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How to Vent a Coop in the Winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by xtremevermonter, May 5, 2009.

  1. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    My 8x8 coop houses 11 chickens that will likely see -30º temps this winter. How much ventilation (what size holes, etc.) will I need so that I may retain heat yet keep the coop adequately ventilated?
     
  2. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    Ok. Heres what I did last year. 8x12 coop insulated with one small window. 1-2 heat lights depending on how cold. 8 hens.
    I was getting some frost build up inside. SO... I bought a couple 4 inch personal fans (hint get em NOW . Hard to get fans in the winter). I build a 8x8 by 4 inch deep wood box. Cut a hole in the back of the box just a tad bigger than the blades on the fan. Throw out the front blade guard. Use washers and screws to attach the back cage and fan to the back of the box, centered over the hole. Cut a 1.5 inch hole in the front of the box and in the wall of the coop. Run 1.5 inch PCV pipe out the box to out the house. Keep run as short as possible and with few bends as possible. Mount hit on the wall as heat and therefore moisture congragates higher up. Caulk around pipe in box and inside and out side wall. Leave window open a crack if your coop is pretty tight. If I had more hens in a smaller building like you I MIGHT go to 2 inch pipe. I never say steam coming out the pipe but I often had icesicles hanging on it . More importantly, no more frost build up. My glasses would still steam up some but not bad.

    Total cost was about 1 hour labor and about $10 in materials.

    Will send a photo to someone that can post it here.
     
  3. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    That sounds like a great exhaust fan. Do you think that you lost much heat from it?
     
  4. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    Hard to say. Had to loose SOME becasue the warmer the air the more moisture it will hold but my water in a pail never froze. Your going to have 1/3 more birds in 1/3 less space. I woudl think 1 250 watt heat lamp near the water (dont put it over it. That makes the water TOO warm and it adds more moisture to the air) should suffice. All you need to do is kep the water thawed and the eggs from freezing. After that the girls will be fine. Your keeping them out of a major draft, and maintaining a farily constant temp. My buddy kept his outside all winter this year and we had -30 several times. They ate snow and grain. THey lost their combs but cam though jsut fine and layed egg all winter . I am not advising that but you dont need much additional heat. Just keep water liquid and your fine.
     
  5. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Please, yes, post a photo, you can send it to me to post if you want! I had an awful frost problem in my coop last winter and no amount of holes drilled in the gable ends helped!

    PM me for my email addy if you need it. Right now I've got to take DH to the car shop to pick up his SUV.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We built our coop in the barn ( keeping chicken dust away from horse with solid wall/windows) and we were able to vent into a part of our loft alongside the hay openings under the eaves. The important thing is to make your vents adjustable, so you can fully or partly close them when the worst of winter strikes. We had chill factors of -41C over a ten-day period this past winter and the coop never went below -6C. We had an electric dog bowl for water and kept the vents closed. Also, put lots of extra bedding in with your hens during times like this, to reduce the volume of air that needs to be heated by their body energy...and you will be feeding at least triple what you feed in hot weather. It was my first year with chickens, and I discovered they don;t mind the cold, so long as the air is baffled, and the water is lquid and the food in good supply. Now if you have an unthifty bird, it is equally as important to have to means to bring it into a warm space.

    You may find some thoughts and photos in thie page useful! [​IMG]

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-Coop_Insulation
     
  7. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Hey antlers, I got your photos and I am trying to upload them to my photobucket to then shift them here, but I have dial-up and for some reason neither DH nor I can get anything uploaded to photobucket tonight!

    At the very least I'll gfet them up tomorrow afternoon, have to drive my neighbors to town tomorrow morning.
     
  8. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    not a problem. Kind of busy with work today anyway. Hope they help someone.
     
  9. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    antlers' fan photos

    If I understand the new photobucket correctly, you can click on the thumbs for a larger photo.

    sd

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    antlers i love the set up. what do you have for power in your coop? does that fan draw much?
     

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