How to keep coop dry in hot soupy South

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Avrilon, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Avrilon

    Avrilon In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2007
    Georgia Mountains
    Hi guys, I'm hoping someone can help me figure out how to keep our coop dry here in our hot humid summers - especially when it is raining. We have a large coop that came with the property and are now refurbishing it so we can get our chickens into it very soon. The air gets quite soupy here in the summer and when rains, it's downright "thick" with humidity where it feels as though it clings to you and everything outside.

    Here is the back of the coop, which reminds me a bit of the open air coops I've been reading about. The windows don't have wire mesh in them yet.


    And here is the front:


    We live in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains - up on a hill - and there can be a lot of very strong wind blowing through. I'm concerned about the rain getting blown in if both sides of the coop's windows are open for ventilation in the summer. Should we close up the two front windows during rainy, windy times to avoid rain blowing in? I'm afraid the coop will feel like a sauna if we do... keeping air movement minimal with them closed.

    And generally... any of you who live in hot, humid areas... how do you keep your coop from feeling damp in all this sticky humidity? I just want to be prepared for when it hits this summer.

    Thanks for any help,
  2. suzeqf

    suzeqf Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    I hear on the nasty humidity I live in ky between 2 rivers in a hole and i'm putting 3 windows to optimize the breeeze and a coop wide vent in my coops and it's going to be a cinder block high off the ground so hopefully they will be able to stay halfway comfortable when it gets nasty sticky in july/august
  3. Hoosierchickens

    Hoosierchickens Songster

    Jan 9, 2011
    Cloverdale, IN
    Does your coop have electricity? We're it me, I would hinge doors to the large windows so that when they are open they act as an awning to shed the rain and definitely put hardware wire on the windows. If you have electricity you could install a gable vent with a fan to help ventilate and cut down on moisture due to humidity. You might also look into stable-dry.
  4. Kudzu

    Kudzu Songster

    Mar 27, 2011
    That is one good looking coop. We are newbies on chickens, but I have lived in Mississippi for most of my 57 years of life. I know all about hot, sticky humidity. If needed, I will have a fan for the coop and will install shade cloth on the runs. I have been told that chickens can adjust to most weather conditions.

    Again, thatÂ’s a fine looking coop you have.
  5. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    I live in south west Georgia so I know what you mean by humidity! I added a turbine vent to the roof of my coop (nothing can get in) and I use DE in the pine shavings. I also used hardware cloth on the windows and to keep the mosquitoes out (which seem to get really bad with the humidity) I put small screens over the hardware cloth (someone here on BYC suggested it). Some suggest using sand in the coop, I havent tried that yet but am seriously contemplating it. Its suppose to keep the coop nice and dry and easy to clean.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Which way do the storms usually blow in?
  7. Avrilon

    Avrilon In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2007
    Georgia Mountains
    Oh, this is very helpful guys! [​IMG]

    suzeqf: Our coop is high off the ground in the back and one cinder block high at one corner (it's on a hill), so that should help some.

    Hoosierchickens: The gable vent is a great idea that I've not even thought of! And yes, we do have electricity at the coop. My husband suggested hinged doors at the windows, so I will tell him he's on the right track. I've read here about stable-dry... and DE. Does stable-dry help with preventing mites, etc. like the DE? Can I use them both? Sorry... so many questions from us newbies.

    Kudzu: Lol... kudzu runs rampant around this part of the country! Thanks; I first thought the coop was really ugly, but I'm starting to warm up to it because it's already paid for and already here! And it's big. We'll probably use some fans too and hopefully that will help even if the air is heavy and wet.

    jbowyer01: I'd not even thought of mosquitoes! They are all over the place here in the summer when it rains. And yes, the hardware cloth will definitely help with that and with keeping rain from blowing in. Dang, I have so much to learn. I'm still reading about sand... I bet it would really be cooler in the summer.

    WoodlandWoman: What a good question. I feel really stupid to not know the answer! Yes, that would make a big difference in what kind of issue it will be. Next storm, I will take note!

    Thanks everyone; you've given me some great options and things to think about! [​IMG]

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Dry is not really an issue in the South except insofar as you don't want to actually be farming up mold (or having a duckpond) in your coop. Yes, it's humid (I lived in Durham NC for six years, I do have some idea, and that's not even the "real" south as far as heat and humidity). It's going to be humid no matter what you do. As long as it isn't humid *below freezing*, no biggie.

    Put a max-min thermometer in the coop so you can see if it is getting significantly hotter than the outdoor (-in-the-shade) temperature. That will give yo a sense of how you're doing on ventilation.

    T'storm winds are usually the very worst from the W, I'd be highly astonished if that werent' the case for you too. It looks like the coop is pretty well sheltered among vegetation, which helps quite a lot (unless a tree falls on it but oh well). I am going to guess the side with the steps and people-door is the S side? It is not obvious to me that you're likely to have much problem, some rain will likely blow in the far side windows occasionally but probably "oh well" and if not then you can do something to shield them.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Nice coop and all good advice so far.
    I use a min/max thermometer and a hydrometer in my coops.
    In St. Louis it's humid All year. In the morning it might be 40-50% but by 10 it's near 90%.
    I like the window/awning idea.
    I was thinking bigger overhangs on all sides that have openings.
    build on high ground if possible so it isn't sitting above wet ground.
    I'm intrigued by sand but I'm afraid with the humidity it would be like concrete an 0 degrees.
    I keep making my windows bigger.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011

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