problems with open design?

intowin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 4, 2012
41
0
34
I am in Florida and am considering a preditor proof pen for 8 chickens that has no coop, only nesting boxes and roosting bars. I like this plan as I can get in with them, but I want them to feel safe. I live in the country and we do have some racoons. Do you think this concept is doable or would they be better in an enclosed coop?

 

Tumbling K

Crowing
Oct 5, 2015
10,573
1,627
346
Texas
I plan on doing something similar, except, I will have an enclosed roost area. I also have a windbreak for them, on those cold windy days.

otherwise for our (I'm in south Texas) climates, I think it's a great idea.
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
Even in a covered pen in Florida they will need a place to get out of blowing winds and rain. I think that if you created an area where they could roost at night that offered protection on three sides (in the direction your prevailing winds come from) within a larger, covered structure like the picture you've shown that your birds would be fine.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,503
20,778
907
Southeast Louisiana
What wire are you using, especially at the ends of the roosts? Raccoons have been known to reach through openings in wire and eat a chicken in parts. So you probably need a small mesh wire for any that roost at the end of the roost.

The roost looks low compared to the height of the nests. You want the roosts higher than the nests. They tend to sleep on the highest thing available and they poop a lot. You don’t want poopy nests.

I’d suggest adding a wind break in the corner where your worst weather comes from. That’s just to give them a bit of shelter in a thunderstorm. It doesn’t have to go all the way down or all the way up, just create and area they can get some shelter from extreme winds and heavy rain blowing in sideways.

There is a reason to go higher and lower with that windbreak, however. Where you are cold is not a problem, but heat is. They need shade. Your roof helps but a lot of sun and rain comes in from the side. I’d look to give them more shade.
 

intowin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 4, 2012
41
0
34
Thanks for the help so far. Yes I am adding an apron at the bottom and using 1/2 welded wire. My main concern was if it needed an enclosed coop. I know most people go that style just was not sure as to the reason. If they can feel safe at night in open air, I would rather go this route. Def good idea on wind breakers though.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,503
20,778
907
Southeast Louisiana
Chickens will often sleep in trees by choice. They are kind of hidden up there among the limbs but still pretty open. I’d expect them to be pretty comfortable in a fairly open place, but still prefer a windbreak just for those extreme times.
 
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The Lazy L

Songster
9 Years
Dec 16, 2011
882
353
236
I am in Florida and am considering a predators proof pen for 8 chickens that has no coop, only nesting boxes and roosting bars. I like this plan as I can get in with them, but I want them to feel safe. I live in the country and we do have some racoons. Do you think this concept is doable or would they be better in an enclosed coop?

Do able yes. I agree with the windbreak. I used a piece of steel roofing on the back side of the run. Then 1/2" welded wire fabric fasten on with fender washers and screws. Wire apron flared out around the bottom to stop predators from digging under. Add yes I have wire fabric under the fiberglass roof panels too.







 
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