Coop Vent Help for the winter! Show me your coop vents please.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by walkerkm, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. walkerkm

    walkerkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 9 x 4 coop with a slanted roof that needs more ventilation for the winter. I'm in Massachusetts and the winters get pretty cold here.

    It's confusing to read that you need to add vents to allow air to exchange- in the winter, but be able to close them as well when it's cold. Sorry i'm new to this and just want to get it right for my girls. Not sure what is the best option for my coop.

    My husband has installed a bunch of the round vents in the eves, but i am looking for visuals of what to add toward the roof line to allow more ventilation. I have read pat's page (thanks pat), but i'm still looking for the visual ideas. My husband thinks what we have will be fine, but as i read more and more, we need more ventilation...

    I'm finding that many are looking for the same thing. Looking for photos of how you vented your coop other than windows-more for gable vent idea. I see that some just cut long rectangular holes added screen or chicken wire and then covered them with wood on a hinge-not sure how this will allow ventilation in the winter months?

    What did you install?
    Where did you buy it?
    When do you open and close them and how?

    thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    May I ask how many chickens you have, because the number of birds you have breathing and pooping in a set amount of space (volume, not just area) would help determine how much ventilation you would need (at least IMO).
    You guys get colder temps than me (Indiana), and I already worry about my ventilation. In a sense, I don't feel that I have enough (well...I do for now, because my birds are so small, and there are only 5 of them), but then my DH has suggested closing off one vent to help retain heat. I worry about whether to close one off or not... I'll post a pic this morning...
     
  3. swimmom

    swimmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I have a tiny little coop, but still needed ventilation obviously. You can see the vent under the roofline just above the nest box. We also have "windows" on each side of the coop that can be opened and closed depending on the season.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    In a small coop having a vent that can be closed down is not a bad idea. If the prevailing wind during a rain or snow storm comes from the vent side, it gives you options to keep the birds dry. Most hardware stores have them, and definitely ag supply outlets.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:IMO that is the best arrangement for winter. It puts all the ventilation (what's used in wintertime, that is - you will want more for summer) up under the eaves where the roof overhang hopefully protects it, and where it taps off the warmest air which being most humid is what you WANT exiting from the coop. And keeps the main air currents up above the chickens heads' rather than near where they are.

    For those that worry that you need vents at two different heights, or on two different sides of the coop, this is not true, you will still get airflow (just a bit slower) through a SINGLE opening assuming it is large enough. If you do not believe me, go into a room in your house on a cold night and crack one -- just one -- window open a couple inches. It really DOES cool the room down [​IMG] - and that's a house, not a coop, and just one window, whereas a coop would typically have more total vent area for the same size floor space.

    Swimmom's photo is a good example of what i'm talking about, as long as there are also flaps to close the vents down partly or totally depending on the weather. (This is less vital if you live in a milder climate, or have a very large roof overhang, and/or your ONLY vents are on the S side of the coop where frankly you can seldom *afford* to shut them down anyhow)

    Does that help any?

    Pat
     
  6. walkerkm

    walkerkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks all-Pat that helps. Okay to keep the vent shown above open even when it's really cold? Obviously not when it's raining, sleeting or in the middle of a snowstorm-maybe open a crack?
     
  7. swimmom

    swimmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Walkerkm, we're in the south, so it's pretty mild in the winter. Dh wants to configure something to close off the long vent though. I'm not sure we need too, I think it might get too "stuffy" in the coop with no ventilation at all.
     
  8. isabrownmom

    isabrownmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pat,

    While we are on the subject of vents, I thought I would ask your opinion on how many of our vents we should stuff with plastic wrapped insulation for the winter. I would like to stuff all of the west facing vents on the higher wall as it will be getting the bulk of the crappy northern IN winter wind and snow. I had thought to close off all but one section of vent on the lower east facing wall so that the coop will stay warmer. At this point we have no plans on adding a source of heat and we will be putting up an outside solar light so that I can see to care for them this winter. This is our first year with chickens and I sure don't want to neglect their care during our cold spells here. I've attached a couple of pics so that you can see what I'm talking about. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Sure, that is the point, you want vents that you *can* keep open all the time or nearly all the time. There may be a couple nights per year when you find yourself closing the vents down all the way because it is both super-cold *and* windy, or because of a super strong swirly blizzard, but in general the point is to have your vents designed so you CAN have them at least somewhat open all the time.

    Definitely in "normal" rain, snow, sleet you would want to be able to have them open! Also "normal" cold.

    Pat
     
  10. walkerkm

    walkerkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2009
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    Had my husband install the following today for more ventilation. Hope this will help. good thing is when it is closed there is no draft. and it can be cracked a little bit open, or all the way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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