question on ventilation please help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mrv19, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2016
    We are building a 6x4.25 coop for 4 chickens and we built it attached to a 12x12 shed (no access into shed however, the walls just abut eachother). The coop is 4 feet tall. I need to add some ventilation but i live in MA so id also like to keep the coop as warm as possible in the winter. Im afraid roof level vents will blow onto the roost. We currently have 2 screened windows with shutters for cold weather. Would installing a large vent on the shed-side wall that opens into the shed help them at all with ventilation given the small number of birds, and the size of the adjacent shed?
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'm far from an expert on this issue, but i would imagine that some small vents on the opposite side would be good in order to facilitate a flow-through of air.

  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    What breeds are you planning on getting. Many of the "standard" breeds available will survive just fine in your area over the winter. You mentioned the draft which can cause problems but the cold itself should not be an issue for you.
  4. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2016
    Buff orpingtons. The problem is, with the height of the coop i have no idea how to provide ventilation WITHOUT a draft. If you are supposed to ventilate at the top of the coop, its impossible to construct a roost low enough to avoid a draft at only 4 feet it not?
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Pretty much yes.
    Go taller, or forever regurgitate your regrets.

    Here's my theory on the 'stack up' aspect to coop design:
    Bottom of pop door should be about 8" above floor so bedding doesn't get dragged out of coop.
    Nice to have bottom of nests about 18" above bedding to allow use of that floor space under them(doesn't count if your nests are mounted on outside of coop).
    Roosts should be about 12" higher than nests so birds won't roost(sleep) in nests and poop in them,
    if you use poop boards under roosts it will also 'stretch' your floor space.
    Upper venting should be as high as possible above roosts so no strong drafts hit roosts in winter...and hot/moist air and ammonia can rise and exit coop.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know how air-tight that shed is. In any case it will help, I just don’t know how much “draft” you might get through there. Also, chickens create a lot of dust. Whatever is in that shed will likely get a coating of dust. My coop is the closed off end of a shed and I have openings into the shed, but the shed is not anywhere close to airtight. I have a large opening up high and another down low. The down low is really good in the summer because it is in the shade so the air is cooler. And I’m OK with the dust in there. Those openings provide a lot of ventilation without creating a breeze.

    I don’t know how far along you are on the build, but I strongly suggest you put a sloped roof on your coop. A flat roof will pond rainwater. It will either rot the roof or leak through, if not both. You need to direct that rainwater runoff away from your run to help keep it dry and do not put a door where rainwater will run off onto you when you are going in or out. Gutters and a downspout may help.

    The idea is not to keep the coop warm, it’s to allow your chickens to keep themselves warm. They wear a down coat so they can do that. And don’t think of a draft as a tiny leak around your house windows that robs you of energy to heat and cool your house, that’s not a problem. What you want to avoid is a breeze strong enough to ruffle their feathers which allows heat to escape.

    If you put a decent slope on that roof with a little overhang at the bottom and more overhang at the top to keep out rain, you can have an opening above both walls under that overhang and put the roosts under the high end. Any breeze should be over their heads.

    A small coop like that can be a big challenge. At least you don’t have a 4x4, those are even more of a challenge but some people make even those work. While some people like the nests up off of the floor (I do too) you may not have that luxury. As long as you have a high enough lip to keep the bedding and poop from being raked into the nest when they scratch you can put them really close to the floor to save vertical room.
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    The traditional method of doing what you want to do was to install the nest boxes beneath the droppings board, which was installed about 4 to 6 inches beneath the roost bars. This eliminated the circular flow of air along the floor and up through the roosts. In essence, birds are roosting in a dead air pocket above the droppings board.

    Droppings board was the ceiling for the nest boxes, which were elevated enough to allow birds to move around beneath them and also to elevate them to the point a bird on the floor could not see in them (helped prevent birds from developing the habit of eating eggs).

    To allow warm moist air to escape, they sometimes used what would be the modern day equivalent of mushroom cap roof vent. Makeup air came through what would be a small gable vent they mounted near the floor and if it was breezy there, they put a small baffle in front of it inside the house to act as a deflector. These are small subtle tricks that make a world of difference.
  8. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2016
    The coop is already built. I should have added that there is a slope to the roof and the high end is more like 5 feet verses 4. There are 4 birds. The nesting boxes will be low however will have a decent lip to prevent bedding from floor to enter and the tops will be slanted to prevent birds from roosting on top. The roostung bar will be the highest thing in the coop and we will creat the vents as high up as we can on the highest wall and then built the roost based of that i guess. I will add the vents into the shed figure it cant hurt. And there is nothing in thete that cant get dusty. Thanks for the suggestions!

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