How much ventilation for a coop.

Ryan James

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
28
8
29
Anchorage, Ak
i just finished out coop and am filling in a few gaps between the aluminum roof and walls. I hear a lot about ventilation but am afraid of giving too much. The coop is 25 square feet for up to 9 hens. We live in Alaska so the heat is no problem at all but cold is. I have not insulated the walls yet and am not sure I will. I do not plan on heating the coop either unless I change my mind before winter. We do get temps down to -25. Please give me your opinion regarding my first coop
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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A general minimum of -25F is not bad.

You do not need heat or insulation at those temps. Insulation would be nice, but it is also nice as a rodent motel.

As to ventilation, if you can close it up, then there is no such thing as too much. Just adjust as needed.

Some like that gap between the roof and wall open as venting, but in my coop design it caused a whirling wind vortex of freezing air. :confused: So I closed most of mine up.

Working on your coop in freezing nasty weather is the pits....so I would suggest putting in lots of vents, way more than you think you want, just make it so you can close them up as needed.

Try to make sure that the area right over the perches (so where the chickens will be when perching at night) has close to zero air movement.

You will need WIDE perches. The perches need to be flat and wide, so chicken feet can be flat. The wide side of a 2x4 works well (so about 3.5 inches wide) for standard sized chickens.

Also, chickens hate snow....so if you can roof the run, and have two run walls clear but solid, they sure would be happy.
 

Ryan James

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
28
8
29
Anchorage, Ak
This is my design, so you are saying to put some 2x4 on top of the 2x2 roosts. We do get some very strong wind storms on my side of Anchorage so that was the reason for trying to make it tight. Thank you for the advice
 

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Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,361
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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Since you already have 2x2s in there, I would put a 1x4 on top. Costs less, and the 2x2 below will keep it from warping.

Is the last photo your set-up? Or what you are aiming for?

Either way. ..I would put lots of venting on the coop side that is inside the run. The roofed run will help protect the vent from wind.

Also...in super cold and windy temps...if you can close up the other sides, so there are openings on only one side of the coop, almost no air blows in. The air only blows into the coop, if it has a place to blow to. With a vent on only one side, the air doesn't gust in.

Anchorage does get heat in the summer though...so cross ventilation will probably be nice for 1 month every year. :)
 

Ryan James

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
28
8
29
Anchorage, Ak
Since you already have 2x2s in there, I would put a 1x4 on top. Costs less, and the 2x2 below will keep it from warping.

Is the last photo your set-up? Or what you are aiming for?

Either way. ..I would put lots of venting on the coop side that is inside the run. The roofed run will help protect the vent from wind.

Also...in super cold and windy temps...if you can close up the other sides, so there are openings on only one side of the coop, almost no air blows in. The air only blows into the coop, if it has a place to blow to. With a vent on only one side, the air doesn't gust in.

Anchorage does get heat in the summer though...so cross ventilation will probably be nice for 1 month every year. :)
That is my set up. I was done building for a week then chicken math got the best of us and I had to build a extension. It is done except for the nesting boxes which I am debating on putting inside or putting a external box where the hinged door is on the back side. After I built it I was worried about ventilation and or warmth in the winter
 
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Doc Schoepp

Chirping
Apr 18, 2017
65
29
51
Colorado Springs
To tag on to the original question, would putting angled vent covers work if the area gets highly variable winds? Depending on the way the storm fronts move in we can get winds from two different directions within a short amount of time. I was thinking of getting some of those angled vent covers like you see over dryer vent outlets.

Also, chickens hate snow
Your chickens need to talk to mine because mine seem to enjoy playing in it.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,361
66,384
1,392
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
To tag on to the original question, would putting angled vent covers work if the area gets highly variable winds?

I would worry that you would not get enough air exchange. I would rather put a large vent (the entire width of the coop, 1 or 2 feet tall) on the side under a covered run. You could hang a few fogged windows on the run sides to block any blasting wind, or at least slow it down.
 

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