Build ventilation questions

goingloopy

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 10, 2015
16
2
79
Hello, We are in the framing stage of our new coop. Will house our 10 hens, and maybe up to 15 total in days to come. It is 12x14, sheltered some from the north, and is built on a slope so the floor is off the ground, but insulated underneath. We are modeling after the old-fashioned half-monitor style coop as I have heard stories from my dad of how a coop needs to face the south and utilize the sun in the wintertime. (see old photo here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/half-monitor-chicken-coop.48434/) Anyhow, our north wall is 8' high, the monitor wall is 11' and the south wall is between 6' & 7'. It will be covered with metal from a previously hailed on Morton building. I have been reading quite a bit about ventilation. I have read posts saying to think high, not considering just windows." This still leaves me uncertain. There are three awning type windows up high on the monitor wall. (Also three windows on the south, a window on the east and a door on the west for summer ventilation.) I have considered a whirlybird vent on the roof, and also adding small "awning type windows towards the top of the north wall. Can anyone offer their thoughts about adding windows/vents on the north. Is it needed? They would be 6-8 ft high - but the birds will roost on the north wall (height tbd) so I don't want to create a draft. I would appreciate input about what is enough, and what is too much! Also wondering are vents at the floor level helpful in any way?
 

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HotNoob

In the Brooder
Jun 8, 2020
38
58
46
Manitoba, Canada
i personally left the rafters on mine open ( single slope roof ) , although haven't experienced a winter yet (canada, -20*C to -30*C zone3a).
i've read that humidity is more of a concern than heat loss.

my coop is insulated, but i left openings on the ends of the rafters, and insulated most of the roof anyways, worse case i can put some blocks of wood if it gets too drafty. with the windows closed, i dont feel a draft until i'm right up at the roof.

too my understanding, the bedding is supposed to not be changed during the winter time, to act as insulation + source of heat from compositing. so i'd expect in the winter, the chickens might just prefer to cuddle on the floor.

i'm curious about this too.
 

goingloopy

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 10, 2015
16
2
79
My husband would likely be happy to leave the rafters open! Less work and simpler than siding around venting windows. My concern would be the entry point for bugs but I suppose we could put screen there somehow...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,744
130,769
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have heard stories from my dad of how a coop needs to face the south and utilize the sun in the wintertime.
Might be thinking of a Woods style coop too.

Orientation doesn't matter that much, tho it can help with solar gain.
I have a 'half monitor, or 'clerestory' coop building.
Soffits are open all year around, with some dampening in winter.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-coop-page.65912/

Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1591827068855.png
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,361
66,380
1,392
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
Nebraska! Will add it to my profile soon
Nebraska gets hot and cold (from what I have heard... I wouldn't know).

So... I would put a window or windows on the north side to YES, make a draft over the perches in summer, but close them completely when it gets cold.

Make the monitor windows to open in summer close in winter. With open windows north and south, and the open monitor windows that will make a nice cooling breeze, no whirling roof fan thing needed.

On the south side, make all of those windows big and open year round.

I would close up eves. The windows will be handier since you will have so many and they will be easier to open and close as needed.
 

goingloopy

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 10, 2015
16
2
79
Thank you. Yes we do have both hot and cold as well as a fair amount of humidity. I appreciate your helpful reply!
 

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