Questions about ventilation and addition to coop...


10 Years
May 13, 2009
Indianola Washington
Ok so here is the coop and run...

The front of the coop has an aluminum plate with 1/4" circles drilled every 1/4"... Below the plate is the entrance to the coop. Unfortunately when the door is open the vent plate is mostly covered up. At the moment this coop is 4' high, 5'wide, and 4' deep. I plan on adding an aditional 4'deep x 5'wide x 6'tall space, enlarging the coop from 20sq feet to 40 sq feet... My biggest reasons for wanting this add on is roost space, and ventilation. When I add onto this coop the front will be completely removed, and the two halves will be framed together.

Would you all recomend that I wait until I build the addition to this coop before putting any holes for ventilation? Or should I go ahead and add some to the top corners on both main walls, and just seal them when its complete?

So Ive been creating my suply list, and my lumber list is getting pretty big! lol Does anyone use Cedar lumber in their coops? I live directly across from a cedar mill, and have access to all the rough cut lumber I could want... I know cedar shavings and chicps are a HUGE no no for bedding. Because of the surface area on the pieces combined with the toxic oils in cedar... But what about lumber? Much less surface area, and I would emagine the fumes wouldn't build as much because the lumber doesn't get stirred up like shavings do when used as bedding... PLUS there is ventilation to keep air flowing through the coop, wich would keep any fumes to a minimum...

So Is it worth building out of cedar, when the matirials are free? Is it even safe? Or am I talking myself into something thats not such a good idea...

I'm also getting ready to build a second coop to house 6 Ameraucanas and 2 Marans... Would a 6' wide x 8' long x 6' tall coop work for 8 birds? And again... Free cedar lumber, or do I purchase typical lumber???

If it helps... The cedar that this mill, has is all locally grown. Non aromatic, just standard PNW cedar.
Those little holes aren't really giving you much in the way of ventilation. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 1 square foot of vent (minimum) per chicken occupying the coop. In order to get 1 square foot of ventilation, you'd need to cut more than 144 of those little holes!

Rectangular vents up at the tops of opposite walls work much better. Here's a great page on the subject:

Yes, you can use cedar lumber, just not the aromatic kind they use for cedar closets. Use your nose: if there's still a strong cedar smell, let the lumber dry out until the odor is gone. That should work.

The usual rule of thumb is to build 4 square feet per chicken in the coop, plus 10 square feet per chicken in the run. That's floor space. A 6' by 8" coop has 48 square feet of floor space, which should be adequate for 8 birds provided you also give them outdoor living space, too.
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The Ameraucanas and Marans will also have a run. I also free range my flocks in the horse pastures during the day. Lots of bugs, and vegitation...

To get 5sq feet of ventilation for my existing coop, I am going to have to just make my addition, and put the ventilation in then... I think if I was to put that much ventilation in the coop as it sits, I would have to run a vent all around the eves... And even then, I doubt it would equal 5sq. feet. So I will build the 4'x5'x6' extension to the coop, and add the ventilation up at the 6' level.

Does this sound like it could work?

And thank you for your response.
My chicken coop has to vents upper and bottom so hot air can get out and coop air can get in.
but i do the same let them out durring the day everyday. which makes them produce bigger eggs and more often.
For a 5 foot wide coop, all you'd need is a 6 inch wide vent on opposite walls, the width of the wall. That would be 5 square feet of ventilaton.

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