Discussion on drafts

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ed62, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Ed62

    Ed62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've always thought that if someone knew why something worked or didn't work, he/she knew what he/she was doing. So I'd like to share my thoughts on drafts, and their ill effects on chickens. Your thoughts on this subject would be more than welcome, especially if you do not agree with my thinking. Here we go:

    First off, I would describe drafts in the coop as air which is colder than the inside temp of the coop, finding it's way into the coop.

    From here down is where my thinking might be wrong, but it's what I believe at the present time. Air which is colder than the inside temp, and is at chicken level, is likely to be a concern because it might cause health concerns for the chickens.

    Air coming into the coop at chicken level, that is the *same* temp as the inside of the coop, shouldn't be a concern. The reason I believe this is because chickens can tolerate cold weather (to a certain point) outside, with no ill effects. Even if the wind is blowing (unless the wind chill index gets too bad).

    Please share your thoughts on this, and tell us why or why not you agree with my way of thinking. If you do agree with it, that is reason to use as little heat in the coop as possible.

  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I think you are on the right track - but just a little bit off the mark.

    The draft is a wind or breeze that blows through the coop - it does not matter if it is colder or the same temp as the air inside the coop. What happens is this.

    A chicken will fluff out her feathers (much like a thick pair of socks) and the air in the feathers is heated by her body. The feathers do a good job of holding this heated air against her body & she stays nice and warm even on the coldest day.

    When a draft or breeze comes through it blows cold air into her feathers displacing the warm air she is trying to keep in her feathers. This is when she gets a chill & can get sick or even freeze to death.

    So its not the temp of the air - but the movement that causes them trouble.

    Thats my understanding of it all.
  3. Ed62

    Ed62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks very much for the post. It makes a lot of sense. Anyone else have a different thought on this?

  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] Midget_farms is right on the money. It's all about air movement blowing on the birds.
  5. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    Yeo it is not so much the temp as the movement. You want you coop to be air movement free especially on the level the chickens roost at.
    They roost high because warm air rises (I just made that part up) They really like to be high because of predators I think. But thats my story and I am sticking to it.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I was going to mention the warm air rising, so it should be warmer on the roost than on the floor. A draft is a movement of air, and anyone working outside on a cold windy day, that walks around the corner of a building and gets out of the wind, is always amazed at how much warmer one is out of the wind.

    My husband, a long time cattle rancher, says it is not the temperature, it is the wind that will wear something out. One can take very cold temps, if there is shelter from the wind.

    I do not worry too much about the pop up door, now that my run is predator tight. it is at floor level. I do close off a bit, not tight, the windows on the east side, that are next to the roost. Just to give them a bit more protection.


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