Need advice on coop construction for my climate

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sonomachx, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. sonomachx

    sonomachx Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2011
    We live in northern CA and are planning on getting 3 to 4 backyard hens (limited by city zoning). Our winters are typically cool and wet, summers are warm and dry. Average winter temps are 50's with lows in the 30's. We do occasionally get a cold snap with temps into the mid 20's. Summer temps are typically 80's with lows in the 50's. During a heat wave we can see a few days with temps as high as 100. I have seen coops for sale in our area that are completely enclosed with just small roof vents and a wire floor. Others are constructed with one entire wall of hardware cloth. We plan to locate the coop in a shady part of the yard inside a chain link dog run that has a chain link and shade cloth roof. I would prefer to have a wood and linoleum floor with some sort of poop tray instead of wire since I think it will be easier to clean. The 6 ft by 10ft dog run has 4 inches of sand. The lower 4 feet of the chain link is covered with 1/2" hardware cloth with a 2 foot apron that extends out and is covered with flagstone. The entire dog run is bolted to a large shed so it is not going anywhere. It is also very heavy gauge chain link, not the flimsy stuff from a big box store. Anyway, my question is do you think it is okay with our weather to build the coop with one wall of hardware cloth, or would this not be enough shelter for the winter?
  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your set up sounds great! You do want to protect against the wind and to make sure there is a well ventilated but draft free roost area.

    How about basically a open ended box (with the opening down) or doghouse without a floor that simply has a roost in it. The chickens can simply walk under it and hop up to roost. The nest box (only need one) can be anywhere and the feeder simply needs to be kept dry, so in reality, you don't really need a fullblown coop.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think it depends on how deep the coop is, and if there is a wind free "side." Personally, since you don't get all that hot in the summer, I'd rather have huge, screened (hardware cloth screen) window type openings on two sides, with shutter like doors to close in winter time. I would worry over icy winds (in winter time) in an open coop.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I live in Texas & its hot. I built a three sided coop & I love it. Its all in the way you position the coop. The predominant wind direction here is from the SE so I positioned the coop where the wind would blow into the coop to help keep them cool. I blocked off the north & west winds because this wind is cold. Here's the coops. The doors are on the south side & the runs are heading east . [​IMG] Forgot to mention I added a deck on top which also helps shade the birds.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  5. CSWolffe

    CSWolffe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City
    Sounds like your temps are pretty close to what we get her in Utah.
    I put a corrugated metal roof on mine, but used firing strips to add air-flow channels between the metal and an OSB ceiling, this should allow plenty of ventilation so the roof won't bake my girls. The coop is located right up against the north side of a fence, so it gets some shade, and is protected from the worst of the winter wind. I put in two windows, one high and one low on opposite sides, so I can get plenty of cross ventilation.
    As long as your birds can find sun or shade in the summer when they want it, or can get out of the wind in the winter, they should be just fine.

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