Questions on ventilation for cold windy climate

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mbreshears, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. mbreshears

    mbreshears Hatching

    Sep 28, 2012
    I am new to chickens, and am about to make my first coop. I have eight chickens and will soon (this weekend) be getting six guineas. Where I live it is VERY windy in the winter, regularly. By this I mean a 10 mile per hour wind is a light breeze around here. It seems the wind picks up November 1 and visits us almost every day all winter. The location I have for the coop, mostly because it was the only spot that will work for a run, is on the south side of our guesthouse and shop, so it will be protected from the nasty storms that come from the north. However, we also get a significant amount of wind from the south as well. . . The south wind So, I am trying to figure out how to layout the coop and ventilation to eliminate drafts as much as possible while still maintaining adequate ventilation. I am thinking of putting the vents on the east and west side of the coop up high, maybe with weatherstripped latching windows down lower on the north and south side for in the summer? I know wind can alter air flow, even causing the air in the coop to be stagnant if I don't set it up right (and of course I don't want it to be too drafty with continuous blowing). It will get to twenty below zero here, not counting windchill. I am also wondering about whether I should raise the coop off the ground, as it seems popular to do, or will that hurt me with as much wind as we get? I have also thought about raising it and just putting straw bales around it in the winter. . . though that would eliminate the animal proofing, so is there a point in raising it? I have younger kids, and don't want anything so high that it would make it difficult for them to collect eggs, feed, clean, etc. . .
    I appreciate any input you all have to give!

  2. Hi and welcome!
    A coop facing south in the winter will benefit from windows on that side as it will let more sun in to make it a little bit warmer. My coop cleanout door is a window and it faces south.
    I think that ventilation on the east and west side will be ok. What you need to do is make sure that it is much higher than the roost. That way, they will not get a direct draft. A good roof overhang outside above the ventilation can act as a wind breaker.
    Most people who have raised coops, do so because they are easier to clean if they are small. It sounds like you might want to have your coop on the ground ( walk into ) because of the size you will need for 8 chickens and six guineas. They will need 4 square feet inside the coop per bird....especially if you think they may be cooped up during bad storms. They get cranky and peck at each other if there is not enough space. I am not sure how much space the guineas need, because I do not have any. I'm sure someone else can help you with that. Make sure your ladies have plenty of space. It really makes a difference in their health and well being. If you do not plan to let them out to free range, they should have a run that has 10 sq ft per chicken. These estimates seem to be pretty accurate I have noticed.
    Check out the coop pages on this site and see what others have done for ventilation and set up's. You can get carried away looking at all the great coops and find that you have been sitting in front of the pc for hours. I know I did! I have learned so much about chickens and coops on this site. It's the best source for information on chickens that I have ever come across and everyone is very friendly and helpful on these threads.
    I wish you the best of luck with your planning and coop build!

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