Super simple open air

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Silverlocks, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Silverlocks

    Silverlocks Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2009
    I'm building an open air shelter for my first chickens. The weather where I am, in sight of the ocean (Malibu, CA) almost never falls below 40 and rarely tops 85. We get no more than about 15" of rain per year, so that's not much to worry about either. My biggest concern is wind. When the Santa Anas gust at 60mph, and the weather stripping hums up at the house, I want to make sure the chickens are safe.

    I've come up with this little 3 sided shelter. I'm almost embarrassed by the simplicity, but I'm on my own with a jigsaw and a cordless drill. Dh doesn't build things. It will be inside a larger, fully secured run. I will add a secondary access door in the closed end. The opening will face south, away from where the wind blasts down the hillsides. What do you think? There's 32 sq ft inside since I'm making it out of 4x8 sheets of plywood (110 sq ft total in the run). I'm not sure yet where I'll put roosts and nesting boxes.

  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I have open air coops made out of cattle panels and mine do fine in the winter, even below freezing. Except the BB white turkey tom. I don't think you'll have any trouble with the temps, its the wind you need to worry about. Better brace it well and how will it be tied down? Poles in ground? You will probably want the roosts and nest boxes in the back, best protection from the wind, and the hens like it a little dark - more private like. You might even find it advantageous to make some little access panels in the back for egg collecting.
  3. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    Here are mine. I am about 2 hours up the coast from you, 6 miles from the coast.

    This is my Pullet run where we raise them from 2-18 weeks:

    This is my original coop for 40 layers, they have access to the run 100% of the time.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sure, looks good as long as you can keep it from blowing away or blowing down [​IMG]

    I'd suggest doing it on WELL-sunk poles (pole shed style), with diagonal bracing on all of the walls and probably the roof too (do not rely on just the plywood for your diagonal strength), and possibly lower the back roofline to 2' so it deflects the wind a bit more. Screw, not nail.

    (e.t.a. - G Wiz Ranch, those are *wonderful* coops!!)

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    WOW G Wiz Ranch those are lovely coops!!

    I'm going open air for my next one too, but constant rain slowed construction to a pictures are a long time in coming. It's not near as pretty as G Wiz Ranch's but I'm getting most of the matrials for next to nothing.
  6. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    Thanks for the compliments. I am currently building another one that is identical to the one we use for the pullets. The only dif will be nest boxes. I am currently allowing ALL of my birds to free range, the youngest are 5 weeks old. I open the run doors each morning and at night they put themselves away and I close the door. I am planning on closing the coop portion in a little more when the rain starts but it will only be temporary.

    In the pullet coop/run (24' x 18') there are a total of 11 posts and they are sunk in concrete. The wire fencing is burried 10" and then out from the fence line 24" to prevent digging. Due to the location of our land and the location of the coops on the land, we have minimal wind. Even during El'Nino, we barely had any affects from the wind.

    I have not lost a bird to a predator in several months and the last chicken I lost was because it was in my duck run (temp solution for 8 new 1 year old hens) that has 2x4 wire fence and the chicken stuck its head out when a bobcat was on the other side.

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