Coop humidity in soggy Pacific Northwest - need help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nyxchick, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. Nyxchick

    Nyxchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2014
    This will be our first winter with chickens. I've done lots of studying and know that high humidity in a coop is bad. However, I cannot find advice anywhere on how to lower the humidity. The only thing I find is to use ventilation.

    Well, here in Oregon a fan doesn't seem the solution. It's rains here A LOT and even when not raining it can be very damp. So a fan would just be pushing moist outside air into the coop.

    I'm hoping there's other people on this forum who live in the PNW and can give me tips on how to tackle this problems. I want to keep my chickens happy and healthy over the winter. I've grown very attached to these silly ladies.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Nyxchick

    Nyxchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2014
    A few more details.

    Right now it's 5:30 pm and light rain. Temp outside is 51 degrees and humidity is 87%
    Inside the coop the temp is about the same but humidity is 89%
    When the 3 chickens go in for the night the humidity will probably go up a tad bit. I do have ventilation in the coop. However, the most I could hope to get the humidity down to would be 87%
    And everything I've read says that's too high for the chickens.
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I live in Northern Wyoming and we are much dryer here, so I can't really help you with your question. May I suggest that you type in your state in the "search" box and that will connect you with lots of folks who live in your area. I just know someone there will have a better idea because so many of them also cope with that issue. Good luck!
  4. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    It's my first rainy season with chickens too. Quite a wet October we just went through. I had worried about the chickens in the rain but it doesn't seem to phase them. When it rains lightly they go about their business. When it rains heavy, they stand under cover. They sometimes walk around in the rain right after a good dust bath and that leaves them a bit muddy. They don't seem to give a hoot.
    Anyway, to get to your point about humidity. It's not a problem in a well ventilated coop. If your coop has no ventilation then the chickens' respiration, added to the heavy humidity, will cause condensation everywhere, among other issues. Keep your coop reasonably well ventilated for this and other reasons.
    The high humidity will slow down evaporation, so wet chickens roosting at night will dry out slower. Again, not an issue. Keep the rain out, and the fresh air in, and they will dry out sufficiently due to their own body heat, and then run around in the rain as soon as they're out in the morning. It took me some time to figure it out, but they do actually seem to know how to take care of themselves, given the chance.
    A dry and ventilated coop at night, and cover from rain during the day, and they're OK. Seems like every other neighbor around here has chickens and by all appearances they are happy and healthy.
    On the plus side, the cool rain has stimulated tons of new grass and weed growth which will last through the entire winter, while much of the country has no such forage. I think the Willamette Valley is very good chicken territory.
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    The Grey and the Red Jungle Fowl, the wild ancestors of most modern poultry lived in..... well they lived in a jungle. Very few jungles I am familiar with have low humidity. I think you are over thinking the humidity issue.

    However even though the Grey and Red Jungle Fowls developed in a humid jungle that doesn't mean that they are water fowl. Make sure that your chickens have clean, well ventilated, and reasonably dry quarters and I think that they'll be fine.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You can't make the humidity inside the coop less than outside the coop unless you install a complete HVAC system, like you might have in your house.

    Do you get freezing temps where you live?
  7. Nyxchick

    Nyxchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2014

    Our winter are mostly wet. Occasionally it will dip below 32 but not often. Maybe like 20+/- days where the lows are below freezing for the entire winter.

    Right now the highs are 50s and the lows are high 40s or low 50s. Like my fellow Oregonian posted above it's been super wet. Most days we have some rain and have had a couple days where the rain never stopped. Haven't seen blue skies or sun in weeks!!!
  8. Amberjem

    Amberjem Overrun With Chickens

    I'm watching the thread closely we have wet humid issues here as well, but it doesnt get down cold enough long enough that it would be an issue I think, with circulation in the coop the condensed humidity shouldnt be as bad as when it's closed but I'm no expert and this is something I been wondering n looking into also :)I grabbed a ten dollar humidity temp reader at home depot gives me highs and low reading I thought I'd just monitor it
  9. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    I live in PDX and no longer have chickens, but when I did, I had a 50watt red reptile bulb (in a protective heat lamp with guard) triple hung in my coop. Most people get upset about having any sort of 'heat' light in a hen house, but I did feel like it dried things out faster. It's a gentile heat that didn't bake the chickens, because chickens in Northwestern Oregon surely do NOT need a heat source if they have a proper coop. Ventilation is important too. When themeratures really dropped, they would all huddle under the light, so I think they kinda liked it too.

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