fresh air chicken coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chkinut, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    wow! i feel much better! i just turned our lean-to into a coop and it's made of close-knit lattice on 3 walls. i was so worried about that! well, i did some research on "open air chicken coops" and i'm not worried anymore! there's loads of websites on it, so if anyone does a search, you can read about it. one website said that chickens would be better off roosting in the trees than a poorly ventilated coop. very interesting articles.
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I definitely agree. Every day I read on here of coops that obviously have too little ventilation, and people tend to be so reluctant to increase it enough, afraid the birds will get cold, when the real danger is humidity and ammonia and just plain bad air.

    I've seen 100 year old pics of coops that house large numbers of birds with one side completely open -- and snow everywhere.

    Are you familiar with Robert Plamondon? See here:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2010
  3. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    that's an awesome idea!! i saw the actual picture of that in another article, but it didn't explain how he made it. now i know! [​IMG] i know my girls will be just fine in their coop....i'm still worried about predators though, even though i close them up every night. i'm afraid a possum or coon may dig under it. i think i'll place a bunch of bricks around the perimeter.....then i'll have to put up some fencing along the inside or outside....i'll figure it out...
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I don't agree with this concept, especially in areas that get cold winds.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think it's great for milder climates. But in climates that get severe weather, I sure wouldn't use it (although it's probably no worse than some dank, dark enclosed shelter w/no or poor ventilation).
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    A commonly used approach, from what I read on here, would be hardware cloth across the 4th side and abour 2' of bricks, stones, hardware cloth, whatever, extending out from the coop. It's simpler to fasten hardware cloth to the bottom of the coop than bricks.
  7. MikeyLikesIt

    MikeyLikesIt Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2010
    Quote:I don't agree with this concept, especially in areas that get cold winds.

    I built a Palmondon type coop and incircled it with an electric-net fence. No problem with ground based predators but owls were getting my chickens about every other night. I built a wire door that would keep the owl out...unless I was a few minutes late closing it. [​IMG] I finaly attached a large inclosed pen that my free range chickens can run in if I can't be there to let them out or put them away. I now have a hot wire incircling the coop and pen, five inches above the ground and about five to eight inches outside the perimeter. I've had no problems with diggers or the owl since I've made these changes. Hawks are another story.

    As far as climate... I live in N Texas and our weather is not extreme, though we do have temps in the teens on occasion, seldom in the single digits. My chickens seem totally unaffected by the open air even on, what I consider to be, cold and windy nights. If my weather were more extreme, then I might build a door that I would close on those extreme nights.

  8. Kris64

    Kris64 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2014
    Black Mountain, NC
    This is great! My original plan was a fresh-air coop, dirt floor, and fenced "run" (actually a 30'x20' area) with out screening on top. After researching and learning about predators I starting planning a closed coop that I'd have to open and close a door twice a day and a fully fenced run (25'x4' with screen on sides and top). It made my heart sink, as I just can't believe the birds would be healthier or less stressed like this. Also, I'm not guaranteed to get to the door open and close on time, so now I had to plan a fully secure run as well. . . . At this point I doubted chickens were for me!

    So my question: do you have a fresh-air coop that is still screened and "safe" or do you use an electric fence or ??? Do you have a dirt floor--love this idea for beneficial microbes and a deep litter system that could go into the garden once a year. Also, what about a run? Would love to hear from another advocate of the fresh air system and what they're doing.
  9. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I've had this open-air coop, going on 5yrs. In the winter, I can get temps down into the single digits, not including any windchill, and my birds don't have any problems at all. I read where coops like these were used up into Canada, in -40 temps. So the weather we get down here is nothing to it. It has hardware cloth screens for all the windows. The coop is now surrounded with 650' of electrified poultry net. But for over a year, it stood alone, out in the yard. I have all kinds of predators around here, just about everything short of a bear. Sometimes in the morning, I could see the raccoon's dirty paw prints on the coop. Like they were searching for a entry point, which they never found. I put the electric fence up, after two daylight attacks. They were totally safe at night, but some preds are 24hr a day threats, so up went the fence, to take care of that. My coop has a wood floor. I totally clean out the coop twice a year, and compost the old bedding (Pine shavings). IMO, the open-air coop, is the best coop you can have.

  10. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    No heater needed in any coop south of the Canadian border......Chickens come pre insulated.....Fresh air and sunshine are more important than heat.....Except if you usurp the natural birthing method of chickens and artificially incubate the eggs, then the chicks need supplemental heat since they have no natural mother. [​IMG] Now, I have gotten that off my chest, and will go back to minding my own business.

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