Help please...Ventilation, condensation questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by homesteadmomma, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I asked a question about coops a while back and didn't get a response, so I was hoping maybe I could get some help this time around. So here is the general idea, and I would like to know if you have any suggestions.

    Chickens: We will have about 50 birds out there when the chicks are old enough to go out. There is a second coop being built as well, but we wanted to get one done quickly.
    Coop in question: Originally an old corn crib. 20x8 ft with a 10+ft roof in front down to 8+ in back.

    The front has holes in the top already, but the rest is far from draft and predator proof. However, I have a ton of pole barn siding leftover from job sites that I would like to use. I know that condensation is going to be the biggest problem. But I was hoping that the holes in the top would be sufficient enough for air flow. There are also two doors in front, and most likely one will be the human entrance and the other will be made smaller for the chickens. I have done my best to illustrate what my idea is in the picture, but I don't have specific measurements for the windows up top. I just know that everything will be screwed down and covered around the entire bottom to prevent any unnecessary visitors from entering, and the windows on top will be covered in hardware cloth.

    Here are my biggest concerns:
    I love the corn crib and do not want to destroy it, therefore I do not want to have to cut any unnecessary holes. So hopefully one day the siding can be removed and it will look the same as it did before.
    Condensation- not sure if the set up will allow enough air flow to prevent this, but I also know that any time it is warmer inside than it is outside and if humidity is high, there will be condensation on anything, just more able to see it on the metal.
    Ventilation- is this enough or do I need more?
    Temps inside- it gets pretty hot during the summer and pretty cold during the winter. I do not plan on insulating the coop. As all the breeds we have are cold hardy. The metal is silver so shouldn't absorb too much sun, so I don't think that there should be too much trouble with overheating.

    Anything you see off hand that looks off or needs to be changed or if I need to scratch the metal idea all together, I would prefer it be addressed before I get the entire thing built this weekend, if it ever stops raining.

    [​IMG]


    I forgot to add the pic the first and second time sorry. This is obviously photoshopped, but this was my idea.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you tried to post a pic- it isn't showing. I think you are correct in worrying about ventilation. Do you have electric out there- could you install fan?
     
  3. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a photo? It would help a lot in answering questions. It's always hard to get a good visual from description alone.
     
  4. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    A picture would definitely help, and I know you said you don't want to insulate, but I would suggest maybe 4x8' sheets of that pink foam insulation between the corn crib and the pole barn siding to help alleviate some of the condensation, as well as some exhaust fans in some of the holes. They do sell exhaust fans that have thermostats on them, but I don't know if you have electric out there? I have heard of solar-powered ones for greenhouses but those might be pricey.
    The fans will help with excessive summer heat, humidity, condensation, air flow and keeping the ammonia fumes to a minimum, which is critical for poultry. They have very sensitive respiratory systems. And moisture & condensation are bad for chickens also. You want to keep the humidity inside their coop as low as possible to avoid illnesses.
    Good luck on your new coop. Hope this can help you.
     
  5. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There will be electricity run out there sometime this spring [​IMG] But it's definitely within reach of an extension cord from the pole barn. We are obviously doing this as cheap as possible, with what we have preferably. I think we have some rolls of the batting insulation, but that would require putting something on the inside to keep them from eating it I'm sure. I had a dream last night that I put a little woodstove in their with a wire cage around it so it would keep it dry and toasty....ugh, maybe that was me dreaming of what I would like our house to be...sigh
     
  6. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone want to help out since I have pics up now??? Please and thank you
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    First, let me say "nice photoshop job"! [​IMG]

    So, are you going to put metal on all 4 sides, or just on the currently-open front?

    If metal will only go on the front, then on the one hand you will have ample ventilation and no condensation problems, b/c of all the inch-or-two gaps between wood slats on the other sides (in addition to your openings above the metal). HOWEVER you will end up with frozen chickens come wintertime because of the amount of freezy wind that goes thru the gaps everywhere. This might be a reasonably temporary solution for until October or so, but after than you are just going to have to put something more solid on most or all of the sides.

    If you ARE going to put metal siding on ALL sides, you will probably have adequate ventilation (as long as you keep up with sanitation), and you know what, there is SO much wood on the sides in the form of slats, that I kind of think you may not have too much problem with condensation either. Mind you I am guessing from experience with other situations, but, I think you have a reasonable shot at it. If you SHOULD get condensation problems, they would likely be solved by attaching thick plastic sheeting over the insides of the walls (creating dead air space in the gaps between boards). Dead air space is usually a poor insulator and I am not recommending it as a general solution for people BUT in this PARTICULAR circumstance the gaps are so small compared to the wood that I think it would almost certainly do the trick. You might or might not have condensation problems with the roof, it depends on how much ventilation you leave open in winter (which partly depends on which direction this thing is facing?)

    There are other options, but that is what strikes me as being likeliest to succeed and least likely to backfire on you.

    I suspect you will have to approach this with the attitude of keeping a close eye on it (and on the chickens) and adjusting things as necessary til you figure out what it requires; but I do think you can get it to work.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it just me, I see spaces between all the wooden slats.....I would think ventilation is not a problem, unless I miss understood and you are enclosing it all (looking at the photoshopped photo)

    You could attach the wire on the inside, so you don't see if from the outside.

    If you are enclosing it all with the metal siding, you could put it on the inside of the walls to keep the look? If you used wire for your ventilation and then siding to cut down on the wind and then wire again. Keeping roosts and egg boxes in the metal wind stopped area?

    But, these are just thoughts by a gal who has to drive to visit the snow from an area that a freeze warning is big news.....
     
  9. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hahaha, I'm not that great at photoshopping and couldn't figure out how to put metal on the sides while making them still look like sides, but yes, it will be fully enclosed. That's why I was wondering if those top vents will will sufficient. The floor is wood and by no means air tight, so it should draw air through the floor and out the vents. There will also be two doors so I can separate chickens if needed. They will be left open unless the weather is bad, but they will also have chicken sized doors in them in we shut them. I think the plan is to just try it the way it's planned, and if we start having problems, we can always insulate the walls or add more ventilation. I hate to have to buy materials when we have so much metal here to use.
     
  10. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seeing your photo gives me another worry... At first glance, that looks like quite a bit of ventilation- but a metal building will get very, very hot. Think metal shed... If that is sitting in a sunny location, you'll be able to " fry an egg in there". You might need to insulate for that reason...I love the idea of using the corn crib- and it looks great. You'll get if figured out. Good luck!
     

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