Newbie/ Florida Needs Coop Advice!!! :D

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 9ByDesign, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. 9ByDesign

    9ByDesign Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2010
    Wesley Chapel, FL
    Hi All!

    We have purchased our first pullets (2 Ameraucanas, 1 black giant, & 1 barred rock). We have made it to 4 weeks with them on our back screened porch. Hubby is going to start building (hopefully?!) the coop this weekend. We live in Wesley Chapel (west central Florida) and need open air coop ideas of any kind. Most we see on here are 4 sided. These are our simple;) criteria:

    -No electric
    -house 4-6 chickens/hens (no roosters [​IMG])
    -sand run/ pine coop w/ roost and removable poop board
    -nest box (2?)
    -predator proof (fox, armadillos, snakes, opposums, dogs, ferrel cats, squirrels?, hawks, vultures, etc.)
    (so we will have the run and coop covered completely)
    -rain (while we rarely get a couple of days below freezing a year, we do get torrential downpours in summer afternoons)

    ****The coop we found below is our main idea- BUT we would add 1) an exterior nest box on the back end...and maybe 2) "wire" the inside front wall where the hen door/ladder is, and the back attached wall/not pictured- as we have a conservation/trees growing right up to that side for SOME rain protection. 3) The roof will be raised up for ventilation over "wire". Probably no slide-out tray. Do you think we should still do more open? Will it be too hot without fan, etc.? ANY suggestions, please!)

    Any pictures or advice from those in humid HOT climates is much appreciated, as most of the beautfiul coops pictured online and on BYC are for areas that get cold. We can deal with the rare cold spells we do get in temporary ways.

    TIA [​IMG] Can't figure out how to add image- so am adding link above instead.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. queenbeezz

    queenbeezz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Where are you? You are welcome to come see my coop. I'm in East Orlando. My biggest suggestion is to elevate the house and put wire floor inusing small wire, makes it easy to clean. Make sure you cover the floor of the run in wire also, keeps preds from digging in, and they will trust me. Bend the edges up about 6 inches and tie into the sides. Then cover w/about 4 inches of sand.
  3. Mtn Cur

    Mtn Cur Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Seymour, Tn
    This might help I don't know what your temps are in the winter but i'm building a completely open air coop and just tarping the sides in the winter, and I live more north than you. This heat has killed 4 of my hens because of the 4 wall design I picked. Which ever design you choose, go open air.
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Howdy. What you are asking is right up my alley as I lived in So FL most of my life. I actually have a chicken friend in Wesley Chapel. Anyway, a 3 sided coop in the north end of your pen is all you need. Ya gotta cover the whole thing, but only the coop part needs a hard roof, the rest can be wire with shade cloth. The heat is bad, but they will be fine with shade and water. Your biggest challenge will be predator proofing the pen. I suggest 2X4 welded wire with hardware cloth around the bottom and extending out from the bottom in an apron pattern for about a foot. It needs to be 2 ft up the sides, so 3` wardware cloth will work. As far as a poop board, not nessessary with your sandy soil. The key is fresh water and shade and a good quality feed. By the way, My friend is Al Sanchez. He breeds show quality fancy bantams and Spanish Gamefowl. You might find him in the phone book. Great guy and very knowledgeable. Have fun with your birds..........Pop
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I had an arbor in my front yard that I converted to an open sided pen. I have vines growing on the top but also have a tarp under the vines to keep the rains off. The pen is about 8x10 and I built a freestanding nest box/roost that is near one end. I have a second tarp that can drop down to keep rain from blowing in on the roost nest box area. I had pine shavings in the run but wasn't so happy with that so I put sand in the front 3/4 and pushed the pine shavings to the back 1/4 under the roost/nest boxes. Very happy with that now. They like to cool in the sand after I wet it down for the afternoons. I intend to make them a more enclosed area for the winter but haven't quite decided just how enclosed it needs to be. We really don't have too much freezing till Jan.
  6. 9ByDesign

    9ByDesign Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2010
    Wesley Chapel, FL
    Queenbeez- what do you mean by the floor of the run being wire. I understand underneath the sand run being wire to protect/predators...but?

    Lollipop- How would you adjust the design of the blue coop/link I have above for central Florida climate? Our dirt out back is not THAT sandy-BTW. Are you saying 3 sided coop on north end with raised roof- only front side open to the run? Do you think that will be enough ventilation?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  7. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    They will cook in that coop pictured in the first post during the summer in FL. The run is okay but the coop itself needs big windows for ventilation her in FL and also vents near the top of the coop because heat rises and that will allow the built up heat to escape. We have large windows and put hardware cloth on the inside of the windows and put wood frames (2x2) around the edges of the hardware cloth to secure it from being pried up by predators. On the outside we have screen on the windows framed the same way as the hardware cloth ..the screen is just for mosquitoes and is optional. I used hardware cloth pieces on the vents on the top as well to prevent snakes etc from crawling in there. Try to get windows on each wall of the coop so you have a lot of cross ventilation.
    In the winter if it freezes, you can just make some shutters out of plywood for your windows but still leave those vents at the top open.
  8. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
  9. CorporateGranola

    CorporateGranola Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    South GA Swamp
    South GA here, it's oppresively hot in the summer and seldom gets below freezing. Because it's so hot, we opened up the front of the hen-house so more air could circulate. If it gets cold later in the year, we have a panel we can put in the window to keep the ladies warm. Here is a pic:

  10. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb New Egg

    Aug 4, 2010
    Your coop looks a lot like a prettier, hot weather version of my coop CorporateGranola. Did you use the Garden Coop plans?

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010

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