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I am now officially paranoid about mold...dehumidifier?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by karmical, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey gang...have just been reading through a number of threads and between the cracked corn that I'm SURE my pullets have dropped in their bedding and my coop's ventilation not seeming sufficient since there's a layer of frost in the inside of the windows every morning, I'm now worried that my ladies will soon be dropping dead from too much humidity in the cold and growing mold!!

    Someone even mentioned that the mold can be invisible!

    I've been building up a nice deep litter for winter, but now I'm wondering if I should shovel it out and start over because of the cracked corn? It hasn't been a lot, but from what I've read it sounds like even a little can be lethal.

    My girls refuse to leave the coop when there's snow on the ground outside, so I really feel like I need to get it right inside the coop for them.

    Has anybody ever used a dehumidifier in a coop? I was researching the level of humidity that you need to stay below in order to prevent mold from growing (in your own house) and it's supposed to be kept below 60%. I have a thermometer in the coop and it has a humidity reading on it...the fluctuation I get is anywhere between 70% and 85%.

    Am I just being a worry-wart?
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    A small fan to get the air moving would likely clear up the issue.

    Quick drops in temperatures will cause frost on the glass also.

    Cracked corn in the bedding should just create a reason for your chickens to scratch around looking for it and keep the bedding turned over. That will actually help dry it out. Many of us throw scratch down periodically in deep litter to do just that.
     
  3. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, kstaven!!!

    I'll give the fan a try. Think I should aim it up at the vent in the roof to push the air out that way? Guess the moisture is a bigger worry than the coop getting colder?

    Glad to hear you've had experience with scratch in bedding that didn't create a mold problem [​IMG] Between the DE and how dry the bedding SEEMS to me, I had hoped I was wrong to worry.

    Thanks again for you comments [​IMG]

    PS - interestingly enough, this AM there wasn't NEARLY the amount of frost inside the windows as yesterday and the humidity gauge still read 85%...I'm wondering how accurate that thing even is....
     
  4. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I small computer fan is all you should need. They move a surprising amount of air. You want it to pull air out, not push it in.

    I'll bet there was a heavy shift in barometric pressure. if the bedding feels dry then it has to be a function of weather rather than anything else.
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Can you move your gauge outside temporarily, get a reading and compare it to the weather service readings for that day? That might let you know if the readings are way off or not.
     
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    My humidity is high too. That's because my barn is heated by a ventless propane
    heater and has 50 chickens breathing in it. I vent it for a few hours every night and
    am going to add another fan today.

    A dehumidifier won't work in the cold weather. It will use a ton of power, ice up,
    and simply not remove humidity.

    Mold is naturally occuring and 99% is harmless. Don't worry too much. Turn your bedding
    daily with a metal rake and keep the food in plastic bins instead of in the bags.
     
  7. Bubba

    Bubba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If and I doubt IF you have a problem with mold and your birds use a UV lamp. You can buy the fluorescent UV lights, it will kill everything microscopic floating in the air. Just make sure the light does not shine at or on the birds. They will just stare at it and burn their eyes out. A small box or computer fan to move air around you should be good.

    Remember this was an IF. I doubt you will have any mold problems with your girls.


    Bubba
     
  8. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everybody!

    Feeling a little more relaxed about that humidity %-age (and about the prospect of mold! [​IMG] )...I'm gonna test the accuracy of that gauge like you suggested Woodlandwoman...and also going to try the small fan like a few of you suggested.

    The girls FINALLY ventured out into the snow on Friday, so I'm also feeling a little better that they aren't stuck inside quite so much and are getting some fresh air!

    Thanks again...
    [​IMG] Tracy
     

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