Opinions needed on ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Caddy-Corner-Chick, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Caddy-Corner-Chick

    Caddy-Corner-Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an old shed that I am converting to a chicken coop. The measurements are 8' by 16' ... the only ventilation it has is on the back, if you load up mypage you can see pictures of the front and the back.

    I am trying to decide of just using my hubby's drill that has the cicrular cut outs to make vent holes covered in hardware cloth.. they would be about 3" round or if I should maybe had square window like openings..

    What would you do?

    Oh and a note, I am not very handy with tools, no experience really at all but I do have a circular saw laying here, a drill, and a reciprocating saw.. So If I use any of those, I hope I don't break them or me..lol

    Check out the pictures and tell me what you think please.

    http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt260/loriapowers/2011018.jpg

    http://i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt260/loriapowers/2011019.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    That would work fine. That's how my vents were made on my house. If it's good enough for a house, it's good enough for a chicken coop. [​IMG]
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You would need to cut a whole lot of holes to adequately ventilate a chicken coop. Houses are not sufficiently ventilated (well, most of them) to be suitable housing for chickens. For one thing, chickens have much more efficient respiration than other non-bird critters, and for another, most people don't poop all night in their beds, creating air quality issues.

    Aim for 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken occupying the coop. Long rectangular vents up at the top of one or more walls are good, and can get you the square footage of ventilation you're aiming at pretty easily.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION
     
  4. Caddy-Corner-Chick

    Caddy-Corner-Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So looking at the front of the coop, Do you think 2 rectangle's cut out on each side of the door would be efficient enough?
     
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    You live in Florida, does it get pretty hot and or humid where you are? [​IMG]

    Ventilation is necessary for chicken's health. IMHO you need a LOT more ventilation for at least two reasons:

    1. Chickens put off a ton more moisture than people when they breathe. They have very sensitive respiratory systems and moisture in the henhouse can irritate their lungs and cause illness. Mold and mildew forming from excessive moisture will so the same as well as be toxic to the birds and perhaps spoil food that is in the building.

    2. Moisture will make it even more humid and lack of moving air--is dangerous (and even deadly in the heat) for them. If you are in an area of Florida that gets hotter than 85 degrees you have to be diligent. Chickens have a hard time dealing with heat (it can kill them--especially if humid) than cold.

    I would make windows (covered with 1/2-1/4" hardware cloth) on BOTH sides for a cross breeze. Those slatted vents may not be enough and when dealing with ventilation more is better. Just don't create drafts directly on the hens when its cold out. I find an opening near the bottom (properly covered with hardware cloth) helps too in warm weather as it can help create a breeze to push more heat out of the upper windows. Its helpful if you can make it so the windows can be closed even part of the way if you experience bad weather. Many folks will have an entire side of the henhouse open and those birds do great--better than those closed up tight! [​IMG]

    A lot alos depends on how many chickens you have in the coop too, but in my opinion for optimal health and comfort I would make some good sized windows!
     
  6. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If I did 1 sq ft per bird here in the ultra rainy PAcific NW the coops would be cold wet and unhealthy. We need to worry more about cold than heat so our ventilation needs are completely different than anyone in Florida.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If I did 1 sq ft per bird here in the ultra rainy PAcific NW the coops would be cold wet and unhealthy. We need to worry more about cold than heat so our ventilation needs are completely different than anyone in Florida.

    True. Someone in Florida probably needs at least twice the ventilation that someone in a colder climate needs, but even in winter a chicken coop in a Northern climate needs plenty of ventilation. Notice that the 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken is recommended even for winter ventilation by Patandchickens, someone who manages a flock north of you in Canada. Adequate ventilation can actually keep the inside of the coop less humid than it would otherwise be with all the moisture from the chickens' respiration building up inside, and at freezing temps, it's the humidity buildup that can cause frostbite. And a vent need not let rain blow into the coop. You can design awning style flaps to prevent that from happening.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It would depend on the length and width of the rectangles.
     
  9. Caddy-Corner-Chick

    Caddy-Corner-Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 25 chickens going in there... so I would need the windows to be 3 sq ft.

    front and back across from each other, and then possibly some ventilation across the bottom too so that in the winter I can close the upper windows and still allow some ventilation?

    It is very Hot here!! In the winter we may have a few hard freeze's, in the summer we get the crazy lighting storms with hail and wind.

    Also I would need to put the roost where they wouldn't be affected by drafts.. This is getting complicated..lol
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree that one presents some challenges but it should make a great coop. It looks like the area from the top of your front and back wall up to the roof has been boxed in. The area the rafters are in. If you can open that area back up and cover it with hardware cloth to keep raccoons and such out, you can get a lot of ventilation above where the chickens are roosting so they will be out of drafts. And since it us under overhangs, it should not let in rainwater. It takes a bit of fitting the hardware cloth in there, but it is how I did mine. Not sure you can see it well. I did the same type of thing on the side wall in that triangular area.

    [​IMG]

    The sides are more of a challenge since you don't have overhangs to keep out water. I think Elmo has a photo of a horizontal opening with a hinged cover that props up. That cover, call it an awning, would be harder to build, but again if it were above the roosts, the chickens would be out of any cross drafts. That's how you get ventilation in the winter without cross drafts on the roosting chickens, have the vents higher than the chickens on the roosts.

    In the hot summer, a bit of a draft on the chicknes is not the end of the world for you.
     

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