Help with ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GoldenPooper, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. GoldenPooper

    GoldenPooper Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2013
    Hello, I am new to the site. We are planning on redoing our coop this summer and I have a question about ventilation. We have had tons of problems trying to figure out the ventilation vs. draft problem. We live in a cold climate with a lot of wind. We originally had ventilation at the top of the coop but quickly found out that the wind blows a lot of snow into the coop, so we filled the holes. I guess my biggest question is how important is ventilation and is it harmful for the chickens to not have ventilation during the winter months (Can I cover the vents so snow cannot blow in). I wanted to get this figured out as much as possible since we are redoing and expanding our coop this summer. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you all.
     
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why not put hinged flaps on your vents? I have a few up high narrow vents always open but they are on the East side of the coop. 99% of our weather systems, rain, and high winds come from the West. The West side has vents with flaps that can be opened during the warm months and I close them when we have the occasional storm with 50mph winds. Even the smallest crack can pull snow drifts into the coop during a snow storm. So..... Plenty of vents with the ability to close them off is the ideal design.

    Here is a long vent with a hinged flap. I just took a circular saw and cut a hole, added screen over the hole and screwed on a flap. A wire to keep it closed or to hold it open during good weather. You can spend as much time with construction as you want to make it look pretty. My coop is more fast and functional. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Dry swirling snow or a blowing snow can be hard. If you have a prevalent direction, closing vents on the upwind side can really help but that may not eliminate the problem, especially with a dry swirling snow. Shutters or something like that could help.

    A roof vent may be your best solution. Maybe you can find something on Craigslist or maybe you have one of those recycling places for building materials. If you have much snow, I would not recommend a ridge vent. It could get blocked. Or maybe you could build some type of cupola.

    Ammonia is also a risk from the poop. Ammonia is lighter than air so you need something over their heads when they are on the roosts so it can get out. Warm air holds more moisture than cooler air and warm air rises. Another reason to have something open over their heads.

    How important is ventilation? That depends. Your risk with the cold is frostbite, not them freezing to death unless they are weak to start with or maybe you have really bitter cold, way below zero Fahrenheit. If you are where it is cold enough so the poop stays frozen, not much moisture or ammonia is going to come out of their poop until it thaws. A reduction in ventilation is not nearly as big a problem until the poop is thawed.

    Another thing that can reduce the risk is to keep the poop cleaned out of the coop. If it’s not in there it can’t give off moisture or ammonia.

    Many people have posted on here that they have solved frostbite problems by providing more ventilation. It can be really important.

    I sometimes get snow or rain inside my coop. Not often because my opening where this comes in is on the non-prevalent wind side. I have a walk-in on the ground and use wood shavings. They get wet but pretty quickly dry out since I have a lot of ventilation. Just stir the shavings up or throw some corn in there so the chickens will stir it for you. How well this works for you will depend in your climate and how wet it gets.

    Your best solution may be a roof vent or cupola so you always have some ventilation, along with closeable vents you can open up in better weather, especially hot weather. Heat is usually more of a threat than cold.
     
  4. GoldenPooper

    GoldenPooper Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you guys for your advice, it is very much appreciated. The weather here is very unpredictable as well as harsh during the winter months[​IMG]. I do like the idea about the cupola but will have to look into them more to see if they are a good match for our crappy weather [​IMG]. Thank you again, if you have any more ideas please let me know, the weather is not nice enough yet to start construction on the new coop so I have time to plan.

    Thanks again everyone..
     
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    My husband works for a roofing company so we used a roof vent like the one in the picture. It had a "ding" in it and couldn't be used on a customers roof. It does a great job and doesn't allow rain or snow to enter.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  7. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are great vents! Much better than the ridge vents that some high end builders use (they use ridge vents because it looks better). We don't use them on our coup but they work well in housing so they will be great on a coup!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

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