How to secure your chicken coop in a high-wind area

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The open design of our walk-in chicken coops means that wind can move easily through the structures, so there’s less chance for damage than with something like a solid-walled shed or mobile home. That said, if you live in a high-wind area, there are some simple ways to anchor your coop and lock down your roof.

How to anchor a chicken coop

Here in the Pacific Northwest we get 30+ mph gusts in the winter (coming through the Columbia River Gorge), and our coops and roofs have remained solidly in place for years. You know your area best, though, and it’s smart to take precautions.

As designed, our walk-in coops sit atop pier blocks and are held in place by gravity and by hardware cloth, trenched or skirted at the base of the coop. If you’re not too concerned about wind, this might be all you need to do. Otherwise, you should consider anchoring your coop.

The simplest way to do this is with augur anchors, the kind used to anchor sheds and mobile homes. Augur anchor kits usually include four or so anchors of either 15″ or 30″ depth (one for each corner) plus a length of cable. See our Buyer’s Guide for a link.

You screw the anchors into the ground, loop the cable through, then secure it to either the bottom of the frame or drape it up over the rafters if you feel you need to anchor your coop from the top. Augur anchors will be very effective on our open designs, since they’re meant to hold against the greater stresses endured by solid-walled sheds.

Another method I’ve seen people use is to set four-by-four posts in concrete at the corners and attach the walls to those. Here’s an example from Lila in Texas. This will take more work and planning, but you can attach the walls to those posts without changing the overall look of the coop.

I’ve also seen customers pour a concrete chain wall and bolt the frame to that foundation. See Coop 5 at this post as an example.

J bolt to hold chicken coop to poured concrete foundation

You’ll have to search elsewhere online for how to set those bolts in concrete (or drill them into an existing slab), but once they’re set, you can drill holes through the sole plate of the coop frame and use a nut and washer to secure the frame to the bolts. 

How to add even more hold to the roof panels

The installation manual for the specific type of roof panel you’re using should include instructions for high-wind areas. Our coop plans follow the standard installation steps for the Suntuf corrugated polycarbonate panels. Those have you screw the panels down at every other crest. (Here are the Suntuf manuals.)

For high-wind areas, the manufacturer of the Suntuf panels recommends attaching the panels at every crest. This would give you a LOT of extra hold. If you want some of that extra hold, but less of the extra work, focus on the front and rear purlins, as those will take the brunt of any wind gusts.

high wind roof screw with wider washerYou can also buy high-wind roof screws — thicker screws with wider diameter washers — for added hold. You can use these instead of the standard roof screws, either entirely or just at the outermost connections of each purlin for added hold. These high-wind screws may be a special order through either your local hardware or big box store.

Even if you’re not worried about your coop blowing away, if it’s sited in an area with few windbreaks, consider using these wider screws/washers on the outermost connection points. This will prevent the panels from bending up sharply against the screw heads in strong winds and stressing those attachment points — not something that’s likely to cause an issue, but it’s worth thinking about.

Finally, the structure of the coop itself is sturdy enough as designed, but if overkill is your thing, you could always add a purlin to have more connection points for the roof panels. And you could add more screws or metal ties to attach the rafters and beams to the coop frame.

For more tips and to see what others have done to secure their chicken coops in windy areas, see all our posts tagged “Wind.”

Questions? More ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

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