Overwhelmed by the ventilation issue!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MydearWatson, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. MydearWatson

    MydearWatson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    **Warning, this post is going to use highly untechnical verbiage!**

    I live in Connecticut, cold winters, humid summers. My (approx. 5 x 5) coop will have a small vinyl window with a screen so it will be able to open in the summer. I was thinking of putting a vent on each end of the coop, those triangle ones that go on the apex of the roof (I warned you!) I figure it will bring in some cross ventilation. But wouldn't that cause a draft, which I have read you must avoid? Is this ventilation enough for a small coop? I also thought maybe we should put in those vents that go all along the eave of the roof. Would that be enough? We are planning on insulating the coop since I kind of freak out about the cold factor. Will this cause a problem with humidity levels?

    This may be a dumb question but, does putting some sort of exhaust out of the roof help? Kind of like a chimney I guess. I don't really see any on the coop pics I have looked at but I thought it might be a good way to get draft free release of ammonia and humidity? [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Obviously I am not the one building the coop, my highly skilled husband will be. But I still like to be well informed so I can hover over him and give my opinions while he is doing his work. [​IMG]
     
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is my biggest question also... ventilation vs. drafts ? ? ? [​IMG]

    ... and ventilation in the winter months ? ? ? [​IMG]

    Will be following this thread . [​IMG]

    ... and I'm more comfortable with the "highly untechnical verbiage" anyway . [​IMG]
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Pics would help.
     
  4. MydearWatson

    MydearWatson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't built my coop yet, so no pics. My husband likes plans so I am trying to get it drawn up and get a materials list going.
     
  5. MydearWatson

    MydearWatson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    However! I am hoping to do something like this one, beautifully made by baldessariclan:

    [​IMG]

    But with only one window.

    Or this one by trictle:

    [​IMG]

    again, with only one window
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I have seen where a lot of people just place those little rectangular house vents near the ceilings. They are open when it is warm and close by themselves when it is freezing cold.
     
  7. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where's Pat when you need her!

    Anyway, the ventilation should be high enough so the draft does not blow on the chickens while roosting.

    The chickens will create a lot of humidity and that could be a huge problem with frost during the winter months.

    Check out this very thorough page:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION




    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jake1297

    Jake1297 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try one of those crank open vents you see on campers. Stops the rain and lets out the heat. As for your idea of along the eve. This won't work alone, you'll also need a roof vent. At least that is how it works on a house. Cool air comes in the eves hot air goes out the roof. This is what cools the attic.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Grocery store, then making lunch (green beans in green curry sauce) [​IMG]

    Draft versus "good" ventilation: in summer, anything is good, short of gale-force winds actually knocking hens off roost; air movement on chickens in August is called a pleasant breeze not a draft. In cold weather though you do not want any substantial air movement (wind, or descending cold air) right "at" the chickens, that would be a draft in the bad sense.

    Quote:BLock off the upwind side for wintertime and have the one that remains open be somewhere not right above/adjacent to the roost, and there will not be a draft problem. Crossbreeze good in summer, bad in Northern winter.

    As to whether that's *enough* ventilation, it depends on a number of factors but in the absence of any other info I would bet on Not Really, Unless You Only Have A Coupla Chickens In There.

    I also thought maybe we should put in those vents that go all along the eave of the roof. Would that be enough?

    If you mean the perforated soffit material they sell for houses, don't use that, it allows very little air movement. If you mean "cover the eaves with hardwarecloth", then that IS useful, and may be enough in wintertime unless you have lots of chickens in there or a problem with rising moisture from the ground or sumpin' like that. Whether it will be enough ventilation for summertime depends on how hot a location the coop is in (does it have any shade?), whether you leave the shed door open during the day, things like that.

    We are planning on insulating the coop since I kind of freak out about the cold factor. Will this cause a problem with humidity levels?

    Insulation does not cause humidity problems unless you do something dumb [​IMG] such as closing up the vents. Yes, it DOES make sense to have insulation AND open vents (in many circumstances, anyhow -- in those where it doesn't, the solution is to skip the insulation not skip the ventiltion), same as it is still worthwhile putting on a winter coat in Jan even if you leave it unzipped [​IMG] How much benefit you get out of your insulation depends on various attributes of your coop.

    This may be a dumb question but, does putting some sort of exhaust out of the roof help? Kind of like a chimney I guess. I don't really see any on the coop pics I have looked at but I thought it might be a good way to get draft free release of ammonia and humidity?

    The thing about a hole in the roof (which is basically what that is, with a top [I assume] to keep out rain), is that it dumps air straight down onto floor chickens, and also cannot be shielded well from the wind, some of which can swirl down it. It can be done, but honestly, vents atop your downwind walls give you a perfectly good result in terms of draft-free air exchange without the complications of having a hole in the roof.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  10. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The more and more I read, open air houses make the most sense. These have been used in the coldest, snowiest regions and in the hottest too...We are in AZ..I cannot "coop" up my birds..so we too will be building an open air coop. I found the book link and posted it today, it's free to read online..I am glad I home school and have the time to research so much..or I don't know what I would do LOL
     

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