Florida or Southeast backyarderrs - I'm concerned about hurricanes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Seatrout00, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all - I'm over here in Melbourne Florida - on the east coast - and thankfully, I live in one of the highest areas of the county - about 11 feet above sea level - which is great, really - sounds like I'm in the ocean, but we're not.

    Anyway - we've not yet got our coop set up, nor have we got hens, but we're anxious to get going - what I am curious about - what are some of the pointers I need to keep in mind regarding how often we southeasters get big storms? I do want a coop that keeps the girls up off the ground, and I am planning on putting it on my side yard where the ground is higher and less likely to puddle - but what else should I know? I can bring my hens into the garage should a storm hit - that isn't an issue - but I really want to build a coop that keeps the girls safe and dry in most conditions.

    Fishy - down on the coast
     
  2. They Call Me Pete

    They Call Me Pete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd be more worried about my family than my chickens. Sounds cruel but it's the truth. Maybe look at building codes for houses in your area and they may give you some ideas. Just my two pennies
     
  3. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha - well we've been through .... gosh - eight or nine canes now? I can't keep track - and since I'm just a tad inland - and not on the barrier island, the only storm we had to evacuate for was Floyd - and quite honestly, if he had come through completely - there would be nothing to worry about because nothing would have survived. We pack up everyone alive and usually, go north, though for Floyd, we went south as every road north was clogged due to the evacuation - and the storm was heading northeast, rather than southeast - but now I'm meandering ...

    No - I'm not talking about being worried my chicks will survive the storm - I'm more concerned with thinking ahead for flooding - if a cat 2 or stronger storm comes through - it will damage or destroy the coop - no doubt about that. My house is stronger than most as its cinder block - so unless its a cat 3 or stronger storm, I don't usually worry but I do drag everything in from outside.

    I'm also thinking of using beach sand in my chicken run - instead of any sort of fluffy bedding - or leaving the ground as is. I had the idea about the sand after reading up on articles about mites and lice - and since I don't use pesticides at all - I thought the high salt content in the sand might be a natural deterant for these small pests. I also thought the beach sand would be excellent for keeping the run clean as well as cool - anyone else use beach sand? Our sand here along Brevard County beaches is very course with high shell content - low for tar content - at least for now.

    Fishy - over in Florida
     
  4. J-Sanders

    J-Sanders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Metal strapping from the roof down to the pilings. The big box stores carry the various metal brackets needed. Next is to make sure your orientation does not leave your coop open to wind lift. All of this will help you and your birds survive a blow. But in all honesty if you get an Andrew type event it won't help. You can set up a mobile carry device that can fit inside a pick up bed and load up and leave if the storm picks your home.

    Jim
     
  5. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Melbourne Florida
    That's an excellent idea J-S - I was thinking I could load the girls (I can only have four) up into one of my large dog crates should we have to evacuate - as the dogs will be inside the cab of the truck - and I can place the crate in the bed of the truck - not idea, but better than them being blown into oblivian.

    Yeah - the first place I had decided to put the coop was taking full advantage of the easterly breeze - as this would help with ventilation - but it would also make the coop vulnerable to strong winds and storms - and most of our bad canes come from the east - the Atlantic - though we do get some coming from the Gulf side - but they have to go over 150 miles of land to get to us and are generally diminished - at least somewhat.

    The anchors and cane ties are an excellent idea - and since we're over sand, I'll have to take into account that my anchors will have to be SUPER deep to be effective.
     
  6. AMBantams

    AMBantams Out Of The Brooder

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    I am further south than Melbourne and can appreciate the concern for storms. Using sand in the run has worked out great. Dries out well from the afternoon storms and easy to keep clean. Our coop is elevated over part of the run so they go underneath during the heat of the day. As for during the storm, we have kept ours in the garage in large dog carriers.

    Keep checking Craigslist, they usually have some advertised. Just need to be able to move them. :)
     
  7. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Melbourne Florida
    Thank you all so much for the info - yes I think the sand is a great idea - for many reasons, and certainly will be a cost saver for me not having to buy tons of bedding. I too like the idea of the actual coop being raised up off the ground, even if its only a couple feet - keeps the moisture content down, and I would think - helps with ventilation - keeping the coop from getting super hot if there is air flow directly underneath.

    Yup - storms are just a fact of life down here - something we have to prepare for no matter what ... the way I figure it - a big storm will wipe me out no matter what I do, but I can prepare for the smaller storms - we've survived quite a few in the last 25 years, so I would think we could expect similar weather for the next 25 years - if that makes any sense.
     
  8. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sand definitely sounds good. Will your coop be in an area where it'll have protection against the heavy wind? Its tricky here in florida, especially for chickens, I think, because the coop needs to be very ventilated due to our heat, yet you also have to keep in mind that during a storm the rain comes from all different directions, even horizontally!!

    Now I only have geese, which isnt too bad of a problem because they dont mind the rain, but hurricane rain & wind is different! Here are some pics of what we did for Hurricane Debby (i think that was the one that passed through here), since it was a level 1 storm, we decided to have the geese ride it out in their coop, anything stronger, they would've been in the garage. We had to put up some plywood on the outside on their coop, and mainly focused on the East and West sides of the coop, since that's where the wind was going to flow the strongest. Normally, their coop is not closed on the sides (allows for more airflow). They also have a raised area that they can get to.

    [​IMG] <-- front view. [​IMG] <--- inside

    [​IMG] <--- inside. [​IMG] <-- inside

    [​IMG] <-- outside.One of the side views.
     
  9. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    sand in the run, wind break panels that you can put on for approaching storms and remove for the rest of the year.

    Shade cloth offers light wind break year round as well as sun protection. You can have solid panels to screw in over the wire walls that you run shade cloth over. Then its as simple as hurricane shutter style install for a storm.

    screw in ground anchors and strapping to tie the coop to the ground just like they use for sheds.
     
  10. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Melbourne Florida
    Ah - so sand in the run is considered a good idea? Great! I figured it would be ideal since - well, our soil is pretty much 90% sand anyway - and the minerals and salt from the beach might help with pest control - plus sand (shaded) can be very cool - while sand in the bright sun is hot - but I would only put the sand under shade so the chickens don't burn their toes.

    I have no coop yet - nor have even decided upon a breeder/hatchery - but we got our batch of mealworms today to start up our mealworm colony - just bought a pound on them and got them over oats - my son is having the time of his life watching his new "pets" crawl around in the oats and carrots - which is so cute - seeing him enjoying things I used to do. (back when I raised a variety of lizards, I had a huge mealworm colony)

    Next on my list to do is to clear out my side yard area where we're going to place the coop and move the fence - after we get that done we'll apply for our permit and get the zoning folks out to inspect the property - shouldn't be an issue - and THEN, hopefully, we'll have some coop ideas/donations/building/something going on.

    I hear that many hatcheries don't have chicks over the winter - so it might not be until the spring when we get chicks - but I had originally hoped to get chicks by the winter - we shall see.

    I very much appreciate all your input and help - especially photos - of your birds - and I can see now that I am going to have to have an area of the coop that is completely covered on all sides - at least, for rain protection - despite big storms, we get plenty of hard downpours and nobody wants to be out in that stuff - so I think a mostly open coop with their roosting/nesting area being well protected with a bit of ventilation would be ideal.
     

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