Need some advice on my coop design for winter...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Katcynth, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Katcynth

    Katcynth Out Of The Brooder

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    I know they say ventilation is very important... right now the chicks are still in the garage and there they will stay until this is finished... It's taken us a while but it's getting there :) My husband has done really well... just need to get a few more things done and they will finally be able to move in.. they love it already so I'm sure they will love it when it's finished...

    [​IMG] I'm going to use these pallets as fencing.... put hardwire in openings...

    [​IMG] Pre-made fencing...


    I have 3 huge open windows for summer, two triangles on the side and the front 2x2ft in the front covered with hardwire... for winter I'm going to seal it with bubble wrap and some lattice so light still gets in but sealed with no drafts...

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    Now here is the question:
    I left these little slats open where the roof meets the wall for extra ventilation..should I put something over them to not block but maybe lessen cold air or do you think it will allow ventilation without causing drafts? If it's solid below that roofline, it shouldn't have any drafts below... correct?




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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I see you covered the opening under the eaves with hardware cloth. Good. That allows ventilation but protects from predators.

    If the openings are over their heads when they are roosting, there will not be any drafts hitting them. You don’t need to stop all drafts; you need to stop drafts from hitting them when they are roosting. If those Vee’s or the opening in front is above them when they are roosting, you don’t need to cover those.

    I don’t know where you’re located or how cold it might get this winter. I’ve seen chickens sleep in trees in zero degree Fahrenheit weather. Those trees were in a protected valley, had very thick limbs, and the chickens could move around the trunk to get out of any direct breezes, but they were fine in that weather sleeping in trees. They did not get frostbite. They did not freeze to death.

    They just hunker down and ruffle their feathers to trap the air in the feathers. That air heats up and insulated them very well. If they are in a breeze strong enough to ruffle those feathers and let the trapped air out, they may have a problem. They hide their heads under their wings to keep the comb and wattles protected. Chickens really can handle cold weather very well with just a minimum of help.
     
  3. Katcynth

    Katcynth Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm in Kentucky.. near Louisville.. I have New Hampshire Red's so I know they are pretty cold hardy... I think we get to the teens at the most and average no lower than 25 degrees typically... I'm from Ohio so it never really seems cold here to me.. lol but I'm a nervous new momma... lol... I'm hoping to get the two walls up this weekend and their nesting boxes and then get a thermometer to take some readings and see how cold it gets... That's what I wasn't sure of, if that's too much ventilation or if they would be ok with them open. Yes, it's all hardwired (Thanks Chicken Chick for all the info on that!).. my hubby wanted to close them up and we had a "discussion" about leaving them open because I knew I needed a lot of ventilation and thought those were perfect... I figure the roosts will be at least a foot below the side triangles and large front opening.. I'm going to have multiple roosts at different heights... will they choose the lower ones when it's cold or should I take away any higher ones in the winter? Thanks for your info!
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would make the ends hinge up so if you did get a nasty storm/driving rain and such you at least have the option to go out and close it down so the inside of the coop doesn't get wet and create a moisture issue.
     
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    Even easier in the colder months I am finding hold over compost bin flex and done~!

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.


    Easy peasy!.


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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Agrees with leaving the vents open but maybe making hinged covers so you can close during a storm or in case you discover that one of them is creating too much of a draft on roost due to prevailing winds.

    Nice setup...you might not need the hardware cloth on the run, a larger meshed wire fencing might be fine.
    Think about an apron on your run, and maybe coop, to deter digging predators.

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  7. zoochick

    zoochick Out Of The Brooder

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    Great info! I am also in Kentucky!! The ventilation dilemma is hard for me since I am building impaired...good thing I have a handy husband! Any thoughts on how many windows in a coop for 4-6 chickens and ventilation in summer. Can I just leave the windows open ( predator proof of course) in warmer months?
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I always do. It's hard to have too much ventilation in the summer. The only issue may be rain blowing in., and even then a well-ventilated coop will usually dry out pretty fast.
     
  9. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    X's 2

    It is always better to insulate the coop. I can see in the pictures that you used 2x4s on the inside. There are big spaces between the 2x4s that you can just put insulation in. One Suggestion: NEVER hammer the nails through the insulation and into the wall or roof. It will promote holes for rain and bugs to get in there. Also, when you are done, cover up the insulation with plywood because no matter how you place the bare insulation, a chicken will peck and peck and peck until it gets to the fuzzy stuff then it will EAT IT! Other than that I think insulating should be easy. It will help so much to know that they are not freezing or melting in the winter or summer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    I have the exact set up in my roof eaves. My roof is slanting as well, and the roof eaves are on the east side and the west side of the coop. Now that the temps are getting near the single digits at night, I have blocked off half of the east side eave openings, leaving a few of them open. The openings on the west side will stay open and uncovered all winter. There will still be ventilation, but the air will move slower thru the coop, allowing a bit of heat to sit longer around the birds.
     

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