too cold in the winters.

    thanks for any input here.

  2. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2008
    KI4GOT? KF4KNJ here! [​IMG]

    I'm also in VA and I'm glad you asked this question: My chicks are due to arrive in a couple of weeks. I'm in the coop planning stages now and was wondering if a 3 sided coop would work for us.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I grew up not a tremendous distance from you. I'm surprised it doesn't occasionally get colder than that. We had times that it stayed below zero Fahrenheit for two or three days straight. Rare, but they happened. We'd occasionally hit 100 in the summer, but again that was kind of rare. Mid to upper 90's were pretty common.

    In the summer, an open coop like that is fine. In the winter I'd be a little concerned, but if it just barely got below freezing, you would probably be OK. We had chickens that slept in trees instead of the coop, even in the winter and with our temperatures. What I'd suggest is that you enclose them on all four sides as high as they roost, then open it as much as you can aboved them on the roost. A panel you could open in the summer down below them would also be very good. I'd try to avoid a direct draft on them in the winter. Your danger is more frostbite than them freezing to death.
  4. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    See the link below. I have an open air coop. The front is open year round with no problems. The other windows are opened for the warmer months.
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Here in North Fl we occasionally get some freezes. Several times in the upper teens. Mine is an open air pen which is really nice for the summer heat. I put plastic on almost all the sides during the really cold parts and mine did fine. Frostbite is more likely with high humidity but there is enough ventilation that none built up.
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    It is the cold wind that ruffles their feathers that is the concern. Three-sided or open design is great for the summer. I would suggest a flexible design that can be closed up for the winter (with proper ventilation of course).
  7. jgervais

    jgervais Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Jackson, MI
    I'm in very cold Michigan, but using the garden coop style which has an open top - it has a screen window that i will 'board up' in the winter and a door for the run which will also be closed on the very cold days. When the days are getting near freezing I can place an insulated board over the top to cover most of the opening while still leaving some open for ventilation. So far so good and It seems to have a lot of customization options-
    heres ours:

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