Open windows and 3-wall coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CrazyBirdLady, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    In my endless searches of all things chicken related I came across a blog that had a link to a pdf file that was a reprint from an old book. (I can't find the link, but I may have it bookmarked at home.) It was an old book about raising chickens and/or livestock, and it talked about various coop designs and chicken health. Seems that we all know, due to the sensitive nature of a chickens lungs, moisture build-up in a coop is bad. During the cold months, chickens can build up a lot of moisture in a coop just by breathing if it is is not well-ventilated. Basically cold/dry air is better than warm/moist air so a coop with an open window or a 3-wall coop was the best thing to keep them healthy.

    I see a lot of posts here about windows & ventilation and issues with humidity & drafts. If the above scenario is true, wouldn't that open window or "missing" wall be one big draft? I guess the whole thing just confuses me so if someone could give me a helping wing here, I'd appreciate it. TIA

    ~Nicole
     
  2. Smeamers

    Smeamers Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I've heard of this theory and I have a friend that thinks he's going to try it. I'm still all too new at this to really have a set opinion, but I do tend to think the chickens can probably handle more cold than we give them credit for. I'll be watching this thread to see what the more experienced chook owners have to say.
     
  3. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    There is a little farm near me and the chickens are in a big 3 wall coop. I'll have to stop by sometime and see if the owner will let me take a look at it. I'd love to hear what he has to say about it too. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I see a lot of posts here about windows & ventilation and issues with humidity & drafts. If the above scenario is true, wouldn't that open window or "missing" wall be one big draft?

    The thing is, drafts blowing at the chickens is only a problem if it's rather cold. In open-sided houses in hot climates, air movement is *good*, you call it a breeze not a draft [​IMG]

    And when open-sided houses are used in colder climates, they are deeper, so that the chickens can get far enough away from the open side that it isn't especially drafty. (I have not worked with an open sided coop but I can tell you there is a HUGE difference in air movement in an 8' deep horse run-in shed, a 12' deep shed, and a 20' deep shed).

    Does that make sense?

    Pat​
     
  5. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    I'm from Wisconsin... What is a "hot climate"? [​IMG]

    Yes, I understand what you mean about the depth of the coop.

    In my "dream coop" plan, I have a window situated that would be right behind a roost. I thought this would be bad until I read about dropping boards and so figured that the dropping board would eliminate the draft that would be aimed right at the chickens.
    [​IMG] There are so many variables and things I don't know/understand.

    Thanks, Pat, for the information. [​IMG]

    ~Nicole
     
  6. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I have three - three sided coops that I use. My son is building a fourth now. I have found that as long as the chickens can get out of the wind and rain it works fine. We re in North Florida but it still gets into the teens here during the winter. I have a house for our banties and they prefer to roost outside in the open even during the coldest nights. Last winter we put out heat lights but they usually avoided them. The turkeys however did nest under the lights when it got down to 14 this past January.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Two things to consider: 1) there is really nothing wrong with having a window (etc) next to the roost, as long as it is not something you are planning on using in cool/cold weather. As long as you can shut it when it's not, like, August [​IMG] and have other provisions for wintertime ventilation, I know of no reason not to do it that way.

    Also 2) remember it will be pretty *cold* right next to a window in wintertime in Wisconsin. You can tape a coupla layers of bubblewrap over the inside of the window but it'll still be pretty cold (especially if you were insulating the rest of the coop, the window will be the coldest area in comparison). And it will be harder to make some sort of insulated compartment over/around the roost without blocking the window. So you also might want to think about the *wintertime* consequences as well, make sure you're convinced that will work as well.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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