Draft free but ventilated?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 12, 2011
I am building my coop this week and I'm trying to get my head around draft free ventilation.

I am in northern Canada where winters can here can get to -40+

What kind of vents can I use for Ammonia build up etc without letting in cold winds?

The coop style is that of a Seattle Salt box in style...

Anyone have some examples? keep in mind the cold temps...

Thanks in advance!


9 Years
Aug 19, 2010
north central indiana
My Coop
We are putting vents at least 18" above the roosts to avoid drafts on roosting birds. It'll actually be more like 24" since our roosts will be about 36" up and the shortest wall is about 62". That way the hot air will go out the vents and hopefully cold air coming in won't blow right on the chickens. We will also have windows but those will be closed in the winter. On our vents, we will have covers that can be closed if we have a bitter wind coming from any one direction.


8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
For "draft free" you will want open vents only on the other side of the prevailing winds. While the 'norm' is to put vents at the top or similar, this is good for summer heat. But since heat rises, in the winter time any heat is vented out top vents. This also creates a down draft of cold air onto the birds from top vents as the cold air sinks and hot air rises. Bottom vents would keep the upper coop a bit warmer, but the air exchange slows down a little. If I had to deal with -40° I would put top and bottom vents and close the top vents in winter. A "hood" over the vents similar (make it longer or long louvers) to a clothes dryer vent would slow down some direct wind verses running out in -40° every time the wind changes direction. Having vents on one side during winter on the least likely wind direction.

Fred's Hens

Premium Feather Member
9 Years
You want to allow the gasses to escape at or near the top of your coop. Roof or high eve vents let the top air escape as warm air rises, of course.

Drafts are let in by holes, gaping holes, cracks etc which let the wind to whistle in a the lower levels, the height of the chickens. This is a draft. Uncontrolled breezes flooding in a the lower levels, blowing on the chickens.

Ole rooster

8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
Milner, Georgia
That's the reason I vented my coop so that the air/fumes are vented out the top with the intake side being the opening on the soffit, across and up the roof panels. I can completely close all my windows and pop door and still get some ventilation across the roof insullation from the lower side up and out at the ridge. Works for me and my chickens.


Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
Since you're in a really cold area, vent. that is up high (well above roosts), and closeable would be good - especially on sides opposite prev. winds. Also, you could tack a loosely woven cloth of some kind to hang down over your vents that are left open - burlap or something maybe - just to block potential icy breezes but still allow warm moist air to escape. Sheesh - I'm freezing just thinking about N. Canada.

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