Florida Members: Any advice for Coop construction?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rubyegg, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Rubyegg

    Rubyegg Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2011
    Winter Haven, FL
    I'm in Central Florida and while it does "generally" cool off in the evening after the sea breeze storms in the summer, last summer just seemed so STAINKIN hot all the way up to November. I know I walk outside and just pour sweat. I'm concerned about a coop that we lock up at night, but what about ventilation enough so they don't get cooked in their coop?!?!?! I have to lock up, no option. A Great Horned Owl moved in last winter and now the babies are here too. Gets rid of the snakes and squirrels though so I don't mind them. We're also loaded with Ospreys this year. What do you do to keep them comfortable if you have to lock up?
     
  2. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    My breeder pens are simply chain link dog kennels with wire fencing across the top and a tarp. I run 4 foot high hardware cloth along the inside to keep any paws from reaching in and grabbing anyone.

    Lucky you with the owls. I love them. Ive seen them every now and again, but not often enough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  3. chick-in-florida

    chick-in-florida Chillin' With My Peeps

    i'm in southwest florida. we have large dog kennel cages attached to our coop so the chickens aren't stuck in the coop. but our coop does not get real hot either as it is well ventilated. the runs are shaded by trees and boards we lay across the top. give them plenty of water. some breeds are better in the heat than others. we have not lost any to heat.
     
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Tennessee
    Look up the various breeds on this site to pick those best for both temperament and to take hot weather. I would do a coop open on all 4 sides, and run power to it for a fan. Allow a generous overhanging roof because of it being open on 4 sides, for blowing rain. Or do solid sidewalls, but open all the way around from halfway up to the top. In wintertime, you can board up two or three sides of it, or put up tarps if you do not mind the appearance. I would elevate it min 18" and set legs in cement for when hurricanes come. Pay attention to tying down the roof frame to the structure very well for high winds. You can usually take all of the scrap steel banding at lumber yards for free just for asking. I just use 16D Masonry nails and hold them with vise grips and drive thru the steel banding with a min size 24oz hammer. Make great tie downs to anchor roof frame, or to anchor entire bldg to legs.

    See 'My BYC Page' for details on that.

    Gerry
     
  5. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Quote:Likewise, here, except that the top is partiallly covered with the corrugated metal panels. Mine is temporary for the time being. Considering an open-air coop when we get around to building. Haven't drawn it out yet, as far as the details, but I want three of the sides with walls with most of the front open. Just don't know which way to face it.
     
  6. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I was thinking about using a few sheets of corrugated metal, or corrugated plastic, if I can figure out how to attach it to the chain link panels.
     
  7. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Mine are attached to a wooden frame & then I just used bungee cords to attach them to the kennel.
     
  8. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I made an open air pen with hardware cloth and at first didn't have any solid walls. Then the rain and wind bothered me so I added an additional open air pen with a solid back wall and a three foot solid wall coming off of that on the side so they had a corner where there nest boxes and roost was. I am happy with the arrangement. I covered both pens so the run doesn't get wet much and doesn't smell. It has worked well. THe run has sand in one side and wood chips in the other. Trying to see which I prefer. They really get hot in the summer but wetting the sand in an area for them in the morning seemed to help. The first part of the pen was built under an arbor with a vine on top to help with the heat. I just threw up plastic to cut the wind this winter and it has done really well.

    sharon
     
  9. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:Oh! I never thought of attaching them to wood first!

    I feel a new project coming on, great idea! I think Ill wire it to the panels, tho...just in case one of Jeanne's relatives decides to visit this summer.

    Great idea, thanks!!
     
  10. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Tucson
    My Coop
    We have a climate that's a bit hotter than yours in the summer a probably a bit cooler in the winter. I have a highly ventilated coop and my birds seem to like it. Most of my coop is open on four sides, but they also have a more sheltered three sided area that they go to when it gets cold. The roost is now arranged so that they can walk back and forth between the open and sheltered area. I agree with what gsim said about having a good overhang to keep water out. We also have surprisingly strong winds here. I made the roof from wire, which added very little weight (and cost) to the coop and allows the wind to pass through and over the curvature of the roof. The coop has now been through two severe microbursts, each of which took out a tree in the yard (and many more in the neighborhood), and survived rather unscathed (one of the shade cloth panels was ripped free from the eaves though). Halo, I connected the corrugated polycarbonate panels to the wire using the special screws they use for the roofing material and drilling them into a small block of wood on the back side of the wire (see the small blocks on the second pic?). It's holding up so far. There are more pics of how I made this on my byc page. Oh, we also have a great horned owl that frequents the eucalyptus tree towering over the coop. Have fun with your planning!
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