need your two cents


11 Years
May 7, 2009
Southeastern Illinois
Well, it's been a month since I got the go ahead w/keeping chickens and we've hit a brick wall. Actually we were first going to use an old deer blind and convert it into a coop. My DH did cut a chicken door in the front and we got a piece of vinyl for the flooring. But, when we started thinking of ventilation, we got stuck. Then it was just too stressful with everything else going on around here, so I tried dropping it. But, just like BYC forums, it's addictive! I've been thinking that with the windows that are in the blind/coop all I have to do is add one of those roof vents you use through the roof for a water heater. That might work for the summer, but I'm not sure about winter ventilation. And then, there's the run! We have chain link fencing, 4' tall, just begging to be put to use. Plenty of it to make a run more than twice the size we really need for 4-6 hens. But, what and how do I cover it? And what is the best to use for predator proofing? Do I use hardware cloth and bury it in? We will have skunks, coyote, stray dogs, cacts, etc. And is it your opinion to raise the coop up off the ground? I'm in a slump here, but can't shake the chicken fever. :-( Send me photos of how you used chain link fence! I need help here! In the meantime I'm helpong DH with moving yard fence and putting up guttering on the new garage, finished the block patio it's time for one of my projects!


Master of the Silly
11 Years
Jul 11, 2008
Winter Haven, FL
They have a solar vent on ebay...i am thinking of using one for my coop. They are like $29 ish

We stapled chicken wire to the top of our run, you could probally wrapp the wire somehow around the chain link. We didn't burry any fencing material but we also don't have many predators. We also are fenced in. I posted the pic's on my BYC page.

Our coop sits on the ground.....
Best of luck


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Windows alone will make it real real tough to properly ventilate the coop in wintertime, when Yes you still need ventilation and in some ways it's even more important than in summertime. (Frostbite happens at a lot milder temperatures if the air is humid).

As described in greater length on my ventilation page (link below in my .sig) I would strongly advocate having some long vents high on the walls under the eaves, perhaps 6-12" high and as much of the length of the wall as you can manage, with flaps or other closeable doors so you can adjust which ones are open and how much they're open. This way you can keep the ventilation high up (which is where it removes the most humidity) and away from the chickens which is important b/c you don't want a breeze blowing directly at them or they will get chilled, frostbitten, etc.

A single little roof vent would not be sufficient area unless you are only planning on literally a coupla chickens in there. A solar-powered attic vent is somewhat pointless IMHO because in summer it will be woefully inadequate and in winter you could achieve the same thing, better, with properly arranged vents atop the walls -- and passive ventilation works just as well at night, whereas with a solar powered attic vent, the ventilation will shut off at night. Which is when they're likelier to get frostbit...

You will also need large wall openings for summer ventilation, like big openable windows or whatever; but it sounds like your bldg already has that covered.

Chickenwire as a run roof will only keep out hawks, nothing else; and then, it will only keep them out until the snow takes it down, which it will unless a person lives in a snowless climate.

Personally I like a horizontal apron of fence wire around the run, rather than burying the fence bottom. Search 'apron' in the coop construction forum to find lots of threads with more specifics.

Some people use hardwarecloth for the entire run; but IMO it is also quite reasonable to use 1x1", 2x4", or chainlink mesh (heavy gauge and galvanized, for any of them, not thin garden-fence versions) with hardwarecloth added to the bottom 2-3' to prevent reach-through.

Good luck, have fun,


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