Cold Coop. Ventilation enough or excessive? Video Link also

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by surfchicken72, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    FIRST< I live in MAssachusetts... about 20 miles south of Boston.. I have 5 hens. 2 Barred rocks and 3 RIR

    Here we go:

    OK... so l last night dipped into the upper 20s last night here in Mass... and I have a remote thermostat out in the coop, and coop got down to about 31 degrees.

    This will be our first winter with chickens, so I want to be sure I've done everything right BEFORE the REAL cold shows up.
    All my ventilation is under the eaves or overhangs of the roof, and 2 giant windows on the front. Lets a lot of fresh air in. I closed off the windows with weather stripping,
    and all the overhang openings except for the last 2 1/2 feet,
    leaving the far side (away from the roost) open to fresh air. Is this gong to let in TOO MUCH cold air in the winter?

    Here is a link to a video I shot this morning of how it's vented and would LOVE any advice to improve it, or control it better, or if it's just fine as is.
    (Plastic on the windows maybe?)
    Please be honest.

    Thanks.

    Video of coop is here:

     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Sorry, I can't view your video as I'm on dialup. (Could you upload a pic or two?)

    From what you have written, your plans sound ballpark-reasonable, although whether 2 1/2 ft of eaves vents left open is "enough" or "excessive" or "insufficient" is hard to guess at without knowing the actual size of the openings, as well as maybe the size of the coop. If I *had* to guess, it'd be more that it's potentially insufficient rather than likely to be too much -- unless those eaves vents are real BIG.

    Just play it by ear. Well, eye. Keep an eye on the chickens, and on the conditions in the coop; you will get a sense of what's needed.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting video, and great coop! Nice and big. I'd say you probably closed off too much ventilation. Can you open an area under the eave on the opposite side? Since the windows are weatherstripped, where is the opening to let fresh air in at the bottom? Could be there is enough air movement around the people door or some such; this part of the ventilation doesn't have to be too, too large.
     
  4. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pat... on my BYC page you can get a good view of both inside and outside of coop and there are shots towards the end that show the overhangs/openings.
    I basically left the last 2 open. approx 32 inches in width. coop is 4X8
     
  5. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:it is open on front overhang and back overhang in same spot .. first 32 inches or so are open on each side.
    Is that what you mean?
     
  6. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    NOTE.... I have another vent opening on hinges just above the people door that could be opened as well, if it's deemed there is not enough venting.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Oh *duh*, I didn't even think to look there <whops self upside head> [​IMG] Nice coop! You're *real* sure that no storm winds will EVER blow thru those trees to the extent that the coop might benefit from some tying down (ground anchors)?

    I basically left the last 2 open. approx 32 inches in width. coop is 4X8

    Ok, so (five years later, waiting for dialup to load alllllll those pics <g>) it looks like the eaves vents are something like 3 1/2" or so high, and you say 2 1/2' length of them has been left open? If so, that would be roughly 105 sq inches or about 0.72 sq ft total. If I've understood things right and that's roughly the correct number, I would say it for SURE is not overkill and you will probably want MORE, particularly if you are not using a droppings board that is cleaned every morning. Although you are quite correct in wanting the open ventilation to be, ideally, on the opposite side of the coop from your roost.

    You can kind of get a sense of how it's going according to the interior humidity though -- best method is to use a hygrometer THAT YOU HAVE CALIBRATED USING THE SALT METHOD (ok actually it's not calibration, it's just calculating a correction factor), but as a crude indicator you can figure that if there is a lot of condensation/frost inside the windows, or the underside of an uninsulated roof, even when there is not a *huge* difference in indoor vs outdoor temps, then it is probably too humid in there.

    Pat​
     
  8. chris10sen

    chris10sen Out Of The Brooder

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    What is the ideal humidity in the coop?
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe the answer about ideal humidity is, the same as it is outdoors, which means what the chickens are giving off is going out. Probably won't get that good but it would be something to aim for.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Anything under 75%ish is pretty okay (not likely to cause frostbite etc), although as ddawn alludes to, sometimes the weather does not give you a lot of choice [​IMG]

    Pat
     

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