Need to reduce drafts for winter?

efgal

In the Brooder
Sep 20, 2020
4
11
15
Hello!
I have a coop in my back yard that my hens have been in for a few months, and now that colder weather is approaching, I’m wondering if I should block any of the screened ventilation areas to make sure they don’t get too cold overnight. I’m in Central PA, so it can get pretty cold. I put the openings up near the top of the coop, as I think they should be, but realize now that their placement might mean the gals are right in the line of cold overnight drafts! I did get breeds that do well in the cold.

I attached some photos of the coop. The roost is in the upper right. In the “outside” photos, you can see how there are openings right there in that upper right area of the coop. The “inside” photo shows the upper level in there, and the roost, along with another opening that at the top of the back wall. Hopefully those help show the amount of openings I’m talking about, and where they are located compared to where the gals sleep.

Other than those openings, there are of course little cracks in the walls, between the siding boards.

Thanks, in advance, for any advice you may have!
 

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RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
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Wisconsin
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You're gonna want your ventilation for the winter. A wet coop is a cold coop. Wisconsin here. More ventilation the better, just no drafts. If you close your coop up tight the moisture builds and that's when you get frost bite.
 

SegiDream

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
197
599
146
Southeast TN
Um. Hm. I wouldn't block off the ventilation entirely. I'm considering placing boards or tarp or something about 4" away from my own coop's ventilation openings so there is still air flow but strong wind gusts are blocked. Also if I were you I'd look into fixing some of the visible cracks in the walls that are around the same height as their roosting area - drafts won't be good.
 

efgal

In the Brooder
Sep 20, 2020
4
11
15
You're gonna want your ventilation for the winter. A wet coop is a cold coop. Wisconsin here. More ventilation the better, just no drafts. If you close your coop up tight the moisture builds and that's when you get frost bite.
Yes, I know I don’t want it to be super tight, just concerned if having those screened areas right by their roost is a risky thing when they’re sleeping in the winter.
 

efgal

In the Brooder
Sep 20, 2020
4
11
15
Um. Hm. I wouldn't block off the ventilation entirely. I'm considering placing boards or tarp or something about 4" away from my own coop's ventilation openings so there is still air flow but strong wind gusts are blocked. Also if I were you I'd look into fixing some of the visible cracks in the walls that are around the same height as their roosting area - drafts won't be good.
That’s an interesting idea, put sort of an interior little wall a bit in front of those screens closest to the roost, so there isn’t a draft but there’s still air flow.
 

Cinnamon Roll

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
114
173
78
Cheyenne, WY
I have the same issue, I was silly and only have one window flap for the whole 8’x6” window and the roost is below half of it. I plan to nail a piece of rubber mat across that half. It will be easy enough to remove in the spring and it will block blowing snow and drafts.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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Cinnamon Roll

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
114
173
78
Cheyenne, WY
I think your ventilation requirements will depend on your flooring/bedding system as well. I use sand in my coops and scoop them everyday so even closed up “tight” (with my poor carpentry that’s not very tight) during blizzards the coop smells fine.

I heard a report from BBC Farming Today that said there’s something like a 20% reduction in ammonia when it’s scooped everyday, but that was a huge chicken building for meat birds so it may be different for a small scale farm.
 

SegiDream

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
197
599
146
Southeast TN
Better on the outside.
Could use furnace filter material too, I bought some off a roll at the hardware store.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/ventilation-baffling.75434/
Agree outside is going to work better. I'm using eye hooks and carabiner clips for attaching and removing... something (haven't quite figured out what yet). The filter material sounds like a great idea to use in combination, looks alot like aquarium filters cut to fit stuff or batting material...
 

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