Open air coop in California...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rossi.chicks, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. rossi.chicks

    rossi.chicks Songster

    60
    111
    106
    Mar 11, 2018
    Templeton, CA
    We're building our coop this week! We have 15 chickens currently ages 3 and 4 weeks. (9 buffs...one is a suspected roo. 2 supposed Ameraucanas who turned out not to be, and 4 Rhode Island Reds)

    Husband is set on deep litter method and also loves composting. Chickens will have a 4000 sq ft fenced in space to forage during the day with a large compost pile as well. Next year we plan to let them forage in the 4000sq ft garden during the off season. (Currently growing tomatoes).

    Night time coop will be located under shady oak trees (with bird netting covering coop and orchard) and chickens can roam our sunny orchard during the day. Wondering if the "open air" coop design is a good fit for our climate. (One side solid, 3 sides hardware wire, metal roof with overhang. )April thru November ranges from 70s-105 degrees during the day with 40-65 degrees at night. December -March is 40's-70's during the day with 20's-50's at night. Dec-Feb have potential night time temps in the 20s for a week or less at a time.

    It does not snow. It barely even rains. (So sad). Hottest months are July and August and can reach 110 around 4pm if we're being honest. We get a nice breeze most evenings and nights usually cool off in the summer. Humidity is low.

    Want to make sure an open air design is right for us and also curious about coop size if chickens have 4000sq ft of space to roam during the day.

    Thanks so much! Any advice, comments, criticisms are welcome.

    Photos show shaded area for coop and part of orchard.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    7,235
    9,462
    867
    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    :eek: Great location & setting! Like the idea of working the orchard in with your Coop & Run. You need to consider your predator possibilities, thinking bird netting not secure enough. Love the idea of "open air" ....

    My climate here is rain, humid, wind, hot .... I wanted an open air enclosure. Came up with this idea and it's been working great for few years now. It's recommended 4sqft per chicken in the Coop & 10sqft per in the Run so my thinking 14sqft per chicken, my Enclosure's 8 x 12 x 7 (walking) and I'm limited to 6 pullets, have 4BO at this moment.

    Used 2x4, stacking couple at the base for DLM, chicken wire wrap (my yard is fenced & we don't have a predator problem) and metal roofing. Hung EMT for rods, shower curtain (rain & wind) hung, huge dog house to a nest box & poop board under the highest roost over the nest box (PDZ in it and works great).

    DSC02405.JPG DSC02408.JPG DSC02406.JPG
     
  3. rossi.chicks

    rossi.chicks Songster

    60
    111
    106
    Mar 11, 2018
    Templeton, CA
    Love it. Will re-read and respond after a night of sleep!!
     
  4. rossi.chicks

    rossi.chicks Songster

    60
    111
    106
    Mar 11, 2018
    Templeton, CA
    In your opinion, would 6 foot deer fencing with netting over top be adequate for daytime protection against stray dogs and hawks? Chickens will be in coop with hardware wire at night. (Coop will be in orchard surrounded by 6 foot fence.) I'd like to put electric fence around coop for night time protection as well. We have two 85 pound dogs who scare predators away...

    There is a coyote den on our land so im definitely freaking out a bit about putting our chickie babies outside.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  5. rossi.chicks

    rossi.chicks Songster

    60
    111
    106
    Mar 11, 2018
    Templeton, CA
    I loooove your green coop. That's my favorite color! Gorgeous! And Hawaii=swoon!
     
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    7,235
    9,462
    867
    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    Thinking the fencing (unsure how wide the spacing) with netting over the top may work, I've had birds get tangled in the netting, thinking the hawks could "break thru" or pull the netting but with the fence it's added protection if they can't get through the spacing. Like the electric fence idea for sure, dogs are a good alert system. Geese work good too.

    Got to be careful with those coyotes ... Hubby's dad's Rottie got lured away by a coyote, only to be killed by the pack when he got into the brush. This was in AZ years ago.

    Thank you, I wanted the coop to blend in with the foliage so took some Ti Leaves to Home Depot for them to match. They did a pretty good job of it. I hated returning but my parents needed care, chickens are my stress relief here. Hawaii's nice but I'd prefer being in the Mainland, more availability of EVERYTHING! I had heart failure when I first when shopping, the cost of groceries kept our eating very simple. There's always good and bad no matter where we live, it's a matter of adjusting :lau
     
    cavemanrich and rossi.chicks like this.
  7. Ms Biddy

    Ms Biddy One chicken short of crazy

    724
    1,972
    292
    Dec 4, 2017
    My Coop
    I also live in California and our climate sounds similar. We brooded fall chicks inside and then moved them outside into a 3 sided portable grow out pen for the remainder of winter. The three "sides" were blankets and tarps, kind of the same effect as chicknanny's cool set up but definitely not as pretty. It got down to 23F and we had a few storms. They were protected from getting wet and roosting in direct wind and they did well. When it's in the low twenties, the wind is quiet sharp. Then if it rains and becomes damp I worry they may get stressed and become more susceptible to illness. We just built them a new coop, also three sided. It's actually on the front page of BYC right now. I like a really well ventilated coop but also want them to be cozy and happy.
     
  8. rossi.chicks

    rossi.chicks Songster

    60
    111
    106
    Mar 11, 2018
    Templeton, CA
    I'm worried about those sharp winds at night, too. I'm thinking some removable walls would be nice.
     
    cavemanrich and ChickNanny13 like this.
  9. rossi.chicks

    rossi.chicks Songster

    60
    111
    106
    Mar 11, 2018
    Templeton, CA
    Ok. So we bought some materials. Doing a 10x10 coop with 8 foot walls and a slanted tin roof. The entire thing, walls, floor, ceiling ... will be covered in hardware cloth. Two walls will have significant full coverage to protect from winds. Will also have removable walls for winter and rain protection.

    Thinking of using milk crates as nesting boxes as I found 3 on the side of the road. I like free...
     
    cavemanrich likes this.
  10. jubgulia

    jubgulia Chirping

    31
    93
    69
    Oct 17, 2017
    Southern California
    We're in Southern California with just a slightly milder climate. Our coop is very "open air" but with some shade and wind protection. I guess it technically has two sides but the roosts are up under the roof and more protected.

    20180302_102930.jpg

    Free is good. :D We can get free barrels, so it was a barrel nest for us. Lovely orchard, by the way! Those are going to be some lucky, happy chickens!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: