Newbie building coop need help !!! Ventilation and insulation location

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmp568, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. jmp568

    jmp568 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hi I'm new here and VERY new to chickens but already have two week old Rocks in my house and I'm in love !!! Need help with my very nearly done coop. It is 7' X 8' has 2 - 2X2 windows on the Southeast wall, one in front still a bit south east, with chicken door underneath, and man door on north side. True west side is butted up against my barn. I'm in Northeast Pa, very cold and top of hill so the wind blows ALL THE TIME. So I thought building a coop behind barn where its protected from wind on north and west sides was ideal. Outside walls are up and I was standing in there today and it was stuffy. Now today we were an unusal 95 degrees in the shade but I'm worried about ventialtion. We have left a bout 2" all around roof open. About 6' high in front back roof butts up under my barn roof for rain and snow and a nice 18 " ( overlap to back wall of coop) run in shed for chicks if a stray T storm comes thru or they need some shade. But it was stuffy and interior walls aren't in yet. I was planning on putting in foam board insulation, after standing in there today I not sure what to do. Yes it was a unusual hot day for us but I think I need more ventilation. I know nothing about chicks, just what I've read. Stuffy surprised me because I used broken fence boards ( Horse farm) for the outside. So thee are tons of gaps and inside walls arent up yet. Thinking plywood for inside with foam board insulation. Before we seal her up tight should I insulate ?? Add more ventialtion ?? How can I vent it more. Winters here are brutal the wind never stops but coop is protected there. Temps are wickedly cold norm is twenty windchill will always be in teens or below. I want to do tis right the first time. Have picvs on my phone I will try to upload tomorrow. No promises, I train horses no good with phones. But I love my Barred Plymouth Rocks. Just two and half weeks old living in my house, like everything else. Put them out on the deck this afternoon for first time they went nuts. They were crazy with joy to be in the sunshine . Best laugh I had all day. Except I got a bit worried they were gonna take the scfreen right off there brood box. Big plastic tote with screen on top. Now weighted down
    Thanks in advance for any advice, just want to di the right thing for the girls,
  2. jmp568

    jmp568 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2011
    Oh my I forgot to mention that they have a big run. 32' X 28' fenced hopefully predator proof i did sink wire in ground 10 ". Where we could lots of rock. So when BIG Girls maybe they can stay out in summer but in winter no way the coop will be the digs. Only have five Rocks.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I think I need more ventilation.


    One good option is that if the W wall is shared with your barn, make a good big opening into there (perhaps with a cover for when you want it closed -- remember chickens can be dusty). That will be especially useful in the winter, but can be useful in summertime too as long as your barn doesn't get too hot itself. You may also want larger openings (don't have to be framed-and-glassed windows) in the coop itself, especially since it's not going to get any W or N breezes in summertime. (I think that's quite a sensible location given that you've got a windy site, mind you -- you will be glad you did it, come winter -- it's just that like everything else in life, there are tradoffs. OTOH you won't have to worry about hot late-afternoon sun on the coop in August, either -- another plus side of the tradeoff)

    Temps are wickedly cold norm is twenty windchill will always be in teens or below.

    ROTFL, were you perhaps born in California or the south? NE PA is not "wickedly cold" by cold-weather standards... [​IMG] (I grew up in Philly, vacationed plenty in Poconos, have an uncle in N central PA). Windchill doesn't really matter btw, as it will not be occurring inside the coop.

    It wouldn't hurt to insulate, especially because if you think temps still above 0 F are so frigid then I am thinking you may turn out to be one of those people who's always thinking the chickies *must* be cold [​IMG] You don't NEED to, but for your peace of mind I think you'd be happier. Do make sure the carpentry is all very tight, so's not to be inviting mice to breed inside your walls.

    For a longer-than-some-people-want discussion of ventilation, see the link in my .sig below; you might also check out the cold coop link (discusses chickens' cold tolerance and measures you can take to moderate coop temperatures in winter).

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with Pat about the temprature issue. Wind chill only applies to exposed human skin, it's the ambient temp that matters. If you are above 0 and are ventilated but draft free, the birds will be fine. Remember that chickens put off a lot of moisture and their poo generates a lot of ammonia that must be ventilated out or you will have condensation issues and breathing issues. Also chickens stand up well to cold, much better than to the heat. If you occationally get near 0 you can simply hang a heatlamp. The idea of a opening into the existing attached building may be used to resolve your winter ventilation issue too. Insulation is not critical but does help seal major drafts but you might consider Tyvek to help seal the gaps but release moisture. Have you considered hinged doors with wire covering the openings, in addition to the windows, as a option for summer ventilation? When it gets hot, prop them open / when cold and windy, lock them closed kinda like a screen door & insulated door on your house. Draft free is going to be your big issue to overcome especially where they roost and nest.

    As to letting them out in the winter, do it. Give them a snow free area (at least roofed) so they can sun and dustbath plus get some fresh air. They are not fragile chicks and fresh air / sunshine cures a lot of health issues, just like us.

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