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What remote-style weather station do you use to monitor coop conditions? - Page 2

post #11 of 26
I just bought the Acu Rite 611A3 and I'm about to go hang the sensor in the coop.
This is our first winter with chickens and we built a homemade coop. After a lot of research, we are learning how important ventilation is to control humidity. We are forecast to have temperature highs in the negatives over the next week so we want to make sure we have proper ventilation to avoid frostbite.
My question is, what is an ideal humidity percentage in extremely cold weather (high of -5, even lower with windchill)?
Thank you!
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

:welcome

 

I posted this a coupke days ago in another thread of mine about molting and cold weather concerns:

 

Yay! After a fair amount of searching, I found some definitive input about humidity, hope it is ok to post like this here cause I want to save it (and share it): :P

 

 

From @patandchickens :

 

Yes, you CAN get indoor humidity lower than outdoors, if your indoor is warmer (I am not advocating electric heating necessarily -- there are LOTS of things that can act to make your coop warmer than the outdoors, esp. at night.  See 'cold coop' page in .sig below for that subject).  What matters in terms of frostbite is relative humidity. For a given amount of water vapor in the air, relative humidity is lower at warmer temperatures.

Also, in terms of temporary weather 'blips', it sure seems to me like having your coop start out pretty dry -- dry wood, dry shavings, nonpooey, nonhumid -- seems to create a sort of 'humidity sponge' that can even out temporary swings in the weather.

Commercial chicken barns seem to aim for around 50-70% humidity.  IMO for backyard flock purposes it's when you get to 75-80% that you start getting a bit iffy, and I'd say above 85-90% humidity is really courting trouble.

HYGROMETERS ARE NOT USUALLY ACCURATE right out of the package; you need to use something like the salt method (see 'incubating and brooding eggs' section of BYC forum for instructions) to figure out how wrong yours is so you know how much to add or subtract to its reading. I would not suggest believing a hygrometer reading otherwise wink

Cracking the doors is probably not enough ventilation, and is not a good location for it in wintertime. See my ventilation page (link in .sig below -- sorry to keep doing that, but the whole reason I did those pages was so I don't have to type all this stuff over and over and over tongue) for details as to construction, location, size, and management of vents.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

 

From @aart :

 

Humidity can't be lower in coop than it is outside, I try to measure both.

Hygrometer is easily tested:

Hygrometers can be tested by putting 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup water in a dish or jar and mixing it to a slurry.

Put the salt slurry jar and the hygrometer next to each other in a large sealed plastic bag.

After 8-12 hours the hygrometer should read 75%... note any differences and you're set.

 

From me: I am "calibrating" hygrometer now.

 

ETA: The hygrometer was 5 Percent below 75% for outside and 4 percent below 75% for inside. I marked the weather station with a sharpie.

post #13 of 26

Can't find our other discussion......but....I was thinking today while observing ~15F and ~45%....watch for when temps rise, so can humidity.

I've found more frostbite happens when temps are near 32F but humidity has skyrocketed.

Just a random thought.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

Can't find our other discussion......but....I was thinking today while observing ~15F and ~45%....watch for when temps rise, so can humidity.
I've found more frostbite happens when temps are near 32F but humidity has skyrocketed.
Just a random thought.

Our 3 RIRs got frostbite on their combs last night. 😥 The tempurature was down to -5 in the coop (-8 outside) and humidity was all the way up to 86%! We ventilated it as much as we could and just couldn't get the humidity down. This is our first winter with chickens and our first below 0 night. We built a coop out of an old truck cap. We still have our small store-bought starter coup set up so I moved them in there today hoping we could keep it ventilated better until we figure out how to modify our truck cap coop.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

Two observations that have me befuddled about humidity, but first, I so hope your RIR babies are okay! Sorry to hear about the frostbite! @Beekissed says to slather the combs with castor oil and I did that very thing yesterday to my hens!

 

Maybe @aart can weigh in here about my points/confusion below?

 

1. Today the outside temp was about 7F this morning. It snowed lightly. On Accuweather it stated outside humidity was 77%! What is up with that? I am so confused. IF it is THAT high with these low temps, I doubt I could vent a coop to reduce ANYTHING and should just leave chickens in open air and they would STILL be at risk.

 

2. Yesterday I opened the Big Cleanout door (almost an entire wall) for several hours to see if that would reduce humidity during the day while the chickens were in the run...thinking that level of venting would bring inside humidity down. NOPE. Nothing changed.

 

I am flummoxed.

 

2 and 1/2. This morning temp 7F. Inside coop 17F. Inside coop humidity 72%.

 

SMH. I don't get this AT ALL.


Edited by mobius - 12/15/16 at 4:32pm
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5crazies View Post


Our 3 RIRs got frostbite on their combs last night. 😥 The tempurature was down to -5 in the coop (-8 outside) and humidity was all the way up to 86%! We ventilated it as much as we could and just couldn't get the humidity down. This is our first winter with chickens and our first below 0 night. We built a coop out of an old truck cap. We still have our small store-bought starter coup set up so I moved them in there today hoping we could keep it ventilated better until we figure out how to modify our truck cap coop.

I dunno, I have been wrong before (maybe once :P)

but if that truck cap is metal it could get pretty drippy in there from condensation etc. compared to wood.


Edited by mobius - 12/15/16 at 4:35pm
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius View Post

Two observations that have me befuddled about humidity, but first, I so hope your RIR babies are okay! Sorry to hear about the frostbite! @Beekissed
says to slather the combs with castor oil and I did that very thing yesterday to my hens!

Maybe @aart
can weigh in here about my points/confusion below?

1. Today the outside temp was about 7F this morning. It snowed lightly. On Accuweather it stated outside humidity was 77%! What is up with that? I am so confused. IF it is THAT high with these low temps, I doubt I could vent a coop to reduce ANYTHING and should just leave chickens in open air and they would STILL be at risk.

2. Yesterday I opened the Big Cleanout door (almost an entire wall) for several hours to see if that would reduce humidity during the day while the chickens were in the run...thinking that level of venting would bring inside humidity down. NOPE. Nothing changed.

I am flummoxed.

2 and 1/2. This morning temp 7F. Inside coop 17F. Inside coop humidity 72%.

SMH. I don't get this AT ALL.

I too am frustrated and confused as to how to keep the humidity down when it is so high outside. Right now the temperature is 1 degree here and the humidity is 67%. It is 6 degrees in the coop and the humidity is 73% in there. I am hoping it doesn't go up like last night. The old coop seems to have better ventilation so we'll leave them in there until we can modify the new one.
The frostbite is mild (I think...I have never had or seen frostbite before). I'll attach a pic. Is castor oil only for preventing or also for treating? Last night we put a bit of Vaseline on their combs but obviously it didn't work. I'm not sure if we didn't put enough on or if it was just too humid for the Vaseline to help.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius View Post

I dunno, I have been wrong before (maybe once tongue.png )
but if that truck cap is metal it could get pretty drippy in there from condensation etc. compared to wood.
It is an aluminum cap and you are right about condensation. We noticed it a couple weeks ago and my husband insulated the roof and that helped. After last night, we are brainstorming ways to add ventilation. We already have a residential roof vent but maybe we need more?

I forgot to add the frostbite pic to my last reply so here it is:
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

poor baby!

 

I know that people here use metal sheds for coops but there are probably special ways to insulate that I don't know about! You might get more input about that in a separate thread? Just an idea...I mean I love your idea about the truck cap, except of course for the condensation...

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius View Post

poor baby!

I know that people here use metal sheds for coops but there are probably special ways to insulate that I don't know about! You might get more input about that in a separate thread? Just an idea...I mean I love your idea about the truck cap, except of course for the condensation...
I know. 😥 I felt so bad when I saw it. The pic I attached was the worst. The other two are not as bad and I'm hoping it doesn't get worse. I want to bring my poor girls in the house! Lol
I was actually just creating a separate threat for advice when you posted this. 😀
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