coop walls - solid or wire

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chick'n'weave, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. chick'n'weave

    chick'n'weave Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2010
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    I keep searching for the "right" coop. These are the arguments I've seen:
    1) A 1930s study continues to be referenced about an open coop with a roof and its success. The research showed that one back solid wall and 3 heavy gauge wire walls were optimal for chicken health and ventilation and that weather was not an issue. Study was done in Minnesota. I live in Texas, so this is of interest to me.
    2) The enclosed coop with 4 solid walls (except for windows and roof corner ventilation nooks) seems to be the majority of types of coops advertised. Because this seems to be the predominant style, whether it's tractor or stationary coop, I wonder if this is the way to go.

    Proper ventilation seems like the crucial factor because I don't want to end up with diseased birds and unhealthy conditions. I need some advice.

    What I see is the huge difference in cost. Enclosed coops are outrageous and people like me are not talented when it comes to building a coop. In addition to your personal thoughts about the above ideas, I would also like to hear if there is any coop builder who is reasonable with cost, does quality work with quality materials, and is not out to retire based on one more purchase (mine!).
     
  2. jentralala

    jentralala Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went halfsies. Living in Florida, my main concern was a buildup of heat and humidity. So for my 8x8 coop the back wall is solid, and 4 foot of the walls on the side are solid. The other 4 foot is hardwire mesh (absolutely necessary to use). The front wall is solid, but has very large 'windows' cut out on the corners and the door is wire mesh.

    The biggest issue is I don't have a slanted roof (we modified a preexisting structure) so when it rains sometimes the bedding on the edges can get pretty wet. It's not a huge deal (I use DLM and just turn it all in & add fresh), the girls can get out of the wet and wind in the walled section.

    I would be very afraid of over heating in a totally solid structure. I had a friend who's hen got stuck in her solid walled coop during the day and she died of heatstroke.
     
  3. chick'n'weave

    chick'n'weave Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2010
    Texas
    Ditto on the heat and humidity. Thanks for the idea of half and half.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Keep it dry and well ventilated based on your specific climate and weather patterns.

    Decent building materials can be expensive...and beware prefabbed coops, they are often way too small and cheaply built with cheap materials despite their price.

    As to paying someone, my adage is......if you can't do, you have to pay for the skills you don't possess.
    I built my own coop(inside an existing building) and run with new materials for about $750.
     
  5. chick'n'weave

    chick'n'weave Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2010
    Texas
    good advice. Thanks.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    In Texas, heat is going to be way more of a challenge than cold. It just doens't get cold enough there to be an issue for the birds. I'd have probably two solid walls, to be sure to break the wind and any rain, and the rest should be able to be open. You just need to make sure your wire is predator proof, chicken wire is not.

    Do an advanced search for username JackE, he's the one I think of right off who has an open style coop in a more severe climate. He's got several good posts about open coops, and a lot of good research to back up the design. Here's a good starter thread...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/445004/woods-style-house-in-the-winter
     
  7. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    I converted 2 of the stalls in our 30x30 barn into an open air coop/run. I love it!


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    The end stall is all hardware cloth, allowing for plenty of ventilation and breeze during the summer. In the first pic you can see a little alcove in the back. This is where I have the roosts.


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    The middle stall is more enclosed. There is an open half wall above the exterior nests, and an open half wall on the exterior side of the coop. There is also a large vent along the top of the red walls to allow moisture/ammonia to escape.


    [​IMG]

    I have my brooder along this back North wall, with my roosts on the top. You can see my upper vent above the interior white wall.

    This winter, I covered the vent behind the roost, but left the high one above the nest box. The large window above the nest box and on the exterior wall, I covered with clear trash bags for wind blockage this winter.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also put up 2 clear shower curtains on the West open wall for wind blockage. You can see in/out of them, but it's just not as clear as it is without the plastic. It has worked really well keeping the winds out of the coop. I did leave a small vent along the top of the coop, you can see it in the last pic.

    I have lots more pics of the coop on my coop page. Unless you live in the panhandle of Texas, our heat is more a problem than our winters. If you have the room, open air is the way to go hear. You just have to add make a few temporary adjustments for the wind in the winter.
     

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