Is not closing little coop door causing drafts??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by yomama, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    I know that vents along the top of the coop are good, and ones on the bottom can be bad, causing drafts. I have a door that is along the back of my 8 x 4 coop, that allows my chickens to go in and out of the coop 24/7, into a fully secured run. This open door is underneath one end section of the roosting board. There is a wide poop board that is underneath the roost board, that covers much of any cold air that could come up. I'm wondering, is this still too much of a possible draft? I really like the idea of having that door open all the time, in case I can't get to my chickens first thing in the morning. That way, they aren't locked up in their coop. I included pics to show what kind of ventilation I have and where the door is located.

    Open door under poop board:

    [​IMG]
    Left side top ventilation:

    [​IMG]
    Right side top ventilation:

    [​IMG]
    Although hard to see, I have ventilation that runs the lenth of the coop, about 4'' x 8'

    [​IMG]

    The outside view of coop door. Has a roof on it, so rain doesn't pour right in.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    From a draft perspective I would not expect your open popdoor to cause problems except in quite cold, or semi-cold-but-quite-windy, weather.

    If it *were*, you would probably have a hint of it by finding chickens roosting at the far end of the roost (even if you are not there at night, you can figure it out in the morning cuz that's where all the poop is).

    If you don't notice that happening then it is pretty sure not to be a problem.

    There is the predator issue also, though... I would hope you are doing this under the knowledge that it really is not the most secure run and is definitely not as safe with the popdoor open overnight as it would be with the popdoor closed. (Rather than imagining that nothing can possibly get in). This is totally not a criticism -- I think it is perfectly valid for a person to figure things are secure enough and the tradeoff is acceptable -- it is just meant as a heads-up in case you *were* thinking nothing could get in [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks for the advice! Our run is fenced on all sides, including the bottom, so I feel pretty comfortable with it. Have had it like this for over a year. We are almost completely surrounded by forest and have everything from raccoons, to coyotes to skunks, and have yet to have any problems, knock on wood. I really appreciate the advice, though. At night, I see them roosting, and many of them roost on that very end, right above the door, so it must not be too drafty for them, not to mention there is alot of poop over in that area, proving that they are in fact roosting there. I will watch it to make sure that doesn't change as the weather gets cooler.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    A year is not long... EVERYBODY "has no problems with predators" right up to the moment that, oops, they do.

    And if that is 2x3 or 2x4 wire fencing, as it appears to be, be aware that baby raccoons and baby possums and some smaller-caliber skunks can perfectly well get through there; also weasels, which practically everyone is SURE they don't have around up until they come out one morning to find a bunch of weasel-killed birds.

    And of course once predators do hit successfully, it becomes a lot harder to keep them out in the future. On average it takes less-serious fencing to keep predators from *ever* tasting your chickens than it does to keep out repeat offenders, you know?

    Just so's you're aware of that,

    Pat
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would also be much less worried about drafts from that popdoor than predators getting in through it.
     
  6. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a similiar set up, with the pop door opening into a secure area that is enclosed on all sides with hardware cloth. I leave the pop door open during the nice weather months, but close it during the winter when it's very cold. The secure area is also completely covered to keep the rain out.
     
  7. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Would you suggest covering the whole run, or at least halfway up the sides in hardware cloth? I know that chicken wire is not strong enough, but what if I lined the inside of the run with chicken wire, against the fencing I have now? Or would a predator probably just tear through that too? I really like the idea of not having to lock them in the coop. However, it might be cheaper to go that route. I know we have mink, same size as weasels. [​IMG] I really thought that size of fencing I had was good. I appreciate the imput, so far. At least I don't have to worry too much about the draft from my door lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, anything is better than nothing. Hardware cloth over the entire total thing makes it pretty safe -- but is also rather ugly and certainly quite pricey. Chickenwire, especially if you could get a source for the 1/2" chickenwire that is harder to find (normal stuff is 1" or 2" holes), would be cheaper and less ugly, although also less secure. Because it would at least discourage predators from freely exploring, personally i think it'd be worthwhile, but you know, it is a personal choice. (And I would not criticize you if you DID decide to just stick with your larger mesh fencing and if something happens then oh well... everyone's situation is different).

    An alternative way to go, especially if you happen by some chance to have electric fencing on the property elsewhere, would be to run a couple hotwires around the outside of the run. Again, this is certainly not going to provide total safety but can improve things over whatcha got now, and if you happen to already have a charger, it might be quite inexpensive.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    How far up would you recommend putting additional fencing, if I were to go that route instead of the hot wire? I know some of those lovely creatures can climb well.
     
  10. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    I agree with P&C's. No issue with draft but great ventilation.

    I would cover the bottom 3-4' with hardware cloth and wrap that little tunnel they have to go through with the hardware cloth as well.

    A preditor could sit there and grab your chickens going through to the coop or out to the run when the suns coming up.

    Go hang out in the Preditor & Pest section and read about all the folks who claim they never saw or had problems with preditors until it happened to them. It's not if, it's a matter of when.
     

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