So, I read the excellent article about ventilation quoted on the forums recently.
It made me wonder if my coop has enough ventilation. I've bought this one - could you knowledgeable souls have a look for me please?
I chose it on the strength of reviews and for easy access to clean etc because I'm physically disabled.
The setup is that it will be positioned outside the run, but the pophole will lead into the walk-in 6 metre run, which also has other areas to shelter (eg an old Victorian bathtub on its side) and the whole run has a roof. Everything is in a sheltered spot against an East facing fence, but the coop will not be pressed up against the fence, it'll be about a foot clear at the back and nest side, and the door faces into the garden while the pophole leads into the run. Also, the entire run has a mesh floor and I will also put the same mesh on the bottom of the coop, so foxes etc can't dig under it and access the run that way.
(I hope that all made sense!)
Im getting my hens in 12 days (wheeee!) and they will be ex Batts, so have to stay in the coop & run for a few weeks til they learn what home is. I've also been advised to leave the perches out initially til they understand about roosting. But I think that's OK - it's quite cold out at the moment!
If you look at the coop images, it's quite a flexible design. Ideas for ventilation in summer include:
* replace the panel with the door, with a custom made mesh side (to bolt on instead of the panel)
* remove the dropping tray, assuming the ladies are happy to use the perches
I'm not sure what else I could safely do as an option - yes in theory I can prop the roof open as much / little as I like, but only when I'm there to watch. I can imagine the doorbell goes and I'm distracted while Mr Fox jumps in. The foxes here are bold (one went in a neighbour's back door, up the stairs and jumped on their child in bed...) and cunning enough that I can almost envisage one of them winking to the others then running round to ring the doorbell themself!
So whatever I remove / open needs to be fully replaced or enclosed with the hardware mesh at all times.
(For what it's worth, of course once settled in the hens will free range in the garden but only when I or my husband is out there too, or if my dog will protect from the foxes. Annoyingly my dog loves all animals and has been known to touch noses with a fox, so we'll have to see how he goes with the chickens! I'm thinking more about ventilation when I'm resting etc.)
Also, is there enough ventilation for winter do you think?
Thanks for reading! Please advise :-)
Edited by techiebabe - 3/1/16 at 10:36am