Open air coop design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by buglit, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. buglit

    buglit Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2009
    Hendersonville, NC
    I have not started raising chickens yet, but am planning to start in the spring. I have been spending the winter reading up on raising chickens and coop designs. I have recently read a knowledgable booklet on open air coop design and the benefits that it has over closed coops. I live in an area with relatively mild winters (although it can get into the single digits on occassion). My question is, how many of you have open coop designs and/or I am seeking opinions on such. I would have a large relatively predator proof run to go along with it. I am looking at fewer than 10 chickens as pets and for eggs. Thank you
     
  2. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

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    Mar 30, 2008
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    Where does the author of the booklet live? You need to compare the winters the writer enjoys with yours. If it is the Plamondon scheme, he lives in a much milder climate, seldom experiencing snows in winter.

    What works for him may not work for you . What may be a benefit for his chickens may be harmful to yours.

    Here's a link to a previous thread.


    Wayne
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You should be fine IMO as long as you choose your breeds non-stupidly; might be good to have a way of closing off the open side (at least mostly) when you get a stout storm from the wrong direction, though.

    JMO (lived in Durham for 6 yrs, have *some* clue of W NC climate),

    Pat
     
  4. buglit

    buglit Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2009
    Hendersonville, NC
    Thank you, the thread you posted answered my questions. I did not take into consideration the changes that have occurred in chicken breeds since Plambdons book was written. I have chosen hardy breeds
     
  5. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Glendale, AZ
    We have an open air coop design and it's been working great, but we do live in a warm climate. My mom lived in Northern Az, where they do get some snow and her chickens only had a 3 sided shelter and she never had any problems with it (I don't know what breeds she had). You need to make sure there's plenty of shelter from the wind and that no rain can get to them.

    Here's a link to pictures of mine, along with pictures and info from other BYC members' open coops:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=132781
     
  6. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Kohala, Hawaii
    Quote:Gorgeous coop! I wish I had your plans before I built mine with the starplate system. All I did was erect the pentagon, frame in a gate, and then wrap the structure in chicken wire. Afterwards, I pulled a 20ʻ x 20ʻ tarp over the top for rain protection and zip tied a couple of shade cloth panels on the windward sides for draft protection. Every one seems fine, although I had a feral cat problem until I got it buttoned up tight. They do seem to huddle together on the perches on cold (60 degree) nights but no one has gotten sick and their appetite is strong. Best of all, no smells! I stir the pine shavings litter once a week and add more as necessary, but the sun and the wind keep it from smelling.
     
  7. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE Connecticut
    Open air coops are great as long as you are able to close them up for the winter. Its been really windy here in CT this last week and even though its in the 30s the wind makes it feel like 20s. I will also be getting my chicks in spring (when we are done with the maple syruping) and will be putting some recycled french doors on mine. I'm going to put hardware cloth in the opening so that in nice weather I can leave the doors open all the time but they will be draft proofed for the winter and left closed. It looks nice plus lets in a lot of natural light that is beneficial for laying also. I've also decided to do a community nest box. One box is supposed to be good for 50 hens and helps eliminate egg eating or having 2 hens wanting to use the same next box. Hens like to lay in the dark so this is supposed to be good for them too.
     
  8. minna

    minna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Burnsville, MS
    This isn't the greatest picture. I need to take some, but haven't taken the time. It has 3 sections. We have done some work to it, but it needs more. We do plan to partially enclose it, and add small runs. Only b/c the wind can get so rough, and they currently don't have much blocking it. When it was really cold this winter, I tried stapling plastic to it to block the wind, but it the wind kept ripping it off and I had to restaple daily. I personally think there are lots of advantages to open coops, if you are not freeranging.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Quote:Gorgeous coop! I wish I had your plans before I built mine with the starplate system. All I did was erect the pentagon, frame in a gate, and then wrap the structure in chicken wire. Afterwards, I pulled a 20ʻ x 20ʻ tarp over the top for rain protection and zip tied a couple of shade cloth panels on the windward sides for draft protection. Every one seems fine, although I had a feral cat problem until I got it buttoned up tight. They do seem to huddle together on the perches on cold (60 degree) nights but no one has gotten sick and their appetite is strong. Best of all, no smells! I stir the pine shavings litter once a week and add more as necessary, but the sun and the wind keep it from smelling.

    Thanks. I'd love to see pictures of yours - I haven't seen any in a pentagon shape and don't have any idea what a starplate system is.
     
  10. Fowl Visions

    Fowl Visions Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    I have two coops and both are open air. But I do live in NE Florida. We did get down to freezing temps about 5 times this year and for the first time ever my chicken waterers froze two days in a row. But the chickens were great because I have farm chickens. Some breeds do very well in warm or cold and you will probably want to do your homework on your breeds before buying for your open-air coops.
     

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