New to Chickens (This Year) but confused

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by anthonyjames, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    Please see what I found and tell me if what every one is preaching is wrong or right. I see coops currently this way.

    Winter is Coming,
    But Don't Close Up Your Coops!

    Unlike baby chicks, grown chickens have a full coat of feathers to protect them from cold weather. If kept healthy and dry, chickens are very winter-hardy. The problem isn't keeping them warm, it's keeping them healthy, and that means giving them plenty of ventilation.

    Chickens are like miners' canaries: they suffer if the air quality is poor. Does it smell worse inside the coop than outside? That's poor air quality.

    An open-front chicken coop is the healthy alternative, summer or winter, even in harsh climates. Don't let their air get stuffy and unhealthy as cooler weather sets in. If you learn nothing else from this Web page, learn this:

    Happy, healthy chickens need need a great big open window year-round for light and ventilation.

    The bolded section is what I am referring to.
    Here is the website:
  2. mener6896

    mener6896 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    okay, I understand, but I went out to my coop this morning and the water was frozen. How do you keep the eggs from freezing?
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I look at it this way. If you feel air moving you have to much ventilation. If it smells or the humidity is higher in the coop than out you need more ventilation.
  4. little brown hen

    little brown hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Camp Point, Ill
    Quote:I gather them 2-3 times a day
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    That might work from Carolina south but even they are getting snow this week.
    Trust yourself- strike a balance that works for you.
    A lot of us endure harsh conditions and protect ur birds from predators and have healthy birds in a coop that is ventilated sensibly and which can be opened up or shut down during blizzards and hurricanes...
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I like the design of those fresh air poultry houses, and that's the way I'd go if I had a building as big as that and as many chickens as that. I'm not so sure the design would work so well on a small scale for just a couple of chickens. If your coop is small, like mine is, having one wall open would not keep the chickens out of drafts.

    You don't have to have one whole wall open to provide adequate ventilation and good air quality in your coop, though. For those who haven't studied it yet, check out Patandchickens' famous ventilation page for some great ideas:
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Pretty much everyone on BYC who's had chickens for a while agrees that ventilation is really important.

    A window is not the best means of providing wintertime ventilation in a northern-type climate, however (anywhere that cold is an issue). Although it IS great for warmer weather ventilation. A mostly- or fully-mesh side on the coop is even better. But, that needs to be shut up most of the way for northern winters, unless you have a MUCH larger deeper poultry building than almost anyone on this forum.

  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I would have chick-sicles if I followed that advice. It just gets too darned cold here.

    My coop windows (I have two) are closed up for the season. They provide nice sunshine but no ventilation in the winter time.

    True, chickens need good ventilation to be healthy. But not at the expense of an open-sided coop or a "great big open window year-round." And true, if it smells inside, then the ventilation is inadequate. The interior of the coop can certainly have adequate ventilation and be draft-free without being smelly or stuffy.

    This kind of writing really frustrates me, because it's obviously written by someone who has no idea of what a "harsh climate" of -20F actually feels like. And I think that this style of writing could be potentially harmful to folks with small backyard flocks. Raising 4 chickens in your suburban backyard is different from 500 in the country.

    JMO. And just for the record, I think Pat has the best ventilation advice on the BYC.
  9. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    Well I am guessing a lot of you didn't go to the webpage. The study was done in Canada and the guy that wrote this was in Canada. I have 13 chickens. I live in Wisconsin so I am well aware of the winters.

    I have people here that have coops that are open air (3 3/4 walls) with 1/4 mesh windows on one side and may 30 - 40 chickens.

    Thanks for all the input.
  10. chickeydee

    chickeydee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2009
    It has to do with the facing of the open .I have 25 hens and the open air coop I have faces the south .It has all the walls ,but the part that faces south has most of the wall gone .It looks like the one in the book fresh air open coop.I wanted to post a picture but I can not find my camera. The front has an ouer hang and the two large made windows open outward .I ahve a window on the east side and the pop door is on the west .The back has a 6 in vent across the top and three circles in the middle that have doors to open or close .The floor is wood planks and are removeable . We are going in the teens tonight and maybe lower . My girls are in a field with no pen just a light on a pole .
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009

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