Need Help Regarding Cross Ventilation in Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JCombs, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. JCombs

    JCombs Hatching

    Jan 29, 2013
    McKee, KY
    We plan to acquire our first chickens this fall. I have been working on a design for a chicken coop, and feel pretty good about everything except for ventilation. The coop will be roughly 10' x 6'. The nesting boxes will be along one of the 10' walls, and the roosts will be on the opposite side. I'm not yet sure how high the nesting boxes will be from the floor, but I know that the roosts need to be higher to prevent the chickens from roosting in the nesting boxes.

    I plan to install vents near the top of each 6' wall. I would like to put several windows along one of the 10' walls, with either more windows or vents on the opposite wall for cross ventilation. I'm thinking that maybe I should go with vents on the opposite wall, near the top of the wall, so the hot air can escape and draw cool air in through the windows.

    I understand that it is important to not position the roosts so they will be in the direct draft from vents/windows. Based on this, is it better to place the windows on the wall opposite the roost below the roost levels? Or since I plan to have vents up high, will the air current be moving low to high, meaning putting the windows at the same height as the roosts are ok? I'm guessing that having the windows on the same side as the roosts is a bad idea because of the amount of air that would blow on the chickens at night, is this correct?

    One last question. Is it better than the windows face south/southeast, so the chickens get early morning light (assuming I've not already let them out for the morning)? I'm thinking of using wooden shutters on the outside to cover the windows during the winter, to help reduce heat loss.

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
  3. Cosmo

    Cosmo In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2008
    Asheville NC
    I suggest lots of ventilation. They are more likely to get sick from lack of ventilation than get too cold from too much. I board up the vent next to the roost during the winter to prevent frostbite but have plenty of other ventilation open. Most breeds are very cold hardy and unless you live in Alaska I would not worry about too much ventilation.
  4. JCombs

    JCombs Hatching

    Jan 29, 2013
    McKee, KY
  5. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Yes. I would suggest that you place your windows on the south side. You can also place your roost in front of the windows. I would put as many holes or vents as you can and make a hinge door for each to fully close as needed. The southern windows will warm the coop in the winter and during the summer they will be in a shaddy run and then on the roost at dusk. You can add the wood shutters for the windows as you suggested but you may find the solar advantages will outweight having them closed off. Maybe just shutter the windows during storm events. It also provides alot of natural light and warming in winter. Of course if it is windy or stormy then your windows will be closed. Ideally vents high up under an eave will keep rain out. i leave my pop door always open to the run so this provides air circulation. I can also open the coop door during the warm months since it has a roof overhang to keep out rain. I will close windows when it is windy or rainy.

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