Help me clarify confusion over ventilation and draft

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jody, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    I'm confused. I'm aware that I must have ventilation, however, I also read that I can not have any drafts. How can this be? Don't the ventilation itself cause draft?

    My coop was built from a shed. I intend on cutting some ventilation into the walls, however, discovered that it's double walled, so need to plan this out before cutting.

    Nonetheless, aware that they need ventilation, I cut the door. I cut off the bottom so they can come in and out. I also cut off the top and put in a screen so air can get it/go out. At night I nail a board over the hole at the bottom.

    Is the open screen up top a draft?

    If I make a row of hole saw holes all the way around 3 sides, is this drafty, or ventilation.

    Sorry, but I'm confused as to what's considered draft and don't understand having ventilation but no draft.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  2. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    As I understand it, draft blows ON the chickens. Ventilation allows air to escape ABOVE their heads.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What people mean by draft, in this context, is "cold breeze blowin' at the chickens". You don't want that. (Also you don't want little air leaks all over the place in cold weather, which cause lots of condensation and thus hold humidity in the coop; sometimes those are referred to as drafts too).

    Obviously you can't have air exchange without air movement, but the idea is to keep the air movement as far as possible from the chickens and relatively gentle. (Of course in HOT weather, air blowin' at the chickens is a *good* thing, we call it a cooling breeze not a draft <g>)

    Having the top of your screen door open might be ok (she says doubtfully, given that you are in NH which AFAIK gets some pretty significant Winter). However if it is a large opening it may be too much (too mcuh all in one place, anyhow) and really you get the best value from vents that are at the *top* of the walls, which is where the warmest and thus most humid air is, which is the air you most wanna replace.

    Hole-saw holes in the other walls would be sort of useful if they were at the very tops of the walls (ideally tucked under the roof overhang), but frankly hole-saw holes are not of great value as ventilation because they are so SMALL. It takes a LOT of them to equal not very much total vent area, you know? You would get more value from rectangular holes, perhaps 6-12" high, atop at least the downwind walls. You will want flaps or something like that to close them partly or totally depending on the day's weather -- in particular you may want upwind vents closed on days that are both very windy and very cold. Of course there are lots of ways of doing it, but this is IMHO the simplest and most all-purpose effective way.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Colorado
    Quote:I'd like to suggest a more permanant pop-door - perhaps a slider or hinged door that can be secured? Nailing a cover over your pop door every night doesn't sound too...sustainable.
     
  5. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Epping, NH
    Quote:I'd like to suggest a more permanant pop-door - perhaps a slider or hinged door that can be secured? Nailing a cover over your pop door every night doesn't sound too...sustainable.

    I do plan on making a better door.. Now that this door is all screwed up, I suppose I need to make something better.

    I want to have a little door that I can slide up to open and push down to close, but haven't figured out how to do that.

    I figure I'll need to build a frame for the bottom where the slider will be.. on the bottom of the door itself where I cut, I'll have to put a lip that will cover any exposed area between frame and door.

    I couldn't go out and buy a jig saw to cut my ventilation out, but suppose I can cover a portion of the screen so it's not so big. It's around 8"X11". Should I make it 4"x11"?
     
  6. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live in Vermont so we get the same weather as you do. We have a pop door that is hinged at the top and held up using a hook and eye. We leave the pop door open all winter. It opens into a secured running pen. We hung heavy plastic over the opening and cut it in strips (like what you would see in a large walk-in freezer) for the chicks to walk through. When it got really cold we put hay around the opening to create a vestibule. Our vents are in the roof and we have no humidity problems.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/15384_im003479.jpg
     
  7. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Meant to tell you that the pop door is to the left of the human door. Its kinda hard to see with the hay around it but if you look closely you can see a hole where the chicks enter. The acted wierded out at first but got used to it very quickly.
     
  8. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 5, 2008

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