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I've begun building my first tiny coop! Ventilation ideas?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Few things. First, The coop is small because we are getting only two ladies from a friend, and I have to battle with the fun that is Colorado winters. With two ladies I'm at a smidge over 5.25 square feet per bird (not including the nesting boxes that aren't there yet).

Second - please keep in mind that I am by no means a carpentry expert. I am flying by the seat of my pants with measuring and cutting here. I've never even built a birdhouse without a kit!

So here are some pictures of where I'm at. I am filling all of the gaps cause by my poor measuring skills/cheap tools to avoid drafts. However, I don't want the girls to get sick due to poor ventilation.








My big question tonight: What do you guys do for ventilation without compromising the warmth of the coop. I'd like to avoid using artificial heat as much as possible.
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was thinking of putting a vent in above the nesting box on the tall side of the coop, then putting in a pop-up vent on the roof to allow air to blow through.

I was also thinking of putting a rectangular vent on each side of the coop at the top where the wall is cut at an angle. Is this enough? Too much?

I keep reading that I shouldn't be too concerned with the cold - but I've never had build anything that needed to be 'not drafty' AND 'well vented' before...
post #3 of 4
You want the warm moist air to be vented up and out of the coop. You don't want a draft across the roost area. I do this by having hardware cloth covered open areas up high where my rafters meet the top plate and where the perlins come out the sides. I use Ondura corrigated asphalt roofing. There are windows that open on all 4 sides. The large window is a slider covered with 1/2" hardware cloth.
The bottom picture was taken before construction of the covered run was started. The top picture showes the covered run covered with 6 ml plastic for the winter. I have bantams that don't like the wind or wet snow/rain. Since the run is predator secure I leave the pop door open year around. The middle picture showes the inside of the coop. In the winter air comes in thru the pop door and carries the warm moist air up and out thru the vents near the roof bypassing the chickens sitting on the roosts so no air blows on them directly. The concept is the same nomatter what size your coop is. I have a 2 1/2 x 3' coop that uses the same concept. See picture below taken before covered run was built.




pictures below of my large 8 x 12" coop










Good luck with your design.

Currently our chicken family consists of Bantam Blue Wheaten & Wheaten Ameracuna's, Bantam Welsummer, Bantam, Bantam Silver Laced Wyandotte, Bantam New Hampshires, millefleur D'unccle, a blue sizzle, white silkies, RIP Aggie. Stella and Becky our special needs hens. We have had backyard poultry for over 30 years We are a NPIP Certified flock NH15-226.

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Currently our chicken family consists of Bantam Blue Wheaten & Wheaten Ameracuna's, Bantam Welsummer, Bantam, Bantam Silver Laced Wyandotte, Bantam New Hampshires, millefleur D'unccle, a blue sizzle, white silkies, RIP Aggie. Stella and Becky our special needs hens. We have had backyard poultry for over 30 years We are a NPIP Certified flock NH15-226.

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post #4 of 4

I used one of these on my coop: http://www.amazon.com/Duraflo-5975C-ShedLight-Translucent-Square/dp/B0026KHTF6.  Kind of expensive, but it provides light and allows air flow.  I got it last year and it's done fine so far here in Utah.  

 

I have additional ventilation along the top edges of the coop where the walls meet the roof.  It was easy, just make the plywood walls not reach all the way to the to the roof on two sides. On my coop I used the tall and short sides rather than the slanted sides.  I just made sure the roost was at least 18" below the vents.  I don't remember where I got the number unfortunately.  The roof overhang keeps rain and snow from blowing in.

 

I'm still not sure my coop is "well ventilated and not drafty", but all four chickens survived the winter, so I guess it's close enough :)

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