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Does this coop have enough ventilation?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

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
post #2 of 14

It has no ventilation at all. It's only big enough for maybe 3 adults at most.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hiya, thanks for looking. Did you see all of what I wrote? Unfortunately I have to keep saving then edit as if I'm in edit too long my phone crashes hmm.png

When you say no ventilation, don't the slots above the nest box and pop hole count? I realise they aren't huge, but I'd say they count a *bit*...?

Anyway, thanks for commenting, could you make some helpful suggestions on how to improve it? I've got a builder in constructing the run at the moment and the reason I ask is so I can get it sorted as necessary! Were either of my suggestions appropriate? The guides I've read say in summer to replace one side of a coop with mesh if necessary, and I can easily do that.

For what it's worth, weather in this part of the UK isn't too bad - my garden's really sheltered so even on a cold night I don't get frost. And my dog is 3 and hasn't seen snow yet. In summer we might get a couple of weeks when it's over 30C but it's not common.

Anyway, hopefully I can improve the coop with advice from you & everyone here. Cheers! :-)
Edited by techiebabe - 3/1/16 at 10:53am
post #4 of 14

It's not enough. You need enough ventilation to move air out of the coop. To get enough ventilation and still keep weather out, I would replace the roof that comes with it for something that will give you more of an overhang. Then, I'd remove the top piece of siding all the way around the roof line and replace it with hardware cloth. A larger overhang will also help prevent the 

Since cold weather isn't an issue, your main concerns with ventilation are moisture and ammonia build up. Both will cause respiratory illness. Moisture and ammonia rise, so for ventilation to be effective, you need venting on the low wall to pull air in, and venting on the tall wall to exhaust air.

Pop doors offer no significant ventilation.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I understand what you're getting at now.

I appreciate the feedback, I'll have a ponder and talk with my builder too.

In the meanwhile if anyone else has feedback I'd be glad to hear them. Doesn't have to be just about ventilation, any advice is useful.

I'm glad I asked the question now!
Edited by techiebabe - 3/1/16 at 7:02pm
post #6 of 14
easier than removing things, hardware cloth to keep critters out
post #7 of 14

I am just starting on the chicken adventure. I recently got an awesome deal on  a coop off craigslist that was made by Urban Coop Company. I'm in the process of cleaning it up, but my question is, is there too much ventilation in this coop? The wood boards that form the sides of the coop are not flush together. I am concerned that in the winter, quite a bit of draft will plague the chickens. I am tempted to caulk the coop, but have been contemplating. The former owner was okay with it and that is the way it was made. The winter's here in Eastern Washington state can get quite cold and windy.

post #8 of 14
You want the ventilation above the chickens when they're sitting on the roost. So if the sides are letting wind in then I would close them up somehow. You don't want the wind blowing directly on them in the winter. During the summer they would probably love it but not winter.
post #9 of 14
I have a coop very similar to that. It holds 3 adult hens. I have had it for one year, no problems. I even covered the Window in winter with plastic see through shower curtain
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by Cadbury22 View Post

I have a coop very similar to that. It holds 3 adult hens. I have had it for one year, no problems. I even covered the Window in winter with plastic see through shower curtain

Thanks for the good idea! Maybe I will wrap the coop up in a clear shower curtain (except for the vent holes on top) next winter.

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