Frost in Chicken Coop

MarcyR1011

In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2015
83
7
33
Hemlock Michigan
My coop is still getting a little frost in it. We just added larger vents 8X12 at the top of both the front and the back of the coop, but when I went out there this morning I still saw some frost on the roof and sides. I don't want to leave the door between the coop and run open at night because of critters. Not sure what else I should do. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
2,005
272
191
Revelation 21:9 Washington
You already know that good ventilation is the key. That's good!
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I know that members that struggle with this will lower their roosting bars. Remember this warm moist air is rising. How are the chickens handling the frost? Any frostbite that you have noticed?

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Make sure you head over to the Learning Center and doing some reading there. Loads of great help in that area of the site!

Here's a great article to read:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-chicken-keeping
 

MarcyR1011

In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2015
83
7
33
Hemlock Michigan
I never thought of lowering the roosting bars... I'll have to try that! So far I haven't noticed any frost bite on any of them. I've leaned so much this past year! I was going to put a heat light in there when it got down to 9 degrees. I'm glad I researched this better so knew not to. Thank you for the tip! :)
 

ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
243
161
SW Ohio
I'm presuming you're seeing frost on the inside (roof & sides). Is there a window you can crack?

Last night and tonight will be the lowest temps so far this winter (around 8F), the hens seem fine, not minding the cold at all. I don't heat the coop and they've been out in the run to dust bath and peck around for scratch. Their water is out in the run as well. I worry more about the eggs freezing than the chickens.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,143
38,122
1,096
southern Michigan
My coop door has a fairly large hardware cloth covered window, and that helps too. If that fails to fix the dampness, enlarge the other vents. Also, check the bedding and replace any wet bedding, as in around the waterer. Mary
 
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WthrLady

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 24, 2014
4,497
20,038
701
WestOak, Nebraska
I have one whole wall that is nothing but a giant window cut out covered in hardware cloth. Our temperature Saturday night was -6'F (NOT the wind-chill - that was -27). The hens were fine. Can you add more ventilation on a protected side ?
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,482
3,547
436
NEK, VT
I personally don't keep water in the coop. It spills and heated water this time of year puts out a lot of moisture. The birds are provided an area with two sides protected from wind so are outside every day. In this way I never need to have food or water in the coop.

With a vent on each side of gable there isn't a lot of air being forced out if the coop was built well. Tight corners and overall good construction is actually a downfall as it doesn't allow good airflow coming into the coop. The air flowing out is limited by airflow in. If you've a gable coop then adding a few inlets on one of the low roof ends would provide intake that will run along the roof line mixing with the hotter, wetter air in coop and pushing out the gable vents. The roost can be around 18 inches lower than these intake holes or even on the opposite side of coop. Hole saws are a wonderful thing. Simple 2 to 3 inch hole saw and few minutes to pop out 4 holes along one of the low roof ends would stop the frost in coop. Hole saw is just a round saw blade you attach to drill. Cover the holes with hardware cloth to keep out the weasels and your good to go.

I like single slant roofs just because it makes venting easy. Intake on low end and exit on high end. With a gable design the vents there are only exits so some intake is needed unless you have a nice and shabby construction with good cracks in corners and around doors. It's not passive air flow, air will literally be sucked in and pushed out the top. Rate of flow is exponentially increased if vents are placed properly. It doesn't take a huge area, actually the larger area turns passive flow, smaller areas undergo natural vacuum forces.
 
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MarcyR1011

In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2015
83
7
33
Hemlock Michigan
It's an 10X12 big garden shed that I converted into a coop with a large fenced in run (even though some get out and free range). We put 2 more vents in approximately 8X10 at each end and I've been leaving the small door between the coop and kennel open a few inches and it seems to have helped quite a bit. I also have a make shift window I can open if I need to. I just don't want it to get too drafty in there. I worry about them getting too cold and I think that's something I need to get past. Really appreciate every ones comments and suggestions. I think I'm going to revamp my coop this summer and change some things to make clean up easier. I usually gut my coop out once a week and I want it to be easier than it has been! :)
 

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