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

Cape parrot

In the Brooder
Aug 25, 2020
29
66
46
North Florida
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)
I like it ! I’m in North Florida also. My chickens were not afraid of my loud mower. They learned quickly that good food comes from the noisy machine with the crazy chicken lady driving.
I don’t ever lock my birds in the coop . They have a secure run with a roof and plenty of perches.
I keep a close daily inspection on the run to keep raccoons out.
Also I installed 4 NightGuard predator lights.
 

hkeibard

Chirping
Oct 13, 2020
43
116
56
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
I do seem to be getting some rain from the sides. The other day after a rain the right side had some water. Here it will depend on which way the rain is blowing I guess. That's another point for going with sand ... maybe?

Because of the possible annoyance of getting the right sand, I'm thinking I may start with the usual pine shavings and see how it goes. Though it does resonate with me from multiple postings here that switching bedding methods can be quite a feat.
 

hkeibard

Chirping
Oct 13, 2020
43
116
56
Jacksonville, FL
I like it ! I’m in North Florida also. My chickens were not afraid of my loud mower. They learned quickly that good food comes from the noisy machine with the crazy chicken lady driving.
I don’t ever lock my birds in the coop . They have a secure run with a roof and plenty of perches.
I keep a close daily inspection on the run to keep raccoons out.
Also I installed 4 NightGuard predator lights.
Thanks Cape Parrot,
I may be guilty of being a little envious of all of the very cute coops posted here that show a nice secure lock up area for the chicks at night. So it took a little while to sink into my brain that in this Florida weather, it's probably pretty vital to have good air flow.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,717
105,722
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
I do seem to be getting some rain from the sides. The other day after a rain the right side had some water. Here it will depend on which way the rain is blowing I guess. That's another point for going with sand ... maybe?
Ehhh....I'd start with the shavings. Observe and adjust.
If you find the rain comes in on same side consistently, might want to add a solid half or full wall there. Could also maybe extend roof.

I’m in North Florida also.
Both of you....
Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1602632943626.png
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,033
6,724
406
USA
I may be guilty of being a little envious of all of the very cute coops posted here that show a nice secure lock up area for the chicks at night. So it took a little while to sink into my brain that in this Florida weather, it's probably pretty vital to have good air flow.
Those nice tight coops: the first thing we tell them is to add more ventilation. :)
And hardware cloth is just as good as some kinds of siding, when it comes to keeping out predators.
 

Beachcomber

Songster
Jul 19, 2020
319
1,326
176
Florida
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.
Hello, I'm also in north Florida.
I know what you mean about the grooves in the corrugated tin roof. I blocked the gaps in my tin roof with wedges of styrofoam (where the chickens couldn't reach it) to prevent rat snakes from slipping through. Rat snakes are very good climbers & got under the gaps on the tin roof on our porch, so I knew they'd try for the chicken coop. So far so good...
 

Rldad1

Songster
Jul 13, 2020
249
715
116
North Alabama
A one inch gap will allow weasels, rats, mice and large snakes to enter. Every place that has an opening should be covered by Hardware cloth. An apron IMO is very necessary. Your husband will not think you are over thinking if you lose your flock to a predator. Keep up the good work. You have a beautiful setup. I can't tell how far up the nest boxes are, but you might need a ramp. I see two ramps, are they for nest boxes or roosts.
 
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)
Very nice, is there anything to deter digging under the sides? Maybe adding some side panels to keep wind and rain out. Those could be hinged at the top to fold up when its hot, and they would provide some shade. Fold down in bad weather.
 

hkeibard

Chirping
Oct 13, 2020
43
116
56
Jacksonville, FL
Hello, I'm also in north Florida.
I know what you mean about the grooves in the corrugated tin roof. I blocked the gaps in my tin roof with wedges of styrofoam (where the chickens couldn't reach it) to prevent rat snakes from slipping through. Rat snakes are very good climbers & got under the gaps on the tin roof on our porch, so I knew they'd try for the chicken coop. So far so good...
Ah, I was thinking about using styrofoam for those grooves. One way or another, I'll win the argument with dear hubby. There are so many ways to lose a chicken, I don't want it to be by my own neglect for basic safety. Thank you.
 

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