Ideas how to safe proof a coop from tropical storms and huricanes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by countrygirl911, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. countrygirl911

    countrygirl911 Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    hi i was wondering if someone could give advice how to protect my chickens and the coop during tropical storm or huricane force winds

  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Solid block building. Windows with made of glass reinforced with wire. Roof tied down.

    I'm sorry, I think if you are in hurricane country you need to expect losses. When Huricane Andrew hit the Homestead area back in 1993(?) it killed nearly all the birds at the Miami zoo.
  3. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    I would keep it sturdy, screws not nails, and have it low to the ground so wind just shuffles over it. Maybe build it near the house so it has a wind break.
  4. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    All of the above, and pray.

    I had 18 that survived Hurricane Katrina, then for three weeks after fed myself and some neighbors. Never had planned to eat any of my chickens, but I never planned on Katrina either.

  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    A pen in the garage.
  6. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    we have an emergancy plan in case we get hit! We downsized so we have a number we can handle when the storms come, cause they will come! The ones who don't have a coop, just shelters will all be rounded up in cages. We figured out, who goes where and the space we need. The coops will be boarded up and water and food will be placed inside. just incase it lasts awhile and i can't get out there!

    We will put all the cages on tarps in the florida room which houses our dogs and cats. they will be brought inside to ride the storm out. It figure with the cages inside a sheltered room they should be OK! My husband will also strap down the shed and place all the quail inside that for the storm. We tend to flood so i need to make sure they are inside as well.

    I am looking for some more xl dog cages sold real cheap on Craigslist for my goats.............. They have shelter that is low profile and the back is facing on the side we get hit from. The winds seem to come from that direction??????

    We will make sure we have plenty of feed on hand and fill the big water holders we have for fresh water. The feed will also be in a dry area to prevent loosing it. I also will have plenty of anti-biotic's and such incase any get injured.

    I also have come to terms with the fact of using some for feed. I only pray to god that Tampa bay does not get hit like New Orleans. Both are low and the flood line goes up the the 75. Which would be alot of people flooding into polk county!! I will also be borrowing a shot gun or 2 just incase people start to act crazy and try me on my livestock!!!
    DISCLAIMER**** i have never even held a shot gun but after having my husbands uncle tell me about slidell and the looting.................NUFF SAID!
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  7. barbarachick

    barbarachick In the Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    New Port Richey Florida
    We live just north of Tampa, have been here for 20+ years and have never had a direct hit but did have a tornado go right tthru our property during a hurricane several years ago. YOU MUST HAVE A PLAN! If we were to get a direct hit such as Katrina/New Orleans, we would load all our animals and evacuate, which would be a real circus. We own a boarding facility for dogs and cats, ANIMAL INN, and also have about 20 dogs of our own here, several cats, 6 chickens, one pigeon and about 40 tortoises and turtles, many are being rehabbed from encounters with traffic.....

    you must, if you live in hurricane area, be able to keep everyone safe, we plan on bringing everyone inside during a 'regular hurricane'-- that has always worked before... but with a BIG category #5, we would load everyone into the motorhome and cars and head out of town!!

    make sure you have coverings for the windows, lots of usable water and food and anything else you may need in case of emergency-- you cannot be too prepared, we try to plan ahead and as soon as we hear anything is a threat, we get into high gear!!!

    good luck to all in hurrucane areas!!!

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yup, if you have few enough chickens you can take them inside (or evacuate) along with you, that's by far the safest for the animals.

    As far as the coop goes, just build it real well and make sure it is anchored. I can tell you some things to AVOID, that I see in a lot of coops pictured on BYC and I think to myself "wow, they're not going to be happy come hurricane season":


    --unsupported overhangs of metal or plastic corrugated roofing (the former should not have more than about 2" of unsupported overhang in most case, the latter no more than 1/2" or so) -- if necessary, sister in some lumber so that an existing overhang receives support.

    -- corrugated roofing that is incorrectly installed in other ways, e.g. no filler strips used under screws when installing plastic roofing.

    -- inappropriate fasteners being used (common rather than spiral nails, in parts vulnerable to stress; plain rather than galvanized fasteners when the wood is pressure-treated; nails/screws either too short or so long they actually come out the other side of the second pieceo f wood, both of which are weak arrangements)

    -- flimsy wood being used

    -- insufficient (or, often, NO) diagonal bracing that would prevent structures from racking and twisting and parallelogram-ing themselves into pieces when hit by strong winds

    As far as anchoring, at each corner you can bury (at least a couple feet deep!) a full-sized cement block with a chain around it, and attach the chain to the sills of the building; or you can buy those screw-in earth anchors; but honestly there is a limit to how much you can do, and if anchoring is really a big issue for a particular storm wind, it is best that your chickens not be inside the building at the time, you know? [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, who did live in the Carolinas for six years, does that count? [​IMG]
  9. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Songster

    I have the same worries. My big coop is built well enough, but I have yet to figure out what to do about the windows. If they are covered, they have no air coming in. The birds in the smaller coops could be put into cages in the big coop or my porch will become a chicken coop (we have panels to cover the porch). I have to worry about flooding also. The coops are raised, but a tropical storm came close to flooding the coop.

    Then I have to consider the turkey and ducks who free-range and don't have a coop.

    At least we don't live so close to the coast like we did for Frances, Jean and Wilma. That was before getting the birds, but we still had lots of pets to consider. We sure learned how to survive without power for long periods of time. First thing we did when moving here and having a well, install a hand water pump.

  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Patandchickens, you've got some great advice. Especially about the diagonal bracing, the overhangs, the fasteners. We've had 3 hurricanes go through since I began keeping chickens, but in the past 5 years since Wilma I've gotten a lot more birds & built more coops. I don't know how some of them would handle a storm.

    In the past we brought all the chickens into the bathroom, covered the floor with paper & straw and let them loose in there. They would all not fit in there now.

    This season, the plan is to bring in the ones the kids love the most, the geese & their favorite ducks, and have them ride out the storm in the bathroom. Then we'd pack as many chickens as we could into crates & cages & stack them in the laundry room. If needed I'd even use banana boxes to put them in. I'd try to do this as close to the onset of the storm as I could and keep them in a darkened room during its passage. Kept in the dark they won't need food or water, packed so close they'd only spill it anyway. The storm usually only lasts 12-24 hours (although it seems muchmuchmuch longer than that when you're going through it!)

    Afterwards I'll see how things fared & take the birds out as soon as possible. They can shift for themselves fairly well until things get cleaned up & rebuilt if needed. And the ducks & geese will be deeelighted with all the standing water!

    It is important to have a supply of feed on hand, I try to go to the feed store early when a storm seems threatening and buy a few extra bags in case it's difficult to get back out for a while. Let's all prepare for the worst & PRAY for the best!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by