Originally Posted by rottlady
It may be"better" for their respiratory system in coops that are not cleaned every week, but I find it hard to believe it is healthier to **** near freeze to death at below freezing and below 0 temps than to have a louvered vet or ridge vent or something and be able to be in a draft free coop they can maintain body heat in. Just like a barn with livestock, you don't want it air tight like a house but you don't want drafts either
to each their own I guess
I have five breeds (in my signature) in an unheated coop with large amounts of ventilation (Gable vents, floor vents, multiple windows, full length front and rear eve vents), but it's designed to keep drafts and direct airflow OFF the birds when they are on the roost. I have weeks where temps never got above single digits and dropped to 15-20 below zero at night and my birds had only one small issue and that was frost bite on the combs of large combed roos. Other than that they fared quite well and no worse for wear.
I clean the deep litter in the coop once a year (OK, so maybe 18 months ) and just keep adding to it. Heat is a far bigger issue as the birds can't take off their down coats... in which case ventilation as again of paramount importance.