Draft-free yet well-ventilated?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HickChick Wannabe, May 13, 2008.

  1. HickChick Wannabe

    HickChick Wannabe In the Brooder

    May 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    Hi, I'm a little confused as to how to make sure the coop is draft-free, yet also well-ventilated in winter. Could someone please clarify? Also, I'm building the coop to allow enough room to expand in the future, but to start, I plan to get only 6 chicks. So I'm thinking a 6'X8' or 8'X8' coop that's tall enough to stand in. Will it be harder for them to stay warm in winter if there aren't that many in that size coop? It can drop below 0 deg F at night here in January/February.

  2. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    Is a little tricky, but.... One method is putting vents on just one side of the coop. That way moisture can escape, but the wind doesn't go whistling through to the other side. Take a look at ventilation on other coops.

    Another option is a ridge vent just at the top, but make sure the roosts are well below it. I've even noticed on portapotties how the vent locations are up high, jutted out, but angled down.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The simplest thing is to have vents at the tops of all 4 walls, with securely-closeable covers (hinged or sliding) so that you can adjust which vents are open depending on where the wind's coming from and how much. In a windy location it can be worth hooding and/or baffling the vents, too.

  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    I think the size is fine. I started with 7, and their coop is 4x8, but it's only about 4' high; we put it up on stilts and built a "porch" underneath so they can get out of the weather and still be outdoors. That has proven to be the best decision we made with our coop!

    For ventilation, we left the short side of the roof overhang open underneath; there's about a 3" gap - see the top horizontal board? From there to the edge of that section of roof (sorry, I'm not good at explaining things) and in winter, I stick one of those toys that the kids play with in the pools...I think they call it a noodle (?) in the crack, and just pull it back out in summer/fall.

    Oh, and we built this before we knew that EVERY hen didn't need a nest box! :|

  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Think this way to simplify:
    Drafts = Low
    Ventilation = High

    You don't want air whistling in at floor level. You want moisture from poop and respiration and excess heat vented out above their heads.
  6. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  7. HickChick Wannabe

    HickChick Wannabe In the Brooder

    May 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    Thanks for all the input! That helps a lot. [​IMG]

    Wynette, how much space does there need to be underneath a coop before the chickens can comfortably shelter under it? And does that whole side open up so you can clean the coop? Or is it harder to clean because you can't go inside? That's a good idea with the ventilation!

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