What are the Advantages of Covered Feeding Areas?
Covered feeding areas have their advantages in summer as well as in winter.
In summer, your chickens can protect themselves from the sun – best on installed perches – and get cooler water from the trough in the shade. If the water point is not covered, the water heats up easily and then evaporates much faster and must be refilled more often. You can also combine the covered feeding area with a sand bath.
The most common variation of a covered feeding area for chickens has been a wooden porch on the hen house itself. Rarer variants are probably a converted greenhouse or a freestanding wooden house, often also without walls. There are no limits to your creativity.
As an absolutely perfect solution we would recommend a winter garden. Of course this possibility comes along with higher costs. However, your chickens can use the sun for sunbathing and are always dry. We advise to build the roof from an opaque material, so that the winter garden does not heat up too much. At the same time chickens still have possibilities to get rest in the shade. Built-in ventilation additionally reduces the risk of overheating.