Ideal winter coop humidity

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
16
6
21
I’ve been researching and I’ve found conflicting information on what an ideal humidity level in a coop should be. I live in Michigan and winter temps vary but are usually below freezing.... I understand humidity contributes to frostbite etc.. I have purchased a hygrometer for my coop but I’m wondering what an ideal humidity would be. I appreciate any advice 😊
 

ChickenCanoe

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
Ideal is as low as possible in winter. That isn't a set number. Some places in Arizona or Nevada may regularly have 20% humidity. Some places it may be near 90% all the time. You aren't going to get the humidity in the desert over 50% no matter what you do. It is sometimes 90% for days here - year round. There isn't anything one can do to get that down.
So what is ideal is as low as possible. That requires extreme levels of ventilation. With an open air coop, humidity will be at ambient levels. Closing the coop off at all will raise the humidity above ambient.
The first time I put a hygrometer in a coop, I immediately went out with a circular saw and cut much bigger windows.
 

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
16
6
21
Ideal is as low as possible in winter. That isn't a set number. Some places in Arizona or Nevada may regularly have 20% humidity. Some places it may be near 90% all the time. You aren't going to get the humidity in the desert over 50% no matter what you do. It is sometimes 90% for days here - year round. There isn't anything one can do to get that down.
So what is ideal is as low as possible. That requires extreme levels of ventilation. With an open air coop, humidity will be at ambient levels. Closing the coop off at all will raise the humidity above ambient.
The first time I put a hygrometer in a coop, I immediately went out with a circular saw and cut much bigger windows.
Thank you for the information 😊
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,683
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St. Louis, MO
Thank you for the information 😊
IMHO, maintaining chickens in winter is about fresh air and keeping humidity as low as possible and not about warmth.
If one lives where winters are brutal, keep breeds that can handle cold. Avoid fragile breeds unless you want to keep them in environmentally controlled housing.
The most important thing to do for chickens' health is providing as much oxygen as possible. That's even more important than nutrition and water.
 

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
16
6
21
IMHO, maintaining chickens in winter is about fresh air and keeping humidity as low as possible and not about warmth.
If one lives where winters are brutal, keep breeds that can handle cold. Avoid fragile breeds unless you want to keep them in environmentally controlled housing.
The most important thing to do for chickens' health is providing as much oxygen as possible. That's even more important than nutrition and water.
That’s a great way to think about it! Your sage advice is much appreciated.
 

Pencilled Palm

Songster
Oct 23, 2020
534
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176
North central, WA
If you have proper ventilation, the humidity in the coop shouldn't be much more than the outside humidity.
What if the humidity (inside and outside) is very high AND it is below freezing? (We get a lot of fog here which is then "freezing fog" obviously, when it is below freezing. We can go from 0 to an inch or 2 of rime frost in a day or less.)
 

mowin

Songster
Jun 17, 2018
1,051
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Upstate NY
What if the humidity (inside and outside) is very high AND it is below freezing? (We get a lot of fog here which is then "freezing fog" obviously, when it is below freezing. We can go from 0 to an inch or 2 of rime frost in a day or less.)

Others in your area that have chickens would be the ones to answer that. I've never seen or heard of freezing fog.
 

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