Coops in the sauna of Houston questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NickyPick, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. NickyPick

    NickyPick Songster

    Sep 18, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Hi! I'm in the planning stages of getting some chickens in the spring to help as fly control in my horses's pens. I live NW of Houston and for example, the temperatures in the last month have been 95-103 with the humidity between 80 -100%. My land is surrounded by trees, so we don't get much wind and the air tends to hang heavy. Anyone have any suggestions for good ventilation in the coop? I really like Coop Delisle's style, with the floor to ceiling screen windows. Would that be enough or should we make more of an open screen walls?
    I have two locations that I'm thinking about for the coop. One is in the corner of one of the pens and I'd fence it off so the horses couldn't get in to check out the coop (I have VERY curious horses) and since the fence borders the neighbors, I'm thinkng I'd need a solid wall to hid the coop & chickens from their dogs.
    The other spot is just outside the horse pen between my wash rack and our overgrown hedge border - I'd just have to add a gate from the run to the horse pen for the chickens to get out to range.

  2. ScotH

    ScotH In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    South East Texas
    You might want to go to the Coop designs page:

    the type of coop you are thinking about building, then others could suggest any changes (if needed).
    I'm in the same boat, I know I need lots of ventilation in the summer, but with rain that often falls sideways I don't want my coop to end up wetter on the inside than out.

    Edit: I just saw that coop you had in mind (, that's a really nice one and has a large breeze way in the middle.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  3. saxet

    saxet Chirping

    Jun 2, 2010
    Hello Houston, [​IMG]
    I spotted an Oklahoma coop not too long ago, that seemed perfect for hot weather. I saved it and it went down with my computer crash. [​IMG] Maybe others will know what I am talking about, but it had lots of wire, and was well thought out. Of course, the current 4myboysandme coop is also very hot climate tolerant. Did you spot that one yet?
  4. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    New Orleans here.

    My coop is 4ft off of the ground, hardware cloth on all sides and bottom. The only solid I have is their roof. I would put them in the shade.(My run is shaded),I have never lost a chicken to the heat, I don't give them ice water or frozen treats like others here just LOTS of fresh water.
    My girls are Buff Orpingtons which have a lot of feather coverage and so they are O.K. in our short rather warm winters.
  5. Pheonix

    Pheonix In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2010
    San Jose, Ca
    The second area looks the best with all the trees and shade. You might also think about having water bottles to even out the temp. In the night it will collect the coolness, and it can cool off the coop in the mid day. I would also but a solid wall up on the south side just to block the sun if you do get a bit.

    Are you going to have a different coop for the winter? you might think about having it modular so you can change or add a few pieces to make it suitable for the winter also.
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd put it wherever it will get the most shade. I run a box fan in my coop and it has a lot of wire sides, and gets a good breeze. Mine go in the coop in the heat of the day when they are not free ranging, just for the shade.

    They do need sides, so they can get out of the wind or rain if they wish. You might prefer a side that lifts up like an awning for hotter days. They don't need 4 solid sides, for sure, not in the south.

    I've seen old timey designs that have solid sides maybe for 3' and a solid back, then a much larger area that only has a roof.
  7. HenToothDoc

    HenToothDoc In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    Barnesville, GA
    Thanks for this question. It has been a rough summer here in mid-GA and it's still getting into the 90's during the day. I haven't had any problems yet, but now I'm thinking about adding a small fan for ventilation. I agree with the others that shade is the most important factor.
  8. NickyPick

    NickyPick Songster

    Sep 18, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    I like the second spot too - mostly because it's outside of the horse pen and I wouldn't have to build the ground up as much. Both spots are shaded pretty much all day, what with the tall tallows and oaks. I'm really leaning towards a full shed sized coop. I'm tall and I do like the idea of not having to bend over something to clean it out. I'm going to be very curious to see how the horses deal when I first start letting the chickens range in their pens (two very large pens that take up about an acre.) We originally set the horse pen fences up with wire to keep the neighbors' dogs out and away from my foals and to keep the horses from sticking their heads out to graze on the other side. It should be enough to keep the chickens in the pens, I hope.
  9. downstownlady

    downstownlady Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Conroe, TX
    Hi NP!!! I don't have horses but I tell you one thing...just the chickens alone drew more flies than I ever thought possible and my hens wouldn't touch them!!! I had to put those little Vanilla Trees all over the coop to help keep those flies down to a manageble level...pretty clever idea whoever discovered it...but it worked. We are in Conroe...and the heat has been horrible. I have an open design and have had 2 box fans blowing and ice in the water just to keep them from baking out there. After we are done roofing, we plan to put a outdoor ceiling fan that I bought at Lowe's when it was on sale. Shade and plenty of it is my recommendation along with open sides and a fan of some it is just too dang hot without one in the summertime!!! Good luck!!
  10. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Hi Nicky Pick,
    I am in Livingston and built my coop this summer. I used a lot of hardware cloth for ventilation. I put an apron of HW cloth 1 1/2 feet all around on the ground to deter diggers. Then for 2 feet from the ground is HW cloth all around the coop. By watching through the day for the sun's rays, I placed plywood panels on the coop to block the sun. I patchworked the walls with plywood and HW cloth. For the door I made a frame of 1x4's and covered with HD cloth. With our winters and ferocious summers, I figured for cold weather, I can always wrap it up with plastic, LOL. My coop is 8 feet high in the back and 8 1/2 feet high in the front, another way to let the hot air rise and escape through HW cloth covered vents. Every evening after work, I made my girls a mudhole in the corner and the next day they had nice cool earth to dig and lay in. Their nest box is 32" wide and not divided so as not to create a small hot box. They only use one end anyway. Hope this helps.

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