in the chicken world... define "drafts"?

technodoll

Songster
10 Years
Aug 25, 2009
2,265
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Quebec, Canada
(I posted this in another thread but it got lost and buried, LOL)

*****

OK stupid question: what do "drafts" mean in the chicken world??

I have a few small cracks in the wood of my insulated coop's south wall that cold wind could blow into and maybe push in through the contours of the really old windows (less likely though), is that considered a draft?

I don't see where there would be any cross-winds since I patched up the north and east walls, the west wall faces the other old coop and has the main door...

thank you
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ps: photo of the only uninsulated coop wall (west side). winters here go well below freezing, add the windchill and it's deadly. I need to keep my silkies safe! Oh and there is a big foam-insulated door that closes over the one you see there. I am thinking of putting a vent on that wall, near the ceiling as I have no ventilation set up?

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Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
33
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
wow that's a nice big coop. Well drafts are where you can actually feel a breeze and it's hitting the chicken. They can't have any actual air blowing on them in the cold winter so I would stand inside that nice big coop and close all the doors and on a windy day see if you can feel any drafts. If you can just cover it up somehow. This is my opinion on drafts.
 

technodoll

Songster
10 Years
Aug 25, 2009
2,265
29
191
Quebec, Canada
OK that's a good idea... will wait for a windy day and do the draft test. Next week is scheduled to fall below freezing and maybe get SNOW! *cries*

My coop is mostly insulated, but not the floors and the ceiling is old pink stuff that has more mouse poop in it than anything else - soooo gross. Need to do something about that.

What do you do about the chickens that WANT to go outside on cold windy days? Do you let them or is it dangerous for their health? i have 3 silkies in the bunch of 14 feathered chickens... if they want to follow the flock will this endanger their health? I don't want them to die of cold!

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patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
349
341
Ontario, Canada
There are sort of two different kinds of "drafts" at issue in a coop.

What people usually mean is "a cold breeze blowin' at the chickens". Reason it's bad is obvious
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But there is also "air leaks". These are bad in a Northern climate because everywhere you have one, you will get a frost farm developing in cold weather. The more of 'em you have, the more frosty spots will be forming in your coop. And the problem is, water that is sitting there as frost is NOT being removed from your coop. If the coop stayed at an absolutely constant temperature this might be tolerable (although I dunno, since frost does slowly sublime and rehumidify the air) but the thing is, whenever the coop temperature rises somewhat -- e.g. "every day during the daytime", also in spells of warmer weather -- some of the frost will melt and rehumidify your coop air.

Thus, frost is preventing your ventilation from being really effective, by trapping moisture in the coop.

Does that help any?

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

possumqueen

Songster
10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
601
6
121
Monroe, North Carolina
Another way to check for drafts would be to light a match, blow it out, and watch how the smoke behaves (or take a stick of incense, which will smoke at a steady rate). Does it drift straight up? You're draft free. Does it go off in a particular direction horizontally or at an angle? You have a little draft there.

The smoke will behave differently in different parts of the room, which will tell you where the drafts are. You might have a drafty room with a nice, draft free corner where you could put your roost.

It's important to check floor level, too. That's where the girls spend most of their day. Just don't set light to the shavings!
 

technodoll

Songster
10 Years
Aug 25, 2009
2,265
29
191
Quebec, Canada
I will do some coop checks when the wind blows... am planning on adding some insulation this weekend and also a thick plastic "curtain" over the trap that leads to the run, so the flock and go in and out as they please without letting too many drafts into the coop.

thanks everyone!
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possumqueen

Songster
10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
601
6
121
Monroe, North Carolina
With the smoke method (wish I could take credit for it, but someone else thought it up, not me) you don't have to wait for the wind to be blowing. Just any old light breeze or air movement will do.

Good luck. I saw your other thread with the pics of your coop. It's probably in this section somewhere.
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