Now I wonder if I need a door...will it be too drafty?

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

  1. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    My coop is tiny -- about 12 sq feet for 3 birds. It is attached to a covered run. It has no door at the top of the ramp to the coop -- just a chicken-sized. I've just been locking up the run at night. But the opening to the coop is just open all the time. The roosts are away from the opening. But, do I need a door for winter? Here in Seattle it rarely freezes -- maybe 10 days a year, maybe none. I'd say winter lows hover around 40. But, of course, it does get windy sometimes, and I'm sure there's a draft in there. What do you think?
     
  2. chicknjane

    chicknjane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2009
    Pine Grove, PA
    I'd think you would need a door for two reasons: 1) to minimize drafts and 2) to keep out predators.
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    If you have monster raccoons, which I KNOW you have in Seattle! you need a door to lock them in at night. It is almost impossible to make a run completely coon-proof, they will be much safer if you can shut the door and latch it. You can also put up a small piece of cloth over the door, tie it back a bit at first, then they will learn to duck and get in. This will keep out drafts during the daytime.
     
  4. Mezaz

    Mezaz New Egg

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    Aug 19, 2009
    We have an animal secure run area so there is no access to the chickens by predators. (it's rhino proof) Anyways our coop is an open air design. Check out plamondon.com for his pointers on open air coops. They are much better for chickens and in particular in our area. I'm near Seattle too and the weather is fine even when it is coldest. Cold weather annoys chickens, but lack of ventilation can be deadly. Ammonia builds up from poop and is dangerous to them and the moisture from their breathing is more likely to cause frostbite than cold weather in a well ventilated coop. The moisture collects on their combs and then freezes.
     
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:could you show a picture of your rhino-proof open air coop?? I didn't really see all that great of a coop on the link you provided, the pix showed plain chicken wire over parts of the coop and that certianly won't keep out raccoons or dogs.

    I myself have gone with an open air coop design, but I have a pretty low predator load here in Suburbia compared to a lot of chicken owners. I used recycled welded wire -- definitely not plain chicken wire.
     
  6. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    I think we've done a good job with the raccoon-proofing. I know it's not perfect, but we've got the 16 inches of buried hardware cloth and good latches. They'd have to rip off the hardware cloth to get in, and that stuff is on there tight.

    I'd still do a door at night if it's necessary, though.

    Any other opinions?
     
  7. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Quote:I have a similar type coop/run, except my run is essentially a wire-wrapped box (it is buried about 12" deep in the ground and the hardware cloth covers the bottom, top, & sides, except for the portion that attaches to the coop & contains the pop door opening). Because of this design, I feel very safe leaving it open continually, so the hens can go out as soon as it's light. However, because of our cold winds, I've stapled clear heavy plastic around part of the run that is closest to the coop & door. This creates a type of "tunnel" for the pop opening - similar to an igloo door - keeping the air still inside the coop. It works well except when the wind comes STRAIGHT at the pop door. Fortunately that hasn't happened often, because the opening faces east.

    BUT, just in case we get another deeply frigid winter, like last year, I also have a door on that opening, that can be shut, if necessary. Last year, my neighbors, in order to keep their chickens from freezing in the coop, were forced to put up a pop door that closed.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    With that small of a coop, sealing it up might cause humidity to sky rocket if you don't have good ventilation, thus increasing risk of respiratory issues and frost bite. My birds are in Everett and during last years freezing weather, all except the oldest and banties chose to sleep in the tarp covered tractor area instead of in the hutch. No frost bite on anyone and they did just fine with just blue tarp as a wind break.
     

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