How much more ventilation do I need?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KrystalRose, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So this will be my first winter with the chickens, I built a large coop and have 21 chickens. I know I need more ventilation but not sure where to put it. I always leave the windows all the way open. Should all the ventilation be above the roost height? And how much more ventilation should I put in? I was thinking maybe a couple vents on the back wall for even more cross ventilation? My main coop area is 8'x12'. Oh and I have changed my roosting bars to being 2x4s that are wide side up all at the same elevation at 2' off the ground. I know I have overdone the heat lamps and I dont intend to use them unless we get some weird freak cold snap, I know the dangers of heat lamps and I do want my birds to be adjusted to the cold in case of power outage. I basically built the coop before knowing much about chickens, o well. Here is a picture pre-roosting bar change...
     
  2. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry it wont let me add a picture
     
  3. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well since it wont let me add pictures for some reason, like I said my coop is 8x12 and only has two 2x2 windows on opposite walls. Should all my ventilation be above the roosting bars that are at 2' off the ground? Or do I need lower ones for cross breezes?
     
  4. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my ventilation up high, pretty close to the ceiling. We added a ridge vent as well. You don't want cold winds blowing on your girls.
     
  5. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Finally it let me add a picture!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    During the winter, I would close those windows and add venting in the eaves or ceiling of your coop. 1 square foot per bird of vent space will remove all the moisture from all the pooping and the breathing. However, I would not let them roost so high on cold nights. Heat and moisture will rise and your birds will be up there with this moist air. They might be more susceptible to frost bite up there. It will be warmer closer to the floor. So for those cold months, you might lower this ladder so they are not up so high. Maybe as high as the bottom of the windows.
     
  7. Lizzydrippin

    Lizzydrippin Just Hatched

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    Hi, I too am new to keeping chickens and this will be my first winter with my girls. I live in the far south west of the UK and so don't get extremely cold winters, with the occasional frost and it hardly ever snows. I am concerned that my coop (which was made for me by a friend with some chicken knowledge) doesn't have enough ventilation. I have noticed the last few mornings that there has been some build up condensation towards the top of the coop. I only have 6 chickens and so the coop is not very big, it has a roosting perch and 4 nesting boxes. I have drilled 9, 1cm ventilation holes at either end of the coop near the top to let some air flow through but I'm a bit concerned that that may not be enough. There are no windows in the coop - can anyone advise me, should I put a small wire-covered window in for the girls?
    Thanks, Liz.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    You will need to drill lots more than 9 1cm holes. At this same section, drill 9 more down and enough to fill a block of 9 across and 9 deep. Make about 6 more of these, 3 panels on either side of the coop. Check out this article on ventilation. This should give you some ideas...https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop

    When ever moisture is building up, you have ventilation issues. Make sure your birds are roosting close to the floor with plenty of space between the bar and the vent holes. The more space between the birds and the vents will help to prevent frost bite on the combs.

    Oh and Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  9. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought I would mention again, I have changed the roosting bars since the picture was taken to being 2x4s with the wide side facing up and all at the same height at 2 feet off the floor, sort of looks like a platform for a mattress. I have another question, I have 21 chickens right now, and plan to get more in the spring, since my coop can comfortably hold 44. So at 1 sq foot of ventilation per chicken that is a ton of ventilation so my question is why close the windows, is it because they are lower than the ventilation I should put in? The way the roosts are now the windows are about 2 feet above the roosts. Also where I live in WA, it can get quite cold in the winter could the recommended 1 sq ft per bird be too much for the really cold days, should some or all the ventilation have the ability to be shut?
     
  10. Lizzydrippin

    Lizzydrippin Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the swift reply TwoCrows. I have done as you suggested and this morning there was no moisture build up in the coop at all. Can I just check - how high off the ground should the ideal roost be? I have been trying to train my girls to sleep on the roost and not in the nesting boxes but they are being a bit stubborn! I'm wandering if the roost is too low/too high.
    [​IMG]
     

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