Moisture problems in the coop....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Loco Ken, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Loco Ken

    Loco Ken Out Of The Brooder

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    So I've got my coop and run pretty much completed but I'm having an issue with moisture in the coop. I don't have any places for ventilation as of yet but wanted to know if ya'll thought that was what is causing my problem. I will get some pics posted tomorrow for you so you can get an idea of what the moisture problem looks like. I will also post pictures of the completed coop when I get a chance but will have to wait as I have just a few more things to do to it before it's worthy to go into the "Coop Design" section. I also want your opinions on things that you see that I missed or got wrong that I can modify to make it better. The girls sure love their new home and are just getting used to the new space. I'm finding it hard to keep them out of the nest boxes and pooping in there. I'm thinking I'll have to block it off until they get closer to the laying stage. Pics up in the morning!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    It's most likely that lack of ventilation is causing the problem. If they are cooped up, every bit of water that they drink eventually comes out one end or the other. You need to ventilate to let that moisture out.
     
  3. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    I'd say it is. It'll cause condensation inside your coop. That's an unhealthy environment for your birds and can cause respiratory illness. Put some pics up anyhow. People here will be happy to critique it for you [​IMG]
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  5. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:X2....I'd get some ventilation going ASAP.

    Ed
     
  6. mudmucker

    mudmucker New Egg

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    I'm really new. So new, I don't have a coop or any chickens yet. I keep reading about ventilation so I understand the importance of that. But how much ventilation or how should it be added? I can't find too many specifics, although the link below was helpful; at least now there is a number to calculate to. I am mostly concerned about winter ventilation. I live in MA where even now in late Nov/early Dec temps are down to the 20s. There are many days in the single digits and below 0. But can someone help translate this ventilation thing into standard construction practices? Meaning, what might be appropriate for winter ventilation without drafts? I intend to build a 4x8 coop with maybe 2 windows that will open for summer. Can I build in soffets and a ridgevent like in a house attic and will that be appropriate? Should I add gable vents? Should I do both?
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:To my mind it's easier to build one with a slant roof, the highest point at one side, and cover the soffit area at the top with hardware cloth, and have some roof overhang. Warm humid ammoniated air will do harm a whole lot faster than cold will. Read Patandchickens' posts. She's in Canada and can talk intelligently about how cold is too cold; not my problem!
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:The thing is, there are too many variables to tell you "you will need exactly precisely X amount of ventilation", and in any case it will change from day to day and season to season etc.

    My very strong recommendations are 1) build PLENTY of (well designed) ventilation, then if during cold or sideways-rainy weather you cah/should to close some of it off, do so; and 2) manage your ventilation according to actual coop conditions, not some theory or number. If it's stinky or condensate-y or you are starting to get mildew or frostbite problems, then you need to open up more ventilation; if not, then if you have compelling reason to try squinching down the ventilation and see if you can get away with less, you can try it, and see what happens.

    can someone help translate this ventilation thing into standard construction practices? Meaning, what might be appropriate for winter ventilation without drafts? I intend to build a 4x8 coop with maybe 2 windows that will open for summer. Can I build in soffets and a ridgevent like in a house attic and will that be appropriate? Should I add gable vents? Should I do both?

    I need to go back and review my coop ventilation page, I thought this was in there...

    There are lotsa ways to skin a cat. However one really pretty good method is as follows: have ample-sized vents along the tops of your walls, at least the usually-downwind-in-winter walls, plus some LARGE areas that can be opened up for summertime (BIG windows, and/or walls that are mostly just mesh but you can bolt a panel on for the wintertime if you live somewhere that gets real winter).

    For the vents you will rely on for the wintertime, if you do not have a high stocking density then usually the spaces between rafters will provide basically-adequate ventilation in the cold months; cover them with screen or cover the soffits with screen. I do not recommend small soffit vents as they tend to be too small; ditto with the perforated soffit panels used for houses. You can close them up, as needed, with rags or blocks or flaps or whatever. Another good option for wintertime-type vents (instead or in addition to the between-rafters type) is to have n opening, or series of them, running all the way across one or several walls, with arrangements allowing them to be adjustably closed. 6-12" high by whatever is the length of your wall is a good size. (Obviously there will be interruptions for studs). And/or, gable vents are good too, made as large as possible, especially useful if your major usually-downwind wall is a gable end of the building.

    Personally I feel you usually will do better to make your own vent -- that is, cut a big hole and secure hardwarecloth over it and make something to adjustably close it like a flap or etc -- than to buy premade thingies from Home Depot. The usual premade thingies (attic gable vents, heat register grilles, etc) are generally smaller than you would like your vents to be, AND many of them have really quite a lot less ACTUAL airflow area than would appear at first glance.

    Some people have ridge or through-the-roof attic-type vents and like them. Personally I am not keen on them for coops in cold winter areas because it becomes hard to locate the roost somewhere that won't recieve a downdraft of cold air and snow can infiltrate. And you don't really get very much airflow out of them. But, it's a personal decision.

    For summertime, the bigger the better IMHO, as long as the chickens still have somewhere to shelter from really bad storms. If your coop will be mostly mesh in the summertime, it is not a huge issue if the bedding gets rained in on because it will dry out okay afterwards; if your coop is more enclosed like the typical "i converted a shed" arrangement, then if your location is prone to sideways rain you may need to take some precautions to have the large ventilation areas sheltered somewhat by roof overhangs or baffles or shadecloth or whatever works for you. But in general the more ventilation the better, in hot weather.

    Really I'd say the more ventilation you've built into your structure, the better IN GENERAL. It's not like you have to have it all hangin' open all the time.... those who live in areas that recieve actual winter will obviously want (*need*) to close some of it down for the colder part of the year, while leaving enough open to do the job. But it is better to have lotsa ventilation capacity to play with... then you can adapt to whatever circumstances.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  9. Loco Ken

    Loco Ken Out Of The Brooder

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    O.K. Here's a couple of pics. I am in the process of getting the ventilation in right now and using some smaller wire mess than that of which I used for the run. I'm in need of some more exterior latex paint as well to finish painting the rest of the wood that I didn't at least one coat. Thanks for the replies and I appreciate your help and concern. More pics to follow!

    Inside on the roof
    [​IMG]
    Interior of the right door
    [​IMG]
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's what I concluded, too, although instead of using the soffits for ventilation, I just had vents built at the very top of the north and south walls, running the width of the coop, and built hinged flaps to cover them. I considered that it would be easier to cover this kind of vent than the soffit kind.
     

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