Building Conversion vs. Separate Coop? (Ventilation concern)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sarah26725, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. sarah26725

    sarah26725 New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Hello everyone! I'm new to the vast world of chickens and need some advice.

    I've been reading as much chicken-related material as I can absorb about breeds, food, housing, first aid, etc.

    Today as I was perusing "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens", I came across a subject that I hadn't considered - VENTILATION.

    Up until a few hours ago, our housing plan for our soon-to-arrive flock of 11 tiny chicks who are bound to grow up into large birds (orps, australops, barred, sussex) was to convert part of a pre-existing building on our property into their very own chicken mansion.

    I was planning on 10 sqft per bird indoor space as we live in north west Ohio and it can get sub zero and very windy in the winter and I don't want them to be over crowded and angry in the winter.

    The building, pictured below, is approximately 16ft deep by 20ft wide inside. My plans were to construct a wall just to the left of the entrance that would segregate the left-hand portion of the building for the ladies, leaving the right hand side for storage.
    We intended to cut a pop hole in the left side of the building that would lead out into their outdoor run...


    [​IMG]


    The door and window you see here are the only doors and windows that exist in the building.

    There is a drop ceiling inside that has insulation above. Notice the vent above the door... there is a matching vent on the opposite side.

    The side of the building we're looking at here is on the prevailing wind side, so if the window is equipped with a screen, fresh air will definitely enter in.

    BUT, from what I've been reading, this "tiny" window will not provide enough ventilation. My husband does not want to "hack up" the building, adding ventilation ports on the left side and the rear of the building...

    Even if we replace the door with a full screen door in the summer to get by, I'm concerned about their living conditions in the winter.

    SO, now I'm wondering what to do!

    A stand alone coop is starting to look much more attractive, but we didn't have plans to sink $1,000+ into a structure as we're not yet sure if raising chickens is something we want to do long-term.

    I've been searching online for coops that are big enough but I'm struggling to find something that's affordable.

    Do you think we can get by with the ventilation that's already there, given the overall size of the building?

    Or are we better off ditching this building and buying a coop that's designed with proper ventilation in mind?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If it were me I would use the existing building with the one window since you are only talking 11 chickens to be in there. It will make a nice coop! Chickens make a LOT of dust though, so if you don't want the storage area to get dusty you would need to make it totally separate with a solid wall.

    The inside walls will get poopy and will be a big clean up if you decide to get rid of your chickens. However, you would really need a shed for as much space as what you are planning for (with the cold weather and them living inside full time).

    Cover your window with 1/2 inch hardware cloth to keep rats, weasels, and raccoons out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  3. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    are there vents under the eaves? there should be, and if not those would be easy enough to install and the building wouldn't look 'hacked up' at all.

    Is it vinyl siding? a lot of times a vinyl siding installer will use perforated soffit under the eaves, in which case the attic is vented plenty. The ceiling on the coop side could be vented into the attic easy enough with the louvered grates like used on your central A/C unit, again wouldn't look hacked up at all. Just go in the attic and make a barrier around it to keep the insulation off the top of it.

    you'll be very surprised how much venting that could give you. with heat rising, venting into the attic which is vented will set up a 'draw' effect even with just a small opening in that window. All you want is enough of a draw to keep the moisture and ammonia venting up and out. As well built and insulated as that is you'd get a good draw on it most likely
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  4. sarah26725

    sarah26725 New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Hi PapaChaz,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I didn't even think about the eave venting. It already has the perforated soffit so all we have to do is make sure we install the louvered grates into the attic and we're done! Super excited to be able to use the building after all.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    cool, I actually helped! LOL

    keep us posted with pictures please! that is a great looking building and what you're doing sounds great!
     

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