Coop design, construction options

Cinnamon Roll

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
114
174
78
Cheyenne, WY
Thank you for your input. I will paint my coop also inside and out. Do you see any negatives using “liquid nail“ on the edges of the board? Also, did you use screws and, if so, did you pre-drill board with special drill which makes conical indention for the head of the screw?

what did you use for the floor? How much winter ventilation you have (total ft2)?
I don’t see any problems with using liquid nail on the boards. I did use screws but I generally didn’t pre-drill. I used outdoor rated Torx screws and they can self drill for the most part. I used linoleum on the floor and I use sand all year round.

I probably don’t have enough ventilation, especially if this were built anywhere other than Wyoming. I have about 6sqft open all day and 1-5sqft at night. I regularly get 20+mph winds and yesterday I had gusts up to 50mph :( so that adds a lot of ventilation through every nook and cranny.

On the South side I have 1.3sqft open but I may take out that acrylic window and put in a screen (and a cover for storms).
A48CB49A-499A-49B4-8A76-72A79E9973EB.jpeg


The East side has 4sqft up at the top. I made the cover one piece and I need to saw it in half to close the right side by itself. I open the big doors to scoop the poop in the morning and also open them to check the birds at night. I figure that much air exchange twice a day helps a lot.
EF70EC2B-D9A2-4416-9224-1FAFE4B2B58C.jpeg

EB477710-88C5-47EF-9C88-886DCD1F00C2.jpeg
 

Rodrad

In the Brooder
Nov 9, 2020
93
41
37
Southern Indiana
Always open on the 8x14 (112 square foot of floor space) is 14 square feet of permanently open venting.
So....yes when I had 24 birds in there my venting was "inadequate" by the 1 square foot per bird recommendation. HOWEVER I have windows that are only closed if wind is blowing in them. That same wind actually increases air flow through the permanent venting so compensates for the closed windows.

The 6x8 has 8 square feet of permanently open vents (48 square foot of floor space). Housing a maximum of 8 birds the venting meets the 1square foot recommended amount.

My goal is not necessarily to provide 1 square foot per bird in all my coops but rather to have it strategically placed so air actually moves up and out carrying moisture with it.

I keep humidity gauges in my coops. My goal is to be within 5% of humidity outside the coop.

In decades of keeping birds I have only ever seen frostbite on one bird. A leghorn of course and that frostbite was very minor.
Thank you for your input. I am still perplexed about the actually optimal winter vetilation for my area. Seems to me that permanent winter ventilation by 1/2 ft2 per bird would be fine (for southern Midwest states, based on some of my neighbors’ coops). Of course that also depends of how well the litter is managed, their coops are frequently cleanEd and applied new shavings.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
21,609
89,705
1,542
Northern Colorado
Thank you for your input. I am still perplexed about the actually optimal winter vetilation for my area. Seems to me that permanent winter ventilation by 1/2 ft2 per bird would be fine (for southern Midwest states, based on some of my neighbors’ coops). Of course that also depends of how well the litter is managed, their coops are frequently cleanEd and applied new shavings.
My best advice would be to build in as much ventilation as your walls can handle and make hinged shutters for them. Only close those shutters that the wind is allowing snow to enter then open them as soon as the weather clears.

Birds do much better with extra venting than with extra humidity.

It is much easier to dart out and close shutters than it is to try and cut more holes in the cold.
 

Rodrad

In the Brooder
Nov 9, 2020
93
41
37
Southern Indiana
I don’t see any problems with using liquid nail on the boards. I did use screws but I generally didn’t pre-drill. I used outdoor rated Torx screws and they can self drill for the most part. I used linoleum on the floor and I use sand all year round.

I probably don’t have enough ventilation, especially if this were built anywhere other than Wyoming. I have about 6sqft open all day and 1-5sqft at night. I regularly get 20+mph winds and yesterday I had gusts up to 50mph :( so that adds a lot of ventilation through every nook and cranny.

On the South side I have 1.3sqft open but I may take out that acrylic window and put in a screen (and a cover for storms). View attachment 2407428

The East side has 4sqft up at the top. I made the cover one piece and I need to saw it in half to close the right side by itself. I open the big doors to scoop the poop in the morning and also open them to check the birds at night. I figure that much air exchange twice a day helps a lot.
View attachment 2407432
View attachment 2407433
Thanks for your input. I have a premium tripple coated deck screws, which can selfdrill but the head doesn’t imbed by itself (I guess there are not proper cutting ridges on it) and if I make it flush it does crack the board. Sorry I loss the trak how many ft2 is your coop? You say over night you open 1-5 ft2, can you explain that little bit?
 

Rodrad

In the Brooder
Nov 9, 2020
93
41
37
Southern Indiana
My best advice would be to build in as much ventilation as your walls can handle and make hinged shutters for them. Only close those shutters that the wind is allowing snow to enter then open them as soon as the weather clears.

Birds do much better with extra venting than with extra humidity.

It is much easier to dart out and close shutters than it is to try and cut more holes in the cold.
Thanks, very good point!
 

Cinnamon Roll

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
114
174
78
Cheyenne, WY
Thanks for your input. I have a premium tripple coated deck screws, which can selfdrill but the head doesn’t imbed by itself (I guess there are not proper cutting ridges on it) and if I make it flush it does crack the board. Sorry I loss the trak how many ft2 is your coop? You say over night you open 1-5 ft2, can you explain that little bit?
I just let the head of the screw stick out a bit. I figured the paint will seal everything so I didn’t worry about it.

My coop is 4x10 so 40sqft. Because I get so much wind I usually close all my shutters at night (in fall and winter) except the 1.3sqft one on the south side. If it’s nice out I leave all the shutters open so it’s 5.3 soft open.

When I can cut the shutter on the east side in half, I will leave part of that open as well. So it will be 3.3sqft open at minimum.
 

Cinnamon Roll

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
114
174
78
Cheyenne, WY
Besides the scooping every day, I think I get by with limited ventilation because it is so dry where I live. I haven’t seen any moisture build up at all in my coop but I will see how it does over the winter.

Also, I usually have fewer than 10 birds in this coop. I have 2 coops and this coop isn’t as popular as the other one.
 

Rodrad

In the Brooder
Nov 9, 2020
93
41
37
Southern Indiana
Besides the scooping every day, I think I get by with limited ventilation because it is so dry where I live. I haven’t seen any moisture build up at all in my coop but I will see how it does over the winter.

Also, I usually have fewer than 10 birds in this coop. I have 2 coops and this coop isn’t as popular as the other one.
Thank you very much. Just to confirm, if I read right: overnight in the fall and winter you close all shutters except 1.3 ft2 on the south side. Is that right?
That would be 0.325 ft2/10 ft2 of the floor space.

On my neighbor (here in Columbus, IN) has a coop which in winter has 0.5 ft2 / 10 ft2 and he never had problem with excessive moisture. With most common practice, 4 ft2/chicken that would translate to 0.2 ft2/chicken. BTW, I am leaning to make a coop with such ratio of ventilation area per chicken (the chickens will be in only overnight).
 

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