Most chicken coops are designed to keep your birds warm in the cold. But what if your birds need to stay cool in the heat? Here is the best chicken coop for hot climates!
Designing A Chicken Coop For Hot Climates
There are three essentials you must include in your chicken coop when you live in a hot area.
First, protection from predators. Lots of critters out there think your hens and eggs are delicious. Don’t let them have a free lunch!
Second, shade. Direct sun can be incredibly deadly even in mild climates. Make sure your flock has access to shade during the hottest times of day.
And third, ventilation. Ventilation is essential even in cold climates. Chickens stay much healthier in well ventilated areas. When it’s cold you must be careful not to cause drafts, but when it’s warm, drafts are not an issue.
The Best Hot Weather Chicken Coop – Video Tour
A couple things we’ve learned after building this coop. First, hardware cloth is essential if you want to have the entire coop be predator proof. Without a smaller “house” to lock the birds into the whole run needs to be tight. Read more about predator proofing here.
Second, make the width between your “studs” the same width as your hardware cloth. It’s a major pain to hang the hardware cloth horizontally. We tried to save a little money on wood, and it was NOT worth the time and effort.
Third, the “smoke” color fiberglass has been perfect for the roof. It provides just enough shade, but doesn’t trap the heat like a clear fiberglass would.
Fourth, if it’s VERY hot, your chickens may still need some help staying cool. We made it through many 100+ days this summer without any losses. Here are some posts with tips for you:
- 8 Tips For Keeping Chickens Cool In The Summer
- How To Keep Chickens Cool In Extreme Heat
- How To Cool Down Chickens
What about storms and cold weather?
The significant overhang on both sides of the coop, plus it’s north south orientation and protection by the fence in the back means that it’s a great place to hang out in a storm. The birds have stayed dry through multiple flash flood level storms.
We have also dropped below freezing a couple times. I threw a tarp up over two sides to block the wind and our birds were perfectly cozy. They do have a branch in there now to use as a roost, so that helps them be more comfortable as well. Chickens will sit on their feet and tuck their heads into their feathers to stay warm when needed.
The Measurements Of Our Coop
I’m often asked if we have a blueprint available for our coop, and we do not. However, the design is pretty easy to put together.
Here are the measurements that we used, (and the measurements we SHOULD have used!):
12 feet long in the front
7 feet deep (9 feet would have been better)
7 feet tall in the front (8 feet would have been better)
6 feet tall in the back
1 foot overhang on front and back (this seems like a lot, but it keeps almost all the rain out, even with wind)
4 feet apart for side supports (we should have made these 3 feet apart to make hanging the metal mesh easier)
2 feet apart for roof supports with cross bracing so the fiberglass panels don’t sag.
When it’s super hot the majority of the year, you need to design your chicken coop to keep your flock comfortable! I hope this helps you plan ahead for those hot summer days!
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