I need help with ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tiana Rose, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Tiana Rose

    Tiana Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2016
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    So I am building a chicken coop. I am using the palace chicken coop design such as the one below (plans and pictures come from http://steamykitchen.com/20640-the-palace-chicken-coop.html). However, I have some questions about the ventilation. It never shows where the roost in this coop would be but I would assume it would be at the high point (the coop is 7 feet on the one side and 6 feet on the back). However, if I was to do that they would have a window right in front of their roost. They would probably enjoy that in the summer, but I am a little worried about how tight the window closes and it letting drafts in in the winter. It has the small holes on the very top that would always be open. Just want to make sure that would be fine in the winter as, once again, it would be right above the roost. It has matching vents on the other side and if the wind blows from that direction won't it blow right on the chickens? In the winter the windows on the three sides would be closed. Would the small vents at the top be enough? And would't it be awfully dark? I live in eastern Washington if that helps. I thought about a real window but the problem with that is half of it is taken up by the glass and gives no ventilation. Seems a little counter productive but at least it would let light in. Any thoughts, ideas, pictures of what worked for you? The coop is 4x6 so it looks like the windows are around 1.5 x 3, or around there. Just want to make sure the ventilation is right before I start cutting the walls.

    Also I was am not sure about having the door on that side. In the winter when I opened it to clean it then the roost would be right there. Seems like it might be better on the end, or maybe a door in the side that leads to the run? Or a door on both, where the roost is (like in the picture) and into the run? Also I was thinking of putting the nesting box on the opposite side from the coop, not on the end. Opinions on this? I really would like some impute from those of you who have had chickens a while and know what works. Better to build it right the first time than have to re-do it later.


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  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Vents for that style coop should be primarily on the short wall and the tall wall, as high up as possible. If you've got enough of an overhang on the roof, you can leave the top of the walls open and cover with hardware cloth to keep out predators. That would let in plenty of light, provide lots of draft-free ventilation, and you won't have to worry about roost placement.
    Windows make for ineffective ventilation, especially if they have to be closed due to weather.
     
  3. Tiana Rose

    Tiana Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2016
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    Thank you for replying. So you would just have the top where he has small holes cut in the wood just be all open (covered with harware cloth)? So no wood at all there, correct? I just want to make sure I am understanding. And it should be fine on the other side as well? So the opening on the other wall would be right across from the roost (since it is a foot shorter) but six feet away across the coop so it should be fine?

    Edit: The roof overhangs 1 foot over the whole thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, no wood up top, just open with hardware cloth. The low side poses no problems with drafts. The air moves along the ceiling, getting pulled into the coop at the low end and exhausting out the high end.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
  6. Tiana Rose

    Tiana Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, I have poured over those pictures and never noticed that roost bar. It seems a bit low though. The house itself is 4 x 6 and we put it 2 feet off the ground instead of 2.5 feet. Only half a foot difference from his design but it may help with having a higher roost. I live in the city so can only have 5-6 chickens so figured this was the right size. So much information. More room is better but to much is bad because it will be to much for their body heat to warm in the winter. I seem to be going back and forth on everything. The run is 6 x 12 so hopefully that is good. I have a big yard they will get to wander around in a few times a week. And I agree, it does seem to close to the wall. It should be 12- 18 inches, correct? Hopefully the house will work as that part is already framed and not much I can do to make it bigger. [​IMG]


    Edit: Oh, and thank you for the link to the Wichita Coop. That does look like it. Very interesting. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Actually, the whole too big for them to keep warm thing is a myth. Their feathers hold their body heat in, very little escapes to warm the surrounding area. There is no such thing as too big.
     
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  8. Tiana Rose

    Tiana Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, but 4-5 square feet per bird is still right, correct? If I got 5 that would be 5 square feet and if I got 6 that would be 4 square feet. Since I live in the city I really have to stick with this. Unless I found a new home for my goats but I do not see that happening. [​IMG] I have three baby chicks right now but was planning to get 2 more tomorrow. They did not have the breeds I wanted five days ago when I got the first three. Those are buff orpington, Black Australorp, and a mystery chick. She is very cute but does not look like any of the breeds they ordered so we are very curious to see what she becomes. If my coop is to small I guess I could stick with the three... [​IMG]
     
  9. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think 5would be fine.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It depends. If you can cover a couple sides of the run during the winter to block wind and rain, they will probably be fine with that space. Keep in mind that some birds just need more space than the averages.
     

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