Another winterizing question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 4'X8' coop has five vents high up on three walls each about 6" tall and ranging from 12" to 36" long. I've designed them with hinged flaps that can cover some or all of them, some or all of the way. As it has gotten colder at night (down into the 40s), I've closed the two that are on the end of the coop with the high roost so there isn't a breeze blowing across them at night but left the other ones open. Can I close them up on particularly cold nights this winder or do I truly need to allow for ventilation 24 hours a day? I'm sure you old timers get crazy with being asked the same things over an over, but while our really cold spells don't usually last more than a week or so, it can get down to -20 or even -30 during January or February here in Colorado. By the way, I have 8, 3-month old pullets. All cold hearty breeds.
     
  2. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    closing them at night so they dont get a draft should be fine....open them in the morning....
     
  3. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Colorado here too. I am closing all the windows and doors on mine at night and opening in the morning. If we get a cold snap like last winter I will leave them closed until it passes. My coops are not air tight so suffocation is not a worry for me. [​IMG] I don't think we will have too many humidity issues in our Colorado coops since it is a dry climate to start with.
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was thinking the same thing. I used to get bloody noses all winter long when we first moved back here because the air was so dry. However, in the older part of the house where we haven't yet replaced all the single pane windows we get ice building up on the insides of the windows during those really cold spells, so I guess just us 5 humans going about our daily lives generates enough humidity to cause ice to form.

    I think I'm going to follow your advice about closing up everything at night and perhaps even keeping stuff closed during those really cold spells...but I'm open to other advice if anyone wants to chime in. I know there are several Canadians on the forum and at least one person from Alaska so they should know cold.
     
  5. nancypo

    nancypo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    There's somewhere on the site, about how much footage of air you need, to prevent moisture and allow for good air. If you check my page, you'll see how I covered about 2/3 of the area with plastic, but left some open. They sleep upstairs in the condo, where I added a heat lamp. Also used a waterer heater. Worked great, and dry here too in Boise...
     
  6. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would not recommend closing them up at night. Night time is the most important time for those vents to be open as all the chickens are inside and creating an amazing amount of humidity which is crucial to be vented out. Please go HERE and read more about ventilation in the winter. If you are really worried about super cold nights, I'd put a heat lamp in on those nights for peace of mind, but keep the vents open. You'd be surprised how well cold hardy breeds do in the extreme temps. I have Buff Orps and feel comfortable that our Michigan winters won't take a toll on them. We get just as cold as you.

    Good luck! I am heading into my first winter with chickens and the above post taught me a lot!

    ~Kelly~
    My Country Chronicles Blog
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  7. nancypo

    nancypo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, my condo is not closed, but has airflow thru the door and up the ramp...
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens NEED ventilation. To be exact they need 0.5 cubic ft per minute of air exchange for each chicken. The worst thing you can do is close up your vents. Same cold snaps here in Northern New Hampshire and I don't add heat. Seriously, they are birds, they do fine in winter. Actually there is much debate on heat sources and how they condition chickens to not acclimate to the cold therefore are condemned to the coop all winter. Without heat and cold snaps under -20 F, weeks straight of highs hovering just above 0 F and our chickens didn't even slow down laying. No heat, no problem.
     
  9. nancypo

    nancypo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really only cover part of the coop due to the nasty winds...
     
  10. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a tcombination thermometer and hygrometer(?) in the coop with a read out in the house. I do use a Premier 1 heatlamp on a thermocube that turns it on at 20 degrees and off at 30. I find when it is super cold out, the air is so dry that the humidity doesn't come up. I only have 4 hens in a 4 x 4 coop so they don't create much moisture. I adjust the ventilation according to the temp and hygrometer but usually keep a window cracked in low temps.
     

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