building new coop questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kristip, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. kristip

    kristip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    New Glarus
    The building of our coop will commence this weekend pending good weather- Hooray... it will be ready in spring for those babies!
    We can only have 4-6 max here so our plan is to build a coop that is 5 x 8 with a run attached that is the same size.

    Here is my major question- venting... we are installing a window that we will have open in summer, but we are in Wi and winters are cold. Dh is going to put a vent area at hte top between the roof and sides. If he puts an inch or two that is cut out- does that work? What is best way to do this?

  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Welcome to the forum!

    Here's an excellent reference on the subject of ventilation:

    It's counterintuitive, but lack of ventilation in winter can actually lead to frostbite by allowing moist air to build up in the coop. The moisture condenses on combs, then freezes, and your chickens can get frostbite that way. Try to build a square foot of ventilation per chicken, ideally high up at the top of walls so no drafts can blow over the birds as they roost.

    By the way, the usual rule of thumb you read here is to build the coop with at least 4 square feet of space per chicken, plus at least 10 square feet of space per chicken in the run. The coop you're planning is plenty large for 4-6 birds, but the run is just a tad small if you decide to get 6 chickens. Could you consider enlarging the run a bit? Unless you plan to allow your chickens to free range, the run is where they will spend all of their active, waking hours. You don't want them crowded (you can end up with pecking problems), and it will be harder for you to keep the run clean enough for good health the more birds per square foot.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  3. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    You really will need more ventilation than you would think, but if you keep it high up which is where the warm moist air will rise, there won't be any drafts. I know it doesn't seem right that you will want to loose heat but chickens produce a lot of moisture, in breath and poop. It also helps if you keep the poop boards, etc. cleaned regularly in winter, should help with moisture.
  4. kristip

    kristip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    New Glarus
    Thanks for the replies.
    I was wrong... the run will actually be 8 X 8 rather than 8 x 4... I forgot we changed dimensions around.

    So if we cut an inch or two around the roof area and wire that, it would work for ventilation then?

  5. ScotH

    ScotH Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    South East Texas
    The main point about vent space (from what's written here) is measure all of your open vent area and make sure it equals 1 square foot per bird, or larger.

    If you plan on 6 birds max and your coop size is 5'x8' your eve vent can be 3" or 4" (as long as it's on all sides and air can flow through them)...
    That would give you around 8 square feet of vent up high, plus your window.

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