How to keep 'em cool in the summer

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by congdon476, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    OK- I have figured out keeping the chickens warm in the winter is easy enough.... but how do you help them keep cool in the summer? We are converting our double door shed out back to the coop and will build a nice little covered run next to it. Before I get too far along on things I want to make sure this is the way to go. Sometimes the heat out here gets up to 110 in the high summer and that little shed is a roaster ( mind you that's closed up ) With screened windows that maybe a bit cooler, but is that considered a "draft" problem? There really are no trees on the property. What's the best way to keep them cool other than plenty of water and shade?
     
  2. SarahBeth9394

    SarahBeth9394 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2008
    I would build the the run high enough so you can open both doors of the shed during the day. And put a couple of windows on the sides to open at night when the ladies are shut in.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Drafts are not a problem most of the summer, lol, we call them 'breezes' and LIKE them <g>. The only thing is that you wouldn't want sudden cold rainy thunderstorm gusts blowing in at chickens who had no way to get away from 'em.

    The best thing for very hot summers is probably to have a structure with only 1 or 2 mostly-solid sides, and the other two just predatorproof mesh in the summer months. And site it in the coolest place you can find, e.g. on the shady north side of a building or under a large tree.

    Those may not be options with your shed. I'd say at least make the windows/vents as numerous and huge as you can, including some down at chicken level on at least 2 opposite walls. If it's a metal shed, insulate the inside (and cover the insulation w/thin plywood or something so it doesn't get pecked) for the places that you don't cut out and replace with windows/vents. For sure insulate the ceiling real good, that's a major source of heat gain. Try to give them as much well-shaded outdoor area as possible. And then just keep an eye on them in summertime; there are other things you can do (frozen water jugs, fans, mister fans in dry climates, etc) if you notice them getting stressed by the heat.

    HTH,

    Pat
     
  4. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    You can also plant a shade tree or chicken-safe vines to cover your run...in the summers, I've used tarps to cover my runs but eventually, I'm planning to cover them with roofing material to help keep them shaded & out of fierce drafts...
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Currently I have two coops that are moveable and I have some nice big oak trees. I live in Florida. When summer comes it stays for several months. My DH and I vacation in Maine. When we're there we have hot days but usually we have a cool spell once in awhile but not in Fla, when the heat comes it stays, so I move my coops under some trees and also the runs are covered. The coops are well ventilated. I'm planning on building a new and much larger coop. I'm not going to build it under trees but there will be trees in the birds yard so they will have shade. I'm going to have a white roof to help keep the heat down in the coop.
     
  6. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    I like the white roof idea. I may have to look into covering the existing roof with something to reflect more of the sun (like the white). Also, insulating the roof may work well too. I was going to use the old wooden fencing from our old privacy fence to make the studded walls inside more solid (flat). I am trying to avoid additional costs for the coop - going totally recycled if I can. My DH isn't into spending "extra" $ on chickens YET. Frozen water bottles may work well in the dry heat times (I presume this melts into their drinking water) and I can always move the covered run next to the grape vines where it will be in the shade, and I'm sure provide some yummy bugs as the dead leaves tend to gather at the base of the vines. I wish I could leave it open to make it more easily portable, but we live in the prairie area and hawks circle us all day long. Thanks for the advice everyone!
     
  7. birdbrain2

    birdbrain2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i just put a galvanized roof on mine. my thinking was that it would reflect a lot of light. but i wont know till summer to know how it works. i have pics on my byc page. you cant see both sides but the top section of roof is left open for air flow. and behind the big door i am going to put a screen door (hardware fabric) so i can open it for the real hot days.
     

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