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How do you keep rain out of the coop?

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

  1. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2013
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    After talking to some people on here yesterday (thanks everyone!) we've decided to convert our old shed into a coop. The shed is 10x10 and needs some work but I think we've basically got it figured it out except for this one thing: with the advice of one of the people from yesterday we think it would be good to do something like this:
    [​IMG]
    We live in Alabama where it gets really hot & humid & opening up two side of the shed would allow for a ton of ventilation. I really like this person's setup. But HOW would we keep rain (and wind as well but mainly the rain) from blowing into the shed & soaking everything & the little chickens? We're getting 1 light brahma & 6 orpingtons. They will be coming from 2 different flocks so we're going to build a little sectioned off area for the brahma & 1 orpington that's been raised together. But back to my question. We've got trees surrounding the shed so should we string tarps from the trees a few ft away from the shed to still allow some ventilation but to also block rain? Would that work or what do you guys suggest? This is the only thing we have left to figure out. Below are some pictures of our shed so you guys can see what it looks like now.
    [​IMG]
    **front**
    [​IMG]
    **ceiling that is caved from the back wall to the middle of the shed**
    [​IMG]
    **floor caved from the back wall to the middle of the shed**
    [​IMG]
    **The raised area underneath the shed**
     
  2. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    my chickens need shade more than rain protection, that being said, I am constantly amazed how much debris we get off our trees. when I dream of more coop space I think about how much weight it can hold in leaves and snow.
     
  3. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But wouldn't the rain blowing in through the sides mess up the inside of the shed & get the chickens soaked?
     
  4. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, the more angle you have on your tarp the better, that way the rain will stay out and the leaves, sticks and tree seeds will slide off, I have tried hanging tarps while camping and they will fill with water and tear easily if hung level.
     
  5. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oneonta, AL
    Yeah we've had problems with that in the past with dog pens. Are there any suggestions you might have as to a setup for keeping the rain out? Or would it be better to just keep the walls & add windows for the ventilation?
     
  6. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    I see that you are in Alabama, consider only having a glass type window on the north (cold wind) side and just put wire over the holes you cut in the walls on the other three sides. I am not good with ventilation, so......my flock has frost bite damage this year minus four degrees this morning in Missouri.

    My Aunt lived in Pinson north of Birmingham. Nice to meet you.

    John
     
  7. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2013
    Oneonta, AL
    Sorry about your birds. Hope they recover quickly. Thanks for your help! And it's nice to meet you too!
     
  8. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Hopefully you laid some plywood down to cover the holes in the flooring and some corrugated metal sheets or at least plywood for the coop roofing. The open sided coop would be OK in your area but I would cantilever some roofing over that open sided wall to keep rain from blowing inside. If it were my coop, I would probably close off half the wall and put the nest boxes in the closed off area. This would give the chickens a place to feel secure and it will stay dry. Having openings with hinged flaps are really the ideal situation so that you can open and close areas depending on the weather.

    You can kinda see the concept of the open side with extended roof in the picture below. Since I'm up North, I close off the open wall during the Winter to keep snow from drifting inside and frigid winds out. The opening is facing the opposite direction of most all the prevailing winds and weather. btw... You can try the tarp idea but it will wear quickly and pocket heavy rainwater unless you have supports below.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t have a great solution for you since that is a raised shed. If it were on the ground I’d say just fill it a few inches with sand so it will drain and let the rain come. It will dry out with drainage and good ventilation. To give the chickens a place to get out of the rain if they want to just leave one side open, the normal downwind side, instead of two. Chickens don’t always want to get out of the rain.

    With a raised floor like that, it’s going to rot if it gets wet. One possible solution is to put in a wire floor instead of wood and let them live on wire. Some people will be horrified at that. Oh you are going to hurt their feet! My brooder and grow-out coop have 1” hardware cloth for a floor. I’ve never had one hurt its feet. One big problem with a wire floor though is that when the chickens get maybe 14 to 16 weeks old, their poop starts not falling through the 1” openings so you have to come up with a way to clean that. It’s not easy. And you have to clean the poop that does fall through out from underneath the coop. I would not recommend this as a solution. Too labor intensive.

    Being wet won’t hurt chickens that have feathered out unless there is a breeze for wind chill effects and it is below freezing at the same time. You’re north of Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa seems to be the border between Gulf Coast weather and a more interior climate from my observations. You should see some freezing temperatures in winter, but not really bad even with a record low of - 8F. You can easily go with an open coop.

    I’ve had the problem of water ponding on a tarp when camping and got pretty good at tying it up so it self-dumped when water started ponding. Slope the tarp so it drains one way and along the bottom edge tie a rope from a grommet to a stake in the ground to create a channel for the water to drain to. It takes practice. In your application you might just poke a hole through the tarp to let the water out, but in a heavy storm that water can still build up and that does create a weak place so it can tear.

    A harder problem to solve is wind. That’s what’s more likely to rip it up. It will rip right out of the grommets. I found by not relying on the tarp as much for strength it took wind better. I’d stretch a rope all the way across between trees and tie the grommets to that rope instead of just tying to the corners of the tarp. That way the rope takes most of the force.

    There are different ways to tie the tarp to the rope. In a semi-permanent situation like yours I’d probably stretch a pretty heavy rope or wire between trees and use a smaller rope to weave the tarp to that rope. Take a couple of twists around the rope, thread it through the grommet, take another two twist and then go through the next grommet. That’s the best I can come up with to attach it to the rope.

    Some people can get a tarp to last for a few years but they are a high maintenance item. A tree limb will hit it or wind will wreck it eventually. Good luck with it. With that raised floor, you have a challenge.

    Adding ventilation under the overhangs for permanent ventilation and using vents and windows for warmer weather may be your best solution. Use louvers on vents if you need to so you can keep rain out. This is why I prefer a coop on the ground but reusing something that is there makes sense.
     
  10. FDaniels

    FDaniels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oneonta, AL
    Thank you so much guys!! We actually haven't fixed the shed yet so that's why the holes in the ceiling & floor is still there. Now I have a clearer idea. Thanks!!
     

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