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Do I need an actual coop living in the South?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by c24267, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. c24267

    c24267 Just Hatched

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    Apr 6, 2017
    Hi all!

    We may be chicken owners in the next week or two if the cost to make a coop/run works out in our favor. We live in Mississippi. Winters are pretty mild -- average temps I'd say are in the 40s-50s daytime (some winters much warmer) and some winters temps only go below freezing a handful of times. That said, it has gotten down to single digits in my 6 years living here, but typically quickly warms up in the daytime and does not happen frequently.

    What will I need as far as a coop. Can I get away with some kind of 3-sided shelter area and then put a tarp or something over the front/take some other measures to insulate if it ends up getting really cold for a night or two?

    Anyone have any suggestions/designs for something like this if that would work?

    While I'd feel safer having them in an actual coop and locked up at night, this idea would save us lots of $ and we would make sure to have it in a secure run with a wire roof and hardware cloth buried.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    A coop basically serves two purposes. Predator protection and protection from the elements. I'll address elements, and let you decide what you need to do for your personal predator load.

    I have birds in aviary style pens, no actual "coop" and they do just fine. Now, my pens are in sheltered areas, nestled between a hay shed, a tall fence, and a pump house, so there's a decent amount of protection from the wind and rain. There's a good roof also, as I live in a very rainy climate. You wouldn't want to have an open style pen set out in the middle of nothing, with no wind break, etc of course, but with some common sense for your site, you should be able to do just fine. Three sided is good for your area, you're going to be a lot more concerned about cooling your birds and them having air flow than heating them.

    I would do a search on this site for hoop coops, or cattle panel coops. Sounds like they'd be right up your alley [​IMG]. Here's a link to some pics of mine....
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1003092/my-breeding-pens
     
  3. c24267

    c24267 Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the advice! A hoop coop looks great, as well as pretty easy to build. I'd just need to see if our feed store has the fencing and if they'd deliver them. Your set up looks wonderful! Thanks again!
     
  4. Flock In Texas

    Flock In Texas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in DFW Texas and we have similar climates. You can probably get away with an "open" coop most of the time, but they will need a place to get away from drafts sometimes.

    My coop has solid walls, floor, and ceilings. It has areas where there is very little draft, but it has a large screen door and screened openings between the rafters front and back. There is also a trap door that leads to a screened in yard below the coop. I shut that at night for extra security. All screens are 1/2" hardware cloth under 2x3 welded wire. I'm a newb and my chicks are about 5-6 weeks old, but they are doing great.

    Here is a picture for reference.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. c24267

    c24267 Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the details and the picture! I appreciate it! Looks great!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Flock In Texas

    Flock In Texas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been moving it around the yard, looking for the perfect area. I just trimmed the Bradford Pear tree so I can put the coop under it. (and so I don't get knocked off of the mower) They will be needing the shade soon enough.

    [​IMG]

    The chicks love the fresh grass when I move the coop.
     
  7. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Depending on the size of your flock, the 3 sided "coop" you described is almost a necessity in the Deep South. Because summer temps can be brutal on chickens, ventilation has to be increased. I don't know anyone with an enclosed coop in our area except for a couple people with very few chickens. As long as you build your chicken coop and run predator resistantthere is no advantage to giving them 4 solid walls.
    As long as the open end of the coop is not facing north, you probably won't need a tarp over it. Just over hang the roof enough that rain won't get in.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is a very nice coop! For future coops, I think I will build one of those.
     

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