Ice crystals in the coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mmch618, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. mmch618

    mmch618 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a small chicken coop with three chickens in it in my backyard. Today, when i went to feed them this morning I looked inside the coop and noticed small ice crystals formed on the walls and ceiling of the coop. The temprature did drop to -11 last night, but they seemed just fine, maybe a little aggitated, but other then that fine. Does this mean that my coop is not draft free or is too cold? Will this hurt my chickens?
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, the frost is a sign that you don't have enough fresh air flow/ventilation in the coop. Chickens generate A LOT of moisture, and if you don't have proper ventilation to remove it, it will freeze in the coop, and on the birds, leading to possible frostbite. Check your ventilation, if possible, open the coop up more. -11 is nothing to them, they can handle it, a cold damp coop is trouble for them.
     
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  3. mmch618

    mmch618 Out Of The Brooder

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    ok thankyou! maybe i got a little carried away with making it "draft free". Im just confused on how to get good ventilation withought letting in a draft. Any tips on how to do this?
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A draft would be a crossbreeze that moves all the way through the coop at chicken level. Good for the summer, not so good for the cold winter months. What you want for cold weather ventilation, is as big an opening you can have, for fresh air exchange, that does not create cold wind blowing across the birds. My coop has the whole front wall opened, but the coop is deep and the back of the coop is sealed up, so I get the air exchange, but no drafts. Other coops will have the ventilation openings up over the birds heads, that way any crossbreezes created, will cause no drafts on the birds, and the humidity and other bad stuff like ammonia gases from the bird's waste will be safely removed.
    We are pretty far into winter. What have you done recently to change the coop's ventilation/ fresh air flow?

    Here's a informative link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
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  5. mmch618

    mmch618 Out Of The Brooder

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    Everything had been fine untill just a week ago I added some insulation to what I though was an opening near the roof that could cause a draft. I just went out there a minute ago and removed it. Maybe adding that is what caused the ventilation problem. Im hoping that now that I took out that extra padding that the frost will eventually go away
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Sounds like a pretty clear cause and effect.

    Read the article Jack linked about ventilation...it is excellent.
     
  7. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it one of those small "doll house" coops?
     
  8. mmch618

    mmch618 Out Of The Brooder

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    It is smaller, but honestly im not sure what a dollhouse coop is
     
  9. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A picture of your coop would be great. Show us the vents and the inside.
    Look at my coop. Click on the link under my avatar. I consider this a small coop but my 3 chickens get trapped in there by snow and then 32 square feet does not seem very big. When they free range and all they do is roost and lay in it, it's huge. It's big enough that I leave the end window open all winter and there is no draft on them while roosting. Every coop is different in size and shape. That's why a picture or three would help a lot.
     

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