I live in a beautiful mountainous countryside in Austria, near Salzburg. The views are amazing and yes, my hens enjoy them too. The climate is pretty extreme though. Due to the mountains, summer can turn into winter and back into spring within twenty four hours.
That’s gives me the occasional cough, so one can imagine how the weather can influence the health of your chickens and chicks. Although their plumage gives them insulation that can keep them warm or cool at will, long periods of moist weather and sudden weather changes will take their toll. Not only on the chickens, but on your chicken run as well.
Insulating, ventilating and maintaining.
Properly insulating your Chicken Coop is essential. I’m not talking double walls and heating here (although I sometimes think it is worth considering). Making sure that there is plenty of dry hay on the floor and that it is changed regularly will do a lot of good. Because of changes in temperature and humidity wooden boards expand, shrink and bend. Draughty slits will be the result. Having the right building plans and materials can prevent this from happening.
The placement of your ventilation holes is important too. The best place is directly beneath the roof. This way potential draughts will be above the nesting areas. The air circulation keeps humidity levels low, even in rainy periods. Moisture alone is danger to your chickens’ health. It attracts bugs and lice, and salmonella can occur in humid nesting areas.
So place your chicken run away from any sources of water, be it sprinkler systems or drainage. This will also keep vermin at a distance. And I can’t point this one out enough: Clean the coop regularly. Good hygiene leads to more and better eggs.
After building your chicken coop it is necessary to check on the structure on a regular basis. Knock on the wood so to say. It’s not a big deal, but if you find a crack in the boarding or rotten wood, repair it before it endangers the health of you chickens and the state of your coop.