Coop ventilation placement

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by greggooo, Oct 16, 2017.

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  1. greggooo

    greggooo Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Hi There!!!

    I have a 6'x7' coop that I built. We have 6 young Chickens and it's starting to get cold here in upstate NY. Right under 3 sides of the roof is a half inch vent that goes for 6 feet. Would that be enough? And should the vents be under the roof line but above the roosting bars? I was worried that all of the heat that they generate will go right out the tallest part of the coop. How do they keep heat in the coop in the winter if the vents are at the highest part of the wall under the roof?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
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  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

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  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, you do not want to keep heat in the coop. Chickens come with their own down coat. They don't need heat. They keep themselves warm. If you want to make sure your chickens will stay comfortable, get the moisture out of the coop. For 6 full sized chickens you need at a minimum of 4 square feet of vent area that stays open. Vents should be near the top of the coop. That way the warm air rises thing works. Warm air is moist air and needs to be vented out. Roosts should be kept low so that no breeze blows directly on the birds. You do not want their feathers to ruffle in the wind as this will allow the heat they make to get out of the feathers. To help the birds keep their feet nice and toasty, use a 2 by 4 with the wide side up for a roost. That way the birds can sit on their own feet at night and keep them warm.

    For example, my coop is 6 by 8 feet and about 5 feet high. Two 1 foot by 3 foot vents are just under the eaves. Then I have a 2 by 2 foot opening in the back of the coop where no wind can get in. The coop is situated in the corner of house that is L shaped. Then I keep the pop door open year round. A covered run with clear shower curtains around 3 sides keeps wind out and with pine shavings and leaves in the bottom is actually warmer than the outside air. Roosts are at 20 inches from the floor. Water and food is kept in the run. Don't need extra moisture from water in there. The girls are outside all day, every day even when it's -22 degrees F. I had no frostbite.
     
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  4. venymae

    venymae Prairie Wind

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    We had a two inch gap around the entire long sides of the roof, except where the wall studs connected with the roof beams. Then on two ends, where we had a triangle shaped gap from the slanted roof, it was 6 inches on one side slanting down to 2 inches. We covered the gaps with hardware cloth to prevent predation. The roosts were low enough that the chickens heads were will below the top of the walls where the ventilation area was and wide enough that they could cover their feet easily with their feathers. Pop door was open all day and closed at night. Food and water were left out in the run. Nesting boxes were not air tight at the lid, but good enough! We get below freezing here, but nothing too bad. VERY windy though. Luckily our coop was up against the garage so at least one side was completely sheltered from the wind. Coop was not insulated, but did have a thick layer of straw on floor. We do not use a heat lamp. We did not have any cold related issues with our six hens. In fact we didn't have many issues at all except when the neighbors tom cat came into the coop during the day and ate my broodys chicks!!!
     
  5. greggooo

    greggooo Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Woodstock, NY
    My Coop
    Thank you both for such great information!! They are okay without water from sundown to sun up?
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickens have terrible night vision. Once they go to roost, they don't come back down till there is enough light out for them to see their way around the coop. It is pointless to keep the water in the coop. Bring it indoors at night so that it doesn't freeze solid.
     
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  7. venymae

    venymae Prairie Wind

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    For sure! Chickens will not get off their roosts after it becomes dark unless something spooks them. They have terrible night vision and do not move around. It's a convenient way to catch a chicken if you need to check it out though! Wait till after dark and pluck them off the roost like a ripe apple!
     
  8. venymae

    venymae Prairie Wind

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    Unfortunately predators often pluck them too if your coops not safe.:hmm
     
  9. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens sleep at night. They don't get up for drinks of water or midnight snacks. They don't see very well at night so stay on their roosts.
     

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