I'm pretty sure there isn't enough ventilation.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by andythescot, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. andythescot

    andythescot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    When we built our coop in the spring, we built it with very little ventilation. It has two windows, which are about 1.5'x1.5' and they stay open all day, so I would think during the day there is enough ventilation, but at night, there is practically none, which has led to two of my girls getting frostbite. How can I add ventilation? I'm not going to spend too much, because I'm planning on rebuilding the coop in the springtime... its not a very functional hen house.

    But is there an easy way to add enough ventilation to prevent the others from getting frostbitten?

    Thanks :)
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Same problem here - I was pretty sure I had enough ventilation but I have leghorns so they need more than most and already have a bit of frostbite. My problem is the outdoor humidity is still pretty high (80+%) so I am not sure if there's any way to not have frost! My other coop has vents everywhere and it still gets a bit of frost, but those birds have no combs so they are fine.

    We are planning to cut a hole in the roof and add a vent there. Can't see any other option!
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Can you drill some 1/4 inch holes somewhere?
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Quote:Dunno about OP, but my coop has smaller areas near the top where air can get up, but I put the roost up very high so they are roosting with their heads near the 'peak' of the roof. Only way in my case that I can see to add another upper vent is by cutting a larger hole and adding a metal type vent that has protection against leaks. My hubby keeps saying 'oh just put in a heat lamp' but that's not even practical in this coop. [​IMG]

    OP, maybe you can just use a jigsaw and cut a vent out somewhere? That's what I did for my other coop. Just added a vent that cost a few dollars from home depot.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    1/4" holes are not going to do anything. Even 4" holes won't do much, almost certainly not enough, not even with a whole lot of them.

    It is really simple to add ventilation. Pick a spot, preferably high on the usually-downwind wall and furthest from the roost, and cut a big hole in the siding. Try not to sever any of your wall studs [​IMG] If you have never done this before, it is quite simple, the simplest way for non-DIY type people is to drill large holes in each of teh 4 corners of where you want the opening to be, then use a power jigsaw or a (manual) keyhole saw to "connect the dots" and actually remove that rectangle of siding.

    Then secure hardwarecloth over it, maybe make a hinged flap to close it down partly or wholly according to circumstances, and there ya go, it's a vent. Total cost, one scrap of hardwarecloth and maybe a pair of small hinges if you get all fancy [​IMG]

    I would recommend making vents LARGE and MULTIPLE. It is way better to have more ventilation available than you need to have open at the moment (you can always close some of it!) than to discover, as you have now, that you ain't got enough and have to get out the Sawzall in the middle of winter.

    Alternatively you could TRY leaving your windows partly open overnight, but whether this will do much good and whether it will cause problematic drafts depends entirely on the overall design of the coop and location of windows and roost. Really, it is easy enough to add properly-located vents that I'd suggest *that*.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:It will take a lot more than that. The air needs to go out and in at the same place.

    You didn't tell us much at all about your coop so it's hard to make suggestions. I'd do something major, maybe break the roof loose, prop it up and hang a tarp over it but not touching. If the windows don't make a draft on the roosts I'd open them cold or not. Maybe cut a BIG hole on the downwind side and, again, do something to keep the rain out.

    Maybe this will help, if you haven't seen it already: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION
  7. check-in

    check-in New Egg

    Nov 13, 2010
    Don't want to hijack the post or answer a question with a question but I'm still new at this. What does ventilation have to do with frostbite?

    Cut a hole in the siding and install soffit vents? they make several different sizes. 1.5", 2" diameter and larger, screen built in to stop insects. just drill with a hole saw and tap it into place. Fairly inexpensive and can be reused if you rebuild.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Thank you ddawn and Pat for the correction. I am so happy to have this info too just now since I was about to do that very thing to a coop!!! Now I know I will need more than the 1/4 inch!!!
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:If they stay in their moist environs (from respiration) without proper ventilation (letting the moisture out), it will freeze on them and give them frostbite.

    If you ever venture outside when it is around 33 degrees and foggy vs. 33 degrees and dry, you can see the difference.
    Or think about covering your tomato plants so the morning dew/frost doesn't land on them and freeze the plant.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  10. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    in my coop, they are actually roosting above the sides of the coop and up into the peak roof area a bit since the roost is pretty high. If I add a vent at the top of the walls, it will cause a draft. I'll have to ponder - I think my roof is my only option or I can move the roost down and then put the vent in. Decisions!

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