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Gonna redo my coop to a more open air style-Questions/advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flyboy129, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all. For some time, I have kept my chickens in the back portion of my mini barn. It is a separate 2'x10 area. At one time, I only had 2 hens and 1 roo. this worked fine until a neighbor gave me 4 more hens over the summer. They only use the coop to roost/lay/eat, and have plenty of run area. I have eave ventilation as well as an awning window that can lower to mostly close off the winter chill (it's facing east).

    I want to turn the old coop area into a feed/supply room and build a new coop in part of the existing run. I will also add more run space to compensate for this. I want this new coop addition to be about a 6'x8'.

    The layout:
    The 8' west side will be attached to the back side of the existing minibarn. The 6' north side will be windowless. The 6' south and 8' east sides will be the only available options for windows/ventilation. The roof will be a lean-to style sloping downward toward the east. It will have a 24" overhang on the east side. As of right now, I have had no problems with frostbite. It got down to low teens last night with a north wind on top of that, and is expected to hit 0 with a -teens wind chill Sunday and Monday nights.

    I would like to have as much light as possible on the south and east sides. Hoping to scour CL and surplus stores for windows. Want to have plenty of ventilation, but limit the air movement in the winter. I have read about the woods style houses, and would like to apply what I can, but my layout is resricted to what is mentioned above. I'm thinking of maybe old wooden windows that I can make tilt in at the top for winter / full open in summer? Or maybe some vinyl windows rescreened in hardware cloth if I run across a deal.

    Location is Mid-TN. Summers can get warm. Winter is usually milder than this, but I like to be prepared for whatever.

    Thanks for any advice
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    The keys to Woods style are:
    Open south side.
    South to North depth is 16 feet.
    All other openings (other than south side) used for ventilation must be closed tight in winter to prevent too much air infiltration. The large south opening won't allow much wind in because there's nowhere for it to exit the structure.

    In your situation, it would be nice to have lots of mesh walls that can be covered in winter...maybe removable panels sheathed in plastic to let light thru but not wind, leaving plenty of ventilation up high that won't blow on the roosts.
    Nests mounted in west wall accessible for egg gathering from storage area.
     
  4. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, I know I am unable to utilize the whole setup, and I just want to apply some principals. I will have eave ventilation. It is a must. I am thinking maybe some form of vinyl windows (if I happen upon them) on the east that will be additionally protected by hardware cloth. I may have to use wooden windows on hinges covered with hardware cloth. These can be shut tight and I won't have to worry about storing panels. I read that woods/half monitor houses placed the nestboxes on the north wall so that the southerly sunlight warms them in the winter. I have had a few frozen eggs lately. This would work well for my setup since the storage room will only be 24" deep. I don't mind walking into the coop to gather eggs anyway. I get to check on everything that way. The sun tracks north in the summer, so the intensity will not affect the eggs then. Most of the weather systems travel in from the west here. However, there is almost always a southern wind that blows durning the storms. I plan on the roosts being near the south wall. Would an awning be applicable in my situation? Don't want the birds to get wet while roosting, but I want that sunlight in the winter.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Woods style doesn't use eave vents...or wind would flow in thru south side and out eave vents, defeating the concept.
    North nest boxes for south sun to keep eggs from freezing doesn't make sense...unless you get a lot of sun.
    Where are you located? You can put your state in your profile.
     
  6. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Location was in first post. Middle TN. The sun is to the south in the winter. Southern track relative to my location. Sun shines through southern window. Sun hits nest boxes along north wall. Just a basic solar concept. Makes perfect sense to me. The sun is shining in a south window in the existing coop right now. Again, I am just looking to apply a few concepts of the woods house, mainly ventilation. I'm not building one.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I certainly wouldn't bother with vinyl panels. Hardware cloth with a wooden srotm shutter or awning should do it. They should get enough light from the ventilation hardware cloth if you have enough.

    We have a lot of wind from the north, and the roosts are in the SW corner. The people door is on the north wall, all hardware cloth for summer sleeping breeze, covered with plastic in winter to cut the wind on the roosts. The south wall is half hardware cloth. There is about 6-10" all around the coop between roof and walls that is open air all year. In the summer it is like a wind tunnel in there, and they will go inside on very hot days in preference to wide 6-9' tall bushes outdoors. This is a laarge, walkin coop with a generous roof overhang on all 4 sides. A little rain blows in occasionally on the SW corner, but not often or far, and it blows itself dry pretty quickly.

    Every setup is different. There are several setups in the thread in post #2 that I really like for the South. You will figure it out!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  8. flyboy129

    flyboy129 Out Of The Brooder

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    Vinyl panels?
     
  9. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree This sounds really good. I'm in NW La and it gets hot in summer. Maybe a shade cloth over the window area on southside in deep heat times. [​IMG]
     
  10. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We did the front of our latest coop conversion in hardware cloth (except for the door); half of one of the interior walls is also hardware cloth - here in North Carolina we get hot, and ventilation was important. But it gets cold in the winter, so we built two portable plexiglass windows to hang over the front "windows", and when it is really cold (like now), staple up plastic over the open interior wall. 7 degrees at night and the flock is doing great.

    The interior wall done with hardware cloth at the top

    [​IMG]

    The front of the coop, before staining (dogs are extra and not included...)
    [​IMG]
     

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