Braistorming idea for additional ventillation (mostly for winter)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by igapo, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. igapo

    igapo Out Of The Brooder

    Hi. I am new to chicken raising and I am in just starting to build a chicken coop (going to the store today for 4x4 posts). I have been doing a ton of research this winter and I think I've decided on a lean-to box design. As I research ventilation I understand that many recommend over-ventilating to play it safe. What I don't understand is the proper ventilation in the winter and I had an idea. There doesn't seem to be much about winter ventilating ideas other than on the roof and yet the push is for no drafts.

    My ventilation idea is this: In the bottom of the coop floor, have 1-2 sections of J-shaped PVC so that the air is coming through the bottom (raised coop), going through the upside down J and then getting distributed just above the coop bedding. These seem like they could be useful to provide fresh air without draft in the winter and can be threaded underneath to cap off at the bottom when not needed. I perseverate on things so maybe I'm over thinking (this is part of the fun). Any thoughts? Thanks.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Depends a lot on climate. Where do you live?
    I overthink everything too. But that allows coming up with some unique things.
    I don't worry about drafts, except when the birds are wet. 1 sq. ft. per bird is what you should shoot for.
    My newest coops have 1/3 of both the East and West walls open. If a bad storm is coming I slide a cover over the windward side.
    Insufficient ventilation kills birds as much as predation.
    A family in our local chicken group has a nice coop and a pen with a roof over part and a roost in the pen. The chickens slept on the roost in the pen all winter. It is open on 3 sides and they are healthy. If one selects breeds suited for their climate there's no need to worry about cold.
     
  3. igapo

    igapo Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for this. The 1/3 idea and that family you mentioned is a real eye opener. We have 2 orpingtons and 2 barred rocks that are a few days old. We chose them because the seemed to be really cold hardy so what you say helps. We live in Massachusetts with mostly 20s with sustained occasional teens and rare single digits.

    Do you have any pictures of the 1/3 openings? Based on your thoughts, creating specialty vents doesn't seem necessary. Thanks a lot.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out the pic below. That's my coop's winter ventilation, a wide open wall. As long as the chickens don't have a bunch of wind blowing across them, they'll be fine. They are built to handle the cold.
    Jack

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Jack, that looks like it's based on the open air coops for northern winters.
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's exactly what it is. The 100 yr old Wood's design.
    Jack
     
  7. igapo

    igapo Out Of The Brooder

    Great looking design. This gets me thinking a lot differently. Based on this, most of the coops I see look too stuffy. How do you deal with snow accumulation and melting inside?
     
  8. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any snow that gets past the front screen and blows in amounts to nothing to worry about. This has been a snow free winter here. But I have had some snow, in years past, get in the front. I didn't do anything with it. Just left it there. The chickens stomped it down, and ate the rest.
    And yes, a lot of the coops you see ARE too closed and stuffy. They like a well ventilated, sunlight lit up coop, not a dark, dank dungeon.
    Jack
     
  9. igapo

    igapo Out Of The Brooder

    Jack. Once I get an idea in my head I go like a bat out of hell. I want to thank you for trashing my 2 month's worth of research (and wheels spinning keeping me up at night); oh well, it was fun. I want to do what works well, not what is necessarily stylish so I have been doing searches on this. A lot of what comes back comes from the Wood's design. As much as I really like what you did, it seems like a lot bigger than what I was willing to do even though I have room for it. I was originally planning for a max of 6 chickens so I was looking at something along the lines of a raised lean-to with between 25 and 36 square feet with a covered run for access during the day when we are not home. I am now wondering if there is something about half of your coop's size so make more of a smaller raised version of yours. The only reason for raised is that I would already have a good area of covered space under the coop for them to roam until I can let them out at night to free roam. I found a smaller version that I was pondering (link below). In your opinion/experience do you have recommendations for scaling down? Thanks for your help.

    http://blog.chickenwaterer.com/2012/12/how-to-build-chicken-coop.html

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  10. igapo

    igapo Out Of The Brooder

    Ok Jack, so I don't see runs attached to these Woods coops so perhaps I have answered my question/concern. It would be my understanding that the chickens have enough room "inside" that they are happy hanging out in the coop and don't need a run. This could save the extra steps of needing an extra run.
     

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