Can I convert this coop to Open Air?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Newchickey, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chirping

    Mar 27, 2014
    Here are pictures of my coop from the East (where the run and large window are) and the West.
    I have been reading about open air coops and trying to figure if I can convert this as soon as spring hits.
    First mistake we made but cant be changed is we faced it north. I have a 4" area at the top of that side that is hardware wire for ventilation.
    The large window to the east. I can keep their door to the run open and the pop window on the west side I can prop open. And I have cut one 4" by 16" vent in the Upper South west corner in just the last few weeks. What I understand for winter in an open air coop is nothing but the open side open, shut everything else tight. I can do that.
    Now what I am wanting to know. You can see their is a section of their run on the south side. It has a tin angled roof an wire. I put boards up on the west and a bit of south side to protect their food from rain and snow and give them more shade in the summer.
    Would it work to...

    1.Cut out about 3 feet of the south side coop wall to that run section.
    2. Make Large vents all the way across that side at the top and cover with hardware cloth. So most of the south wall will be open.
    3, Would I need to build the floor in what use to be the 4X* covered run space up even with the Coop floor? The ground slants so it is almost even at the back and about 15" higher in the front. Or can I just fill with sand?
    4. I can wall off the West and East sides of the run and leave the South wire. That gives me 4 feet to the original coop and 8 feet inside the coop. I see most Woods style coops say 16 feet, would mine be long enough?
    5. My roost now run from North to South. In an open air coop, do the roost go to the wall opposite the open wall?
    6. Will all this work when my angles actually go opposite of what would be the normal set up. The highest peak is at the North side, the open wall will be the South one. If the North wall is seal shut would it even matter. IE.. no where for air to flow through


  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sounds good to me. I'd use sand to build that area up, or just let them hop up and down.

    My coop is more or less open air, and the roosts run north to south. I close off one area, the people door, in winter to keep the wind off the roost area. It has worked fine for several years -- and we do get temps into the 20's every winter, just no snow.

    I think if a coop is open air enough, having ventilation at the high point is less significant. You may wind up adding a small vent at the top of the North wall -- or not. Coops are such organic things, you just never really know til you try them. Good luck!
  3. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chirping

    Mar 27, 2014
    So do your roost run towards the open side where some birds will be right there by the open air part? Would air come come up from the bottom and through them to go out at the top?

    Important fact I guess, I am in northwesten Nebraska, we have hit as low as -20 at one point so far this winter. The last nights havent gotten below 38 in the coop and thank goodness this has dropped the humidity level to. Although I have figured out I should stop panicking I must be doing something right. The coop doesnt smell at all, I am using Deep litter and I have 15 pullets and I am getting 63 eggs a week, which I did not expect at all. So they must be feeling pretty good and happy

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: