Cold weatherIn barn coop ventilation and "hover"? PICS

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TcherDawn, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

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    Just started the coop. Here are the pics. I want three windows and a door. One widow will be on the inside so when I go in the barn I can look in the coop without haveing to go in. One will be on the East wall where the tiny plexiglass piece is. The other will be on the South side which is the back wall. My husband wants to put in small Casement type windows so rain/snow is less likely to come in. The "interior" window(opens into the barn) is a large 36"x 52"regular double hung window I found for free. I want an openable screen door which will also open to inside the barn. My husband wants a solid door for better insulation(but LESS ventilation) Is two outdoor windows and one "indoor" window enough for a 8x10 coop with 5 chickens (I want 5 more next year)? The roof will be approx 6 feet tall, except where the stairs go up(see pic), which is my next question- Is that a good place for the roost because the angle of the stairs will make a natural "hover" if I am understanding that term right. My husband is going to insulate all walls( I think he said R 13 if possible), but he asked if he should put a fan in. Is that overkill for ventilation for 5 chickens? Our winters are frigid here. Our barn is two stories and can hold two cars easily. Any help or advice is appreciated. We HAVE to finish this coop soon or my chickens are going to freeze to death in their Chick n Hutch. The nights are now regularly getting into the 30s. Eeek.
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    The outside view now:
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  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    My first thought is that with only 5 chickens in that large area, you're going to have to either have a VERY well insulated area, or add heat. I like the idea of the roosts under the stairs, as the stairs will trap the heat. You might want some temporary walls/ceiling to constrict the space to conserve heat... easier to heat a small area than a large one. (More chickens will help, too... [​IMG] that's MY solution to heating! LOL!)
    Your southern exposure will give you the most light/heat in the winter, and having windows or vents on opposite sides of the coop will allow much needed ventilation. Though again, with only 5 chickens, you won't have as much moisture/ammonia generated.
    Will you be putting plywood floors down? I see the braces in the photos. If I may, I highly recommend some cheap linoleum on the plywood to prolong the life of the floor. Water spills and just moisture in general will erode the floor, and trap the smells. [​IMG]

    Others will have more to add, I'm sure. [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I suspect you will be fine - that is the bones of a good setup, there. Having the coop in a larger building will automatically give you a lot of temperature buffering (it will not get as cold in the winter nor as hot in the summer). That's a slab floor, too, yes? which will also help keep things from getting too cold. Put a max-min thermometer in there - you may not see a huge difference between coop temp and outdoor temp right now but on those really cold Jan-Feb nights the difference will be *pronounced*.

    Having the coop in the larger building also makes it a lot easier to ventilate without risking drafts or excessive cooling, as long as you don't mind venting the coop into the barn with the resulting "chicken dust pollution" [​IMG]

    Quote:That is a good idea, particularly if you are willing to cut additional vents as necessary (they probably won't *be* necessary right now with only 5 chickens but if you enlarge the flock it is quite likely you'll want to add a bunch more ventilation)

    I want an openable screen door which will also open to inside the barn. My husband wants a solid door for better insulation(but LESS ventilation)

    Howzabout both? Like in a house. Best of both worlds, and you each get what you want (since you each have a good point, for different times of year [​IMG])

    Is that a good place for the roost because the angle of the stairs will make a natural "hover" if I am understanding that term right.

    It is a pretty logical place for the roost, away from windows and drafts. And although I am not sure you will get much value from the stairs as they currently are, they'd make it easier to put in a drop ceiling/hover type dealie if you should decide it's desirable, come winter.

    My husband is going to insulate all walls( I think he said R 13 if possible), but he asked if he should put a fan in. Is that overkill for ventilation for 5 chickens?

    I don't like fans. They are a needless expense (purchase, replacement, running cost) and a needless fire hazard. There is nothing you are going to achieve with a fan that can't be achieved just as well or better by well-designed passive ventilation. I would concentrate on *that* instead.

    Just one question -- is that floor joists I see, for a raised wooden floor over top of the slab? If so, can I suggest maybe reconsidering? Thick bedding will achieve the same warmth/insulation (put plywood down first if you are really concerned), honest -- and WITHOUT becoming such an inviting and intractable rodent farm as a raised floor will.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    patandchickens is right on all counts, especially the rodents under the floor issue -- as well as trapped moisture (from UNDER the concrete slab) which means mold -- AND bugs.

    She's also right that you don't need fans, for all the reasons she gives. I would add that since you're putting in a building within a building you've got double the draft proofing, and your chickens will be fine, winter or summer, even though (right now;)) you only have five. We all know how long THAT number is going to last, now, don't we!
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with all of the above. Fans are notorious for blowing their motors, starting fires and for getting coated with feather dust. It's nice of him to offer though and you'll be more likely to be snugging those few birds down than worrying about a fan. Nice setup and insulation is worth every penny.

    Like Tori, Pat, and everyone else up north, I'm from a snow and frigid air zone...but the hens were fine.

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-seasonal-concerns

    And you can always plank the concrete floor- worked for us. That way there is no permanent space for rodents and you can save on bedding. We had very old horse planks and used those.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  6. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

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    Wow, thanks for all the quick replies. My DH will be home in 3 hours and I will call him and let him know what to bring home from Home Depot! What a wealth of info on here. I feel like I should pay a "coop consulting fee". You all deserve a raise [​IMG]
    Unfortunately Yes, it is the bracing for a raised plywood floor. It was my idea(not his) because I thought it would be warmer than having them on the cement. Rodent hotel? ugh. I never thought of that. He was going to put a drain and drain pipe in for me that drains to the outside so I could use water for big cleanings and it wouldn't flood our garage.
    Do any of you think maybe if I went and got some metal sheeting and wrapped the outer rim of the floor frame before the walls go up that maybe the mice wouldn't get in, or am I in la la land. Is there anything that would make it inhospitable for mice (like fiberglass, rap music, or a bevy of pythons under there)? I think he would be a little upset if I asked him to take apart the floor bracing now. Think, think, think,... I can't have barn cats, my youngest has severe allergies to cats, plus the fisher cats eat most outdoor cats around here fairly quickly. Any other ideas?
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I would like to say 'yes' but it would be a lie [​IMG]. My experience with horse barns, and tackrooms with raised floors of exactly that design, suggests that there is basically nothing you can do about the problem. The thing is, mice or rats only need to make or find ONE little entry hole somewhere -- and we're talking an opening of less than an inch for rats, considerably less for mice -- and BANG it's subsidized condos for the whole rodent tribe.

    I think he would be a little upset if I asked him to take apart the floor bracing now. Think, think, think,... I can't have barn cats, my youngest has severe allergies to cats, plus the fisher cats eat most outdoor cats around here fairly quickly. Any other ideas?

    Sorry, but honestly anything I can think of -- which would not come with any sort of guarantee -- would either cause other larger problems (such as dampness from filling the spaces with gravel) or would be MORE extra work and aggravation than simply removing the floor framing.

    You can leave it that way if you really want, but if you do, I'd strongly suggest a) seeing if you can't put flashing or 1/4" hardwarecloth or something like that around all the edges, UNDER the ledgers that attach to the wall, and secured well to the ground, to make it harder for rodents to get into the space under there; b) going over the entire thing in an obsessive-compulsive way, looking for ANY gaps larger than an eighth of an inch and mouseproofing them, remembering that mice and rats chew real well; and c) don't be surprised if you eventually end up with an ongoing rodent problem that requires regular use of poison (IME a rodent population cannot be trapped for very long before they wise up and avoid the traps).

    Removing the joists would be better, though. Sorry!

    I do think your setup will make a really nice, userfriendly coop.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    I wonder if you could spray a foam insulation in the flooring, sandwiched under the plywood, if that would keep the mice out. I forget about the mice... here, they're just extra protein for the chickens! LOL! [​IMG]
     
  9. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

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    Thanks Tori. We were thinking that! And I feel honored to be your 6000th post!!!! Post party!!!! If you charged a buck a post for advice, you could have yourself a mighty fine extra coop for.........more chickens. Lol
     
  10. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Prescott, AZ
    Thanks Pat. We are going to do hardware cloth and flashing, with a bit of expandable foam. It will eventually be a rodent hostel, but it will last for now, and I will get my drain. You all give great advice.
     

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