Solutions for Housing Urban Chickens in Moderate to Hot Climates
Thinking out of the box when it comes to housing chickens goes hand in hand when raising chickens. The coop we choose seems fine at first, but it usually ends up being too small and flimsy. Keeping chickens in hot climates is tricky business, and when confined to small quarters, let’s just say the story doesn’t end well.
Expansions can be costly, and that’s when those creative wheels start turning. Maybe you didn’t buy smart the first time, or, you’re still looking for that perfect set-up. Whichever, here’s a suggestion that will give your backyard chickens some space to spread their wings…
Your chickens will need a structure inside the pen for shelter and privacy. A new or used dog house is suitable and easily found on Craigslist. You can raise the dog house simply by using 4 cinder blocks. Put a few nest boxes in the dog house, and a few in the open pen, providing a cooler spot for hens who are laying on those really hot days.
<– For occasional rain, Home Depot carries this roofing material. It’s also available in vinyl, and comes in red, green, and white. You won’t be replacing this roof or enclosure anytime soon, which makes both a good investment.
Pick a shady spot under a tree for this set-up, and near a water source for convenience.
Remember, shade and airflow is the key to your chicken’s survival in desert regions. Cover the sides of their pen with shade cloth, the sun moves, so you’ll need to protect them from exposure throughout the entire day. Never use tarps, save that idea for winter.
Something to Consider…
If you should ever decide raising chickens is not for you. This structure will still be useful, even if it’s just for the re-sale value. Traditional put-together coops usually end up costing $500 or more when it’s all said and done… then are pretty much worthless after 3 years.
<– This is one of my Phoenix, Arizona chicken set-ups for bantams. It measures 6x10x6ft high. Purchased for $199 at Home Depot. It houses 4 broody hens who have to option to roam free, but seldom do.
This set-up is recommended for urban backyard locations where the threat of predators is minimal.