How much is too much? (or not enough)


10 Years
Nov 2, 2009
North Texas
I am in Texas, and I have been working on converting a deer blind into a chicken coop. I have enlarged the windows (doubled their size), and hinged shutters onto the structure. I added roosts above the windows, and I have moved it into the spot I want, and am going to be doing some finishing touches with paint.

The structure is 4ft x 4ft, the roof is 6ft at the lowest, and 6.5ft at the highest. There are windows half way up the walls on three sides. They are 16in x 36in, and have shutters that allow them to be opened for summer, and closed for winter.

I asked my dad for help adding ventilation at the top, and my neighbor (who I got into keeping chickens) is talking about helping me make an automatic door. They both tell me I do not need to add any more ventilation...but I figure I need to ask the experts. Do I need to add more ventilation? How much?

Last year, temps were in the triple digits, and the year before, it was below freezing a few times.
I see you rehab bobcats. I used to work at a zoo during the summers. We had to care for the babies 24/7. I do remember one particular night having a cougar cub roam my bedroom for the night. He was about the size of a house cat at the time. Anyway . . .

We have built a couple of coops and the most important thing is flexiblitity. WIth some hot days, wide open and breezy is welcomed by the birds; now at 8 degrees we are covering up most of the windows and side ventilation. I noticed a few combs with frostbite yesterday. In general the girls squish together, 10 on a pole with a few lone individuals separate from everyone else. THese are mostly young roosters who would roost outside the coop if I let them.

THe number of birds in the coop also decides how much ventilation you need.

Allow for flexiblity.
I love rehabbing bobcats. They are SO smart, and so loving. I too have worked at a couple of zoos. I want to get back into it.

Right now, I have way more birds than I want to keep. I will probably keep eight, maybe ten birds.
How tight is the deer blind you have? What is the construction?

4X4 sounds more like my 4X4 toyota PU than a coop....

My coop is probably 12'x 10' which is not very well constructed
& is very old bc it came with an old farm homestead.
It has a pop door at the bottom for the girls to come & go,
and a vent window at the top, but since it could be going on 60 yrs old
it may not be needed for venting but more for light.
Sounds like the blind could work for 8-10 birds.

You will need to get a roosting bar & nestbox for your birds-
Put the roost perch above the the level of the nestbox
mine tend to use the same nest & will wait their turn.

I know this doesn't pertain to your question, but do you have a website
RE: your bobcat rehab? Would love to see more pics of the "cats"!
Love all things wild!!!!! kinda jealous of you!
I have a free standing nest box that I will continue using because of the small size of this coop. Right now, I have an "open air" coop because of the insane Texas heat, but last year winter was bitter cold, and this year is supposed to get really cold too. On top of that, my piece of corugated tin laying across the back end of the "coop" does nothing to keep them dry anymore. Basically, this is just a little spot for them to get out of the elements, and one that is tall enough for a human to comfortably stand up in to clean. The roosts come out so I can get them out of the way while I am cleaning, and I am considering using sand as a substrate. It does have one roost above the window, and I will be adding two more. One at window level, and one below, just to give them some choice.

The rest of their "coop" is 10ft by 10ft. They free range nearly daily.

And yes, I do keep a blog on the wildlife center. I will post a link, but since my car died, and my other is a 45 year old classic, I have not been able to get out there since before the first of the year, so there haven't been any recent updates. I do try to provide ample pictures as well. Enjoy :)
newbie here, but I live in texas, so take it for what it's worth :)

I'd say having at least 1 large window that can be opened to vent on all 4 walls would be fine for a deer blind, that way no matter which way the wind is (or isn't) blowing, you'll get some cross ventilation
In this photo, you can see the roost already installed above the window (I think it was an old rake handle that we cut down), and the 2x4 that is going to be the second roost. The whole thing has a plywood roof with corugated metal to help the water run off.

What you see is two of three windows. Is this enough ventilation?

This is just another view of the same. From the outside. The plan is to bolt the rest of the run up to the coop, and keep the door to the blind open most of the time, ensuring the run is shut at night....
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That coop looks great, Kari!!!

Thanks for the website info, I have it bookmarked &
will try to help with a donation when I can!!!!


Thanks on both counts! I know all of the bobcats, and hundreds of other animals we rehab every year will be greatful!!!

I guess I am going to let the coop be for now, and if I feel like the ventilation is not adequate this summer, I will cut some holes!

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