Barn ventillation?


10 Years
Mar 23, 2009
I have an older barn which was origionally built by the previous owners for donkeys..these people did everything half-a**ed.

were planning to build a new barn, but the contractors have had everyone and their brother up here to look at the area because of all the for now we still have the old barn.

Theres windows in every room, theyre not real windows, most of them are basically plexiglass.Theres a 2nd floor which is finished & we dont use at all, so we cant do anything to the roof in the animal area. In the main room theres 2 with metal bars & a type of fencing for the they are like open windows. Theres also set up real high a stove pipe thing sticking through the wall to the guessing it was for ventillation. The barns nowhere near air tight, the donkeys who lived here did a nice job of chewing everything. So theres small holes & some 1/2 inch gaps between the boards in some places that go directly outside. With all the gaps & the stove pipe, is that enough ventillation?. Its getting cold & the birds have stopped roosting by the window & moved to the opposite side, so im guessing its time to winterize.


SHould i plastic up the open windows?, and if so would i leave some potion open for added ventillation, or do the entire windows?.
We are too afraid to cut any wood on the outside walls becuase the barn is old & so mickey-moused.

heres a link to a video that shows the barn
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I'd say the holes and such are enough ventillation. Not sure where you are but if it gets really cold (around freezing) I'd close the window area. I'm in Alabama so it doens't get real cold here often but when it is around freezing for several days I close up all open areas in the coop, they get their ventillation from the gaps around the bottom.
I cover all of my window openings with plastic or bubble wrap.You want to break the wind off of them.
It still lets light in and keeps the wind out.
I found some plexiglass pieces and cover my main chicken house windows with that.
The new pallet pens I am gonna cover with glass out of old storm windows.
It is important to cover all the little holes and gaps, in the area where the chickens will be. Those will cause cold drafts at the chickens, also they will cause condensation/frost spots, also they are just asking for weasels to sneak through and have a January buffet. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, just whatever you can scrounge that will be durable and peckproof and keep the drafts out -- old plywood of any thinness or thickness, old panelling, old vinyl flooring, whatever. It is ok to leave the rest of the barn "leaky" as long as those drafts will peter out before they get to the chicken area and as long as predators can't get in to the chickens.

As far as actual ventilation, I am not clear on what part of the barn you are using for chickens but I would say it would be reasonable to start off trying to use just what's already available, and see how it goes. If you don't have too awful many chickens in there, and can remove the plexiglass from a window or two that are furthest from the chickens, you may well be ok that way. (With just a few chickens, you might be ok even with all windows shut).

If not -- if you discover in January that you need more ventilation -- you can worry about that then. (Normally I would say it is better to make sure you have enough vents NOW, when it's nice weather to be working out there, but since you are very reluctant to cut holes in walls unless vitally necessary, I guess you may as well wait

Do be careful about predatorproofing, though. Old barns are often rather difficult to predatorproof (predatorproofing just a *part*, for the coop, is easier but still involves work) and raccoons and rats and weasels just LOVE to live in old barns over the winter.

Good luck, have fun,


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