New to chickens - already built coop - tell me what's wrong (or right) - Florida

hkeibard

In the Brooder
Oct 13, 2020
33
91
43
Jacksonville, FL
Hi,

I'm new to chickens (chicks arriving at end of month) and newly hatched on this forum today. Though I've been reading posts for months now (so helpful!)
Coop is located in northeast Florida so the climate is mild. Gets colder here in northeast FL than it usually does in central or south FL, but very very mild compared to what so many of you deal with. Coop was already built - attached to an out building, both made of cypress wood. Open on three sides, which I've come to understand is desirable for the humid and hot summers in Florida.

Outlining some of the details:
- coop is 10 x 10
- 6 nesting boxes - accessible from outside of coop
- coop is big enough to stand up in
- original floor was dirt - we added a wood floor and covered with vinyl
- coop was covered with heavy duty wire but it had cattle panel size opening
- in process of wrapping entire thing with hardware cloth (will finish this weekend)
- we also attached boards all along the bottom perimeter - for security and to keep litter/bedding in
- will have a double latch system on the door at top and bottom
- roof is tin - we have plugged holes and painted top to waterproof it and reflect sun
- two original ramps will be reattached along with additional roosts/perches
- right now there are two dog crates in the coop - plan is to have baby chicks in house for first several days then put them outside in the crates within the coop
- we will be adding an attached run to the right of the coop

Deep litter likely to not work well for this coop, so I'm deciding between just pine shavings and regular cleanings or either sand or sani-care as an alternative.
I wish I could free range, but we have a lot of birds of prey that show up daily here.

Concerns:
- anyone with hot weather experience providing insight would be helpful; I see a lot of coops with tight lock up spots for the birds at night. Not really so much here, should I be concerned?
- should I do more for predator protection?
- coop is close to neighbor's property -he's fine with us having chickens, but that's because he'll be the noisy one (engines) so I'm also concerned about that stress - which is a partial reason I'll be shipping the chicks out the coop after several days to get used to it -- I hope.

Thoughts, opinions, suggestions? Anything is appreciated.

(hopefully the photos come though, not one of my skill sets)
 

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One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
442
1,330
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Madison Co, NC
You’re right in that deep litter isn’t an option with your wood/vinyl flooring, but why not deep bedding? I think your skirt boards look high enough to contain 8” or so. And clearly you are well ventilated! Looks like a nice set up and you are SO wise to get this part done before the chicks arrive.

Check out the articles section on coops and runs. You’ll find a lot of ideas and inspiration there!

And welcome to the flock :jumpy ! You’ll meet a lot of kindred souls here.
 
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hkeibard

In the Brooder
Oct 13, 2020
33
91
43
Jacksonville, FL
Check the wire that meets the coop, ANY gaps need to be secured tighter. You would be amazed to see what & who can squeeze themselves into the smallest gaps.
Oh, thank you so much for that point. With what was there and what I'm adding with hardware cloth, where the wire meets the wood should be ok I think. It's nice and tight and we're using a pneumatic stapler with 1" staples.

But I'm still fighting my husband thinking I'm going overboard with wanting to cover ALL the gaps where the tin roof meets the coop wood. It's not a flat roof and there were large gaps on the "corrugated" part. He attached some wood boards to narrow the large gaps but there are still channels of up to 1" in spots. I'm attaching a photo but it's hard to capture.

I think I should put a layer of fine, bendable wire or screen at those spots all along the three sides.
 

hkeibard

In the Brooder
Oct 13, 2020
33
91
43
Jacksonville, FL
You’re right in that deep litter isn’t an option with your wood/vinyl flooring, but why not deep bedding? I think your skirt boards look high enough to contain 8” or so. And clearly you are well ventilated! Looks like a nice set up and you are SO wise to get this part done before the chicks arrive.

Check out the articles section on coops and runs. You’ll find a lot of ideas and inspiration there!

****
The skirt boards only give me about 5" but I could definitely add another board height to get more depth.

Regarding sand or sani-care, it just seems that the people who switched rather raved about the ease and in humid (stinky) Florida I thought that might be a real plus!
 

Msoul

Chirping
Oct 11, 2020
74
231
60
Georgia
You have a nice set up good job, I do agree with the previous replies as well. As for the hot weather. I live right on the Florida/Georgia line so I know the weather you are talking about :cool: I give my chickens cold treats in the heat of it. Fresh veggies filled with water put in a muffin tray then freeze they love it! Keeps them busy also, and helps cool them down.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
86,098
101,981
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop

hkeibard

In the Brooder
Oct 13, 2020
33
91
43
Jacksonville, FL
Hard to say what bedding would work best,
might depend on how much rain comes in the sides.

Might think about an apron around all 3 sides to keep anything from digging under the floor and living there.
Good examples of anti-dig apron installation.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/wire-around-coop.1110498/#post-17093528
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/new-coop-project.1169916/page-2#post-18481208
Yes, I was definitely thinking I should add an apron. I hadn't brought it up with hubs yet because, again, he thinks I'm overthinking it. I don't think I am based on so many of the heartbreaking stories I've read here. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

hkeibard

In the Brooder
Oct 13, 2020
33
91
43
Jacksonville, FL
You have a nice set up good job, I do agree with the previous replies as well. As for the hot weather. I live right on the Florida/Georgia line so I know the weather you are talking about :cool: I give my chickens cold treats in the heat of it. Fresh veggies filled with water put in a muffin tray then freeze they love it! Keeps them busy also, and helps cool them down.
Thanks. Since it was already built I can't really take the credit. The prior owner that built it did a fantastic job with all the buildings here put on this land. All very nice cypress wood. I just want to make sure the chickens are as protected as possible. We have two dogs that have already killed two feral cats on this property, so we really can't take any chances. And the hawks are everywhere.
 

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