Ridge venting in new coop


8 Years
May 23, 2011
We live in Maine, we are building a new coop and I want to use ridge vent on the roof for venting. My husband says it will move too much air and will be too drafty. The ceiling is 8 feet in the air, we could put in some small collar ties at the very top and put a ceiling in it that has gaps at the sides for air flow and to deflect cold air dropping straight down. Our coop is 6' x 6'. I want to use a deep litter method and I am worried about ammonia in the winter. The coop is insulated. I want the best solution for venting.
I am in Rhode Island. I am building a 10x10 coop and I put in a ridge vent/soffit vent. I also have 8' walls with an 8 pitch roof. The ridge is 11' high. I will also be installing 2 gable end vents because I don't think the ridge vent will be enough. The gable vents will have doors to close off in winter if i need to. Not to sure how my setup will work, but i hope this helps.
I think you're right to be thinking about this now. Ventilation is critical even (or perhaps especially) in winter, because aside from the air quality issues, there is also the danger of frostbite if humidity builds up in an inadequately ventilated coop.

The best discussion of this issue that I know of is this page from a fellow BYC member:


The one thing about a ridge vent that I would wonder about is whether there is any way you can make it adjustable.

I found that I had enough ventilation for the summer months but not enough for the winter months. I just could not get rid of the smell all winter. Good luck!
We live in Central IL, not quite the harsh winters that you see in Maine but still pretty cold. We have a ridge vent and two gable vents in our 4x5' coop and didn't have any issues with the winter. Our coop is not insulated (well, it is if you count a 6" air pocket between the outer and inner walls and the floor as insulation) and has windows on all but the north side which are far from draft-proof. I don't think the air movement from a ridge vent is going to create enough of a draft to cause problems.
A ridge vent alone is not going to be even remotely sufficient to keep good air quality (or cool summertime temps).

Honestly I dislike ridge vents for this kind of structure (they are fine for attics, storage sheds etc) because all the ones I've ever been acquainted with "leak" wind-driven snow in the wintertime, which is acceptable for a horse barn but not so acceptable for a small chicken coop (b/c you're really trying to keep it dry in there). Of course you can make a hinged board to close the ridge vent off during snowy weather but then it is, obviously, not ventilation at ALL while it's closed.

OTOH there are a number of BYCers with ridge vents who don't see them as being a problem so maybe it's somewhat "just me"
-- but a ridge vent is for sure not ENOUGH, and in summertime not even close to enough unless the coop is in all-day shade.

Good luck, have fun,

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hello..new member.. building new chicken coop in east central Minnesota where it gets both cold and windy in the winter time... Question is to ridge vent or not to ridge vent. my previous coop had a ridge vent and I muat say it got pretty breezy in therw at times. I really don't think that was from the ridge vent but from the front nest box/floor level/outside egg access area...

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