Is my coop too drafty? Ideas on how to fix it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicken curious, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    I'm a super-duper brand new chicken owner and long-time lurker/learner who's really enjoying her chicks! I need help/feedback on our coop and it's ventilation...

    We up-cycled a playhouse that my amazing father-in-law built years ago for my children. It's predator-proofed at this point and I want to move our chicks into it soon, but I'm worried that it'll be too drafty since it has (mesh covered) windows on 3 sides and wide mesh covered doors on the South side.

    South Side:
    (I plan on trying the DLM so that is a piece of plywood for holding in the pine shavings)
    [​IMG]

    We also up-cycled a piece of an extra pool cover that came with our house as a roof wrap and as a wind and rain curtain (I plan on weighing the bottom to reduce flapping in high winds):
    [​IMG]


    West Side:
    [​IMG]

    North Side:
    (This is where I'm about to build the run and cut the chicken door)
    [​IMG]

    East side:
    (This is where external nesting boxes will be installed well before these tiny chicks need them :) )
    [​IMG]

    I'm in Dallas, TX so it gets HOT in the summer...that's why I decided to make the big clean-out doors out of mesh. BUT the roosts will be at the height of all those cute round windows! Do I need to cover the windows on 3 sides and let the doors bring in air? Or cover 2 sides and always use the curtain at night to reduce and drafts??

    HELP!

    Thank you!!
    Whitney

    PS In case it matters, I have a mixed flock of Marans, BLR Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers.
     
  2. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your chicks are fully fledged then they should be ok with the house as it is. At least until winter, then you might like to cover some windows but especially during the summer they will be fine. If they're still tiny and have their baby down, I'd put them on the floor with a light for warmth until they finish getting their full grown feathers in.
     
  3. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    Thank you for the response, dreamcatcherarabians!

    If the chicks aren't fully feathered when I move them out, I plan to put their whole brooder in the coop with heat lamp, draft shield, food and water.

    But I am still worried that my coop might be too drafty for full grown chickens if they are roosting at the level of the windows and air could conceivably come at them from all sides (not that it's very windy here, but in a rain storm).
     
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    I would actually make more ventilation on the sides with the smaller holes. You can always cover them in the winter months with some plywood or thick plastic. Chickens need good ventilation to avoid respiratory issues and can put up with cold much better than heat. Your coop is very near a brick surface too so that surface is going to hold heat and release it slowly especially during the hottest months.
     
  5. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    Thanks, flgardengirl. More ventilation?? I hadn't considered the garage/house brick wall giving off heat, but that's something I'll keep in mind. The roof tarp is black, too, so I'll watch the temp. That yard gets a lot is shade when the trees have leaves (they're leafing out right now).

    The circular windows are about 11" diameter each, the mesh doors are ~4' wide and 3' tall, there will be a chicken door on the North side and the walls are ~6' long. That is about 20 square feet of ventilation without counting the area between the top of the walls and the roof. I'm not trying to argue, but I'm honestly confused. I thought, if anything, I maybe had too much air.

    Please advise.

    Thank you!
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being that you are in TX, You can get rid of that tarp and let that coop breath. Check out my coop below, The front is wide open year round. I don't think you have to worry about the chickens catching a draft where you are. And be especially careful with that heatlamp. More than a few coop (And chickens) have been burned to the ground in an attempt to "Keep them warm".
    Jack
     
  7. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    Thanks, Jack! I have the heat lamp secured in multiple ways to avoid problems like that!

    Also, the tarp is only for when we have heavy, blowing rains and I was going to use it to try to keep the litter from getting soaked. I plan to let the litter build up (~DLM) so I was thinking that it getting soaked would be bad.

    Thank you all for reassuring me that I don't have too much draft! :)
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I did the same thing on two of my coops. My husband and a friend built me a couple of open coops a few years ago. I had problems with the wind blowing in and getting the feed wet as the floor is the ground so I put tarps over the open side and it helps. I also had an owl get in and kill some of my birds so I also covered all of my pens with heavy duty netting. We recently change all of the siding to metal siding.

    [​IMG]
    This was shortly after the owl kill. I moved the birds out until I could secure it better. I put a game camera in first to see what was killing the birds and caught the owl on video.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    Wow, cmom, I'm glad you figured out what was killing them, but sorry it meant the trouble and expense of covering the entire run in netting! I love the open side coops...do you leave the tarps all year or just when it's a rainy season?

    Exited for typos
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  10. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    I ended up rarely using the tarp :)

    Since my posts on this thread I've grown a lot LOL and worry much less. ;)

    After the pictures posted a few posts back I built an aviary on the side fully enclosed in 1/4" hardware cloth. I did come out one morning to a ruckus and a large, but skinny bobcat jumping against the side so I know it kept them safe! (I'm in a neighborhood in North Dallas! A big bobcat was a surprise at 9am.)

    And since then I've actually reconfigured the modular coop/playhouse walls my FIL built again. I turned the 3 circle window walls on their side so they're 6' tall and built two large people-size doors on the front for great access. It does mean that it's no longer off the ground, but the deep litter works much better directly on the ground. One side is still open (the double people doors are 1/4" hardware cloth and 6'x6'), but it faces away from the house which means less wind gusts and a deeper roof overhang helps with the rain getting in.
     

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