Prefab chicken coops—a caution

Terry Golson at HenBlog has a new post up about the unseasonal weather they’re having. She’s in the New England area of the US, where they’re just heading into spring.

She reports that the temperature was going to get to 80 F that day (that’s about 27 C for those of us who’ve forgotten pre-decimal stuff) and she’s concerned about her animals overheating in the unusually warm weather.

I read her blog because she’s a mine of information about chickens and she noted something I hadn’t thought about in regard to prefab coops:

The hens have no difficulties coping with cold temperatures, but heat is another story. My barns are sited and designed to handle hot weather. They have excellent ventilation, cool concrete floors, and their backs are in the shade. It’ll be warm today, but not in the dangerous numbers, it won’t be humid, and the ground remains cool in the shade, so I’m not too concerned. However, if you have one of those small, prefab coops, with the wooden nesting boxes that jut out of the side, do keep an eye on your hens. A hen might sit in the box of upwards of a half hour before laying. A broody hen will stay in there all day. It can become deathly hot.

You see so many chicken coops with the nest boxes sticking out the sides. Mine is like that, but for some reason the Girls have never gone into that part of the coop and wont use the nest boxes. They prefer to nest on the ground inside the coop at the other end. Maybe they knew something I didn’t know. I hadn’t given a thought to the fact that the nestboxes might become very hot in summer.

Something to think about.

2 Responses to “Prefab chicken coops—a caution”

  1. Terry Golson Says:

    Hi -I’m glad I wrote something useful 🙂 If your hens aren’t using the nesting boxes they are telling you something! Mine refused to use one box that got too much morning sun. Sometimes, though, they just need convincing that the boxes are nice. I’ve used fake wooden eggs to get them to try new boxes out.
    — Terry at HenCam


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Terry, thanks for getting in touch.

      When I came to think of it, they’re doing what comes naturally. They roost up high, in trees, so do that in the coop without any problems. But in the wild, they nest at ground level, in a secluded little spot out of the weather, and that’s what they’ve chosen to do here.

      Simple really. Their genes know best, not some silly human!


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