Originally Posted by Ridgerunner
I have no idea what that long skinny thing is. If it is a vent, don’t count on it during the winter. Snow could block it.
Chickens need ventilation in the winter to get rid of the moisture build-up. Don’t worry about the cold. They wear a down coat year round and can handle cold much better than heat. Your danger is frostbite, not them freezing to death. There have been several posts on this forum where people in your climate were having frostbite problems but the problems stopped when they added ventilation.
What I suggest is you avoid is a cool breeze blowing directly in them in the winter. In the summer, a cool breeze feels good. How do you manage that? Have permanent ventilation higher than where they roost. In summer, you can open windows or have other openings below them, but in winter I’d keep the ventilation higher than them.
That sun-looking thing may be some type of ventilation opening, but it is nowhere big enough. I’d suggest leaving the top of the walls open under that overhang on both sides for maybe 6” to 8” and cover that with hardware cloth. You’ll have predators there that can rip chicken wire apart. As long as the roosts are lower than that elevation, they will be fine and that overhang will keep rain and snow out.
If you wish, you can put gable vents on there, especially if that sun looking thing is not a vent. The louvers will help keep the rain and snow out and will really help in the summer. You don’t want the coop to get wet, but if it is well ventilated, a bit of rain or snow won’t hurt. It should dry out pretty quickly, but you might need to rake it or throw corn on the bedding and let the chickens rake it for you.
You’ll need at least one window so you can see to work in there and the chickens can see to go to bed when it gets dark. You’ll find some people on here with strong opinions on how many and where they should go. I‘m not one of them. I’d suggest putting at least one on a typically downwind side for your prevalent winds in the summer so you can open it in the summer when they need extra ventilation. And cover the opening with hardware cloth to stop predators.
You can get all different kinds of windows. You can buy them new, look on Craigslist or find one of those recycle places, or just make them yourself. I like being able to open it in the summer for the ventilation, but that is not absolutely necessary. An easy way to make a window is to frame in the wall area and cover it with hardware cloth. If you want to be able close it in winter, get a piece of Plexiglas and figure out a way to mount it, either making it removable or hinged where you can lock it open or closed. If you hinge it at the top, you can lock it open and it will help shed rain.
That area under the overhang will let in some light if you elect to do that, but I’d have at least one more window to let in light. More than one is great.
Just my longwinded opinion. Hope you get something helpful out of it. Good luck!!!