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Henhouse temperatures

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Want Less, May 19, 2010.

  1. Want Less

    Want Less Songster

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    We have 3 RIR and 3 sex links that share a henhouse (they are almost 9 weeks old). We have screened gaps in the roof that allow for some ventilation. In the evenings we close the door. We live in Eastern NC and it can get quite warm and humid here in the summer... how is the best way to make sure that they are not getting too hot in there in the evenings? They are in a tractor which is pretty secure, should we consider leaving the henhouse door open on hot nights?

    What do you guys do to make sure your birds aren't getting too hot? We could install more vents (I've seen where some people install the vents used in the floors/ceilings of homes) but I would think that would compromise the warmth in the winter.

    Which is my next question... how cold is too cold in the winter? They seem to generate a lot of heat on their own (which is why I worry about overheating the henhouse in the summer).

    Any advice appreciated!

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    In your climate, just little vents aren't really going to do much to decrease heat -- big openings in the sides are best. (I lived in NC for 6 yrs, so I do have some clue [​IMG]) Have as much wall acreage of wall openings as you can stand, without letting in excessive storm rain.

    You can close some of it up for wintertime (flaps, or bolt-on panels)... but remember you still NEED a good amount of ventilation open in the wintertime too, chickens deal far better with plain ol' cold than with *humid* cold. See my "cold coop" page (link in .sig below) for more on the subject.

    I would *not* suggest leaving the door open at night; "pretty secure" to the human eye quite often ends up as "raccoon buffet", and tractors are inherently much less secureable than a fixed coop.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    You are right to be thinking about getting too hot in summer. Chickens can die from heat, while most breeds manage fine even in cold weather if they have dry, well ventilated shelter.

    Because of the sun, daytime temperatures are the first thing to consider. Do you have shade for your coop? If it's shaded during the day, less heat will build up in the closed coop space, too.

    Chickens who are too warm will pant and hold their wings out away from their bodies. One thing you could do is put a thermometer in the coop area and monitor how much warmer it gets in there compared to the outside. That would give you some idea of what you'll have to work with come the real hot weather.

    My closed coop runs about 10-15 degrees warmer than the outside. I don't house chickens there during the summer, though.

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