fresh air coops?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AuntieE, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. AuntieE

    AuntieE Chirping

    Mar 11, 2011
    Philipsburg, PA
    I'm looking into plans for a permanent chicken coop and stumbled onto fresh-air coops. I guess the theory is that chickens are hardier than we think when it comes to the cold, and having a large amount of ventilation will keep them healthier than closed spaces. Some coop's fronts were all wire, and stayed open even in the winter as far north as Canada. The theory makes sense to me, but does anyone have any experience with these type of coops?

    Here's the link that I initially read:

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. cackydoodledoo

    cackydoodledoo Songster

    Jan 7, 2011
    Crazyville, USA
    I don't have experience myself with them but the gentleman that I buy all my chickens from uses something along those lines. All his coops are three sided with the front side open. He has a run attached off that front side. This winter we got down well below zero for several weeks in a row and as low as -23 one night and all his chickens were fine!!!! He has had this set up for over 50 some years and I would guess if it didn't work he would not keep using it. In the "olden" days I don't think they built such fancy coops as we do nowadays!
  3. gmendoza

    gmendoza Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    Ours works fine except when it rains hard and heavy.Heres a pic for your info:


    Its a run of 12'x20'x7'high with a coop inside of 8'x8'x7'high.Its open air on 3 sides except the coop inside is walled in.
  4. peeplessinNC

    peeplessinNC Songster

    Oct 23, 2008
    NC Piedmont
  5. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    Where do you live? In other words, what's your winter climate?

    A fresh air coop can work in places that get real winters, but they probably need to be at least 16 feet deep so that the chickens can huddle in the back away and escape wind chill. Smaller than that doesn't work so well.

    If you live someplace in the South with mild winters, you could build a smaller fresh air type design and have it work fine. An very experienced poultykeeping friend of ours here in North Texas houses his chickens in roofed chainlink dog kennels (no closed sides), and just tarps part of the sides for our worst winter weather. His chickens thrive, no illness or frostbite. However, if you pick breeds that are not cold hardy (like the tiny Seramas) you'd probably need a different set up.
  6. AuntieE

    AuntieE Chirping

    Mar 11, 2011
    Philipsburg, PA
    Thanks for all the info. PeeplessinNC- the link was very helpful.

    elmo- I live in the mountians of central PA. So we do get snow, sometimes ice, and once in awhile it dips below 0.
    I've ordered 2 buff orps, 2 australorps, and 2 speckled sussex. I tried to choose breeds that would be cold-hardy.
    Thank you for the information. Lots of things to think about! [​IMG]
  7. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    I have always thought that this was true, and living in a mild-climate area of California has allowed me to use a very open-air design. It's nice to see that even folks that get real seasons can provide open-air coops to their girls. [​IMG]
  8. Kris64

    Kris64 In the Brooder

    Oct 8, 2014
    Black Mountain, NC
    If you have a 3-sided coop, which I desperately want, do you have to have a fully fenced run (netted roof too) for protection? In my fantasy world, there is a three-sided "coop" with deep litter for garden compost that opens onto an open area with just a "casual" fence--not super tight for predators and now roof. Sounds like that's a recipe for chicken loss. . . .

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