Question about coop ventilation


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 2, 2012
I have a compact (3x3x3 feet) coop with a small door that I close at night, and a sliding plexiglass window (1x1 foot) with screen on the side of the coop. Otherwise, there is no ventilation. I have read that this is essential for health. (We lost a bird to sudden death last week, so I'm considering all possible causes).

If I have the window slid open 2 inches in the winter, is that enough ventilation? If I want to remedy this problem, does anyone have any suggestions? I am trying to avoid having to take apart the house. It has a traditional upside down "V" roof line that overhangs a few inches. If I drill a few 2 inch holes along the top under the overhang and then cover the holes on the inside with wire, would this do the trick and keep mice/birds/predators out?

Any advice would be helpful!
It would help if you posted pictures. how many and how big of chickens do you have in it ?
I am new to this site, so it might take me a minute (or more) to figure out how to attach a picture. The coop looks like a little dog house with one window on the side. I have five 13 week old hens in there. They have plenty of space I think. I clean the roosting trays every few days and remove all the shavings every 7-10 days.
3 x 3 is 9 square feet. You would probably want to limit it to 2 or 3 full size chickens. Some will use 2 sq feet per bird but our 4 x 6 coop was WAY too small for our 2 chickens by the time they were just a few months old. With that short height it will be tough to add ventilation that doesn't create a draft on them while they roost.
My rule is if it stinks inside,Its unhealthy for your birds. I say VENTALATION,VENTALATION,VENTALATION!!! I use screen pens with small coop style wind breaks.Depending where you live.I am in TEXAS so its not too cold here.
i'm new to keeping chickens and i had to add extra ventilation to our coop as i hadn't planned for anywhere near enough (check out my homepage for pics).

if you think about how much moisture they breathe out whilst cooped up and add that to their poo (which contains their wee) then thats alot of moisture that needs to be vented (i don't know if you've ever slept in a small tent with poor venting? - i have and i woke up in puddles of water from my own exhaled water vapour!!!!)

add your vents in the ceiling or as high as possible, avoid prevailing wind direction to prevent draughts blowing in, in theory you can't have too much ventilation as long as they are dry and draught free.

i may even add more vents to ours at a later date.

*i am a noobie so don't take my advice alone*

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I dont want to spoil you on the fancy...but have to be blunt.

No,no,omg, no. That coop is big enough for 2 chickens. Even then with only 27 cubic feet of space it will be hard to keep the moisture out of there. Your chickens will continue to perish until they are down to 2 or 3 or you have built a coop of at least 20 square feet or 80 cubic feet.....but preferably larger.
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we kept 6 chicken in a 4x5x5 coop for 3 years BUT we cleaned it often and it had a 1.5 inch vent all the way around the roof line and 2 lovered vents in the eves of the roof. They did fine in single digit temps wtih no frostbite. If it is damp they will get frostbite when it is cold.

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