Roost ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mi2bugz, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    I had previously read that a window at roost height was recommended. Now I read not to so my question is...should i make a window/vent at the roost level or above the chickens height when they are roosting? If above much above it? We are in texas with hot summer months. I had planned my windows on the side of the coop with the most breeze and was going to start the window about 3 inches above the roost bar so they could get a breeze while roosting. The windows will be covered in hardware cloth. Despite our best efforts at making sure there werent any drafts but enough ventilation our roo did get a little frost bite during our very cold spell. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
  2. jakes bayou

    jakes bayou Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 16, 2014
    hey, I used to live in Waxahachie!

    I just built a coop and I struggled with the same question. in the end I put the ventilation above the roosting level. I understood you wanted ventilation but not a draft....
  3. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in East Texas and I am in the process of building my coop also. In our Texas heat, you need ventilation and air. My roost is about 3' foot high, and my vents are about 5' above the roosts. This is on the North wall, so no other openings there.

    I do have a large opening on the West and East walls covered with hardware cloth. In times of very cold/windy weather I plan on put up plastic/tarps to block off any drafts. But, during the summer I want these open to catch any breeze that comes through.

    I would go ahead and put in the windows you had planned on. Then close them during cold windy weather or tarp them.

    Here is a great ventilation thread:
  4. happybooker1

    happybooker1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2012
    North of Houston Texas
    In my little coop I have 1.5' x 3' windows across from each other covered in hardware cloth, but with plywood "shutters" I can close during the winter or Colder weather to varying degrees. About 1.5' above the highest roost is the roof and I have a 4" x 4' vent there covered by hardware cloth.

    My coop is 4' x 4' x 4.5' high and I have 5 Bantams. They seemed to do just fine during our freezing temps these past few months.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  5. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    Thank you all for the responses!

    So the 2 windows (16"x24" each) I planned at roost bar level for breeze during hot summer months would be ok? We are putting lift up hinged windows made from siding that we can close during rain and cold weather but can leave open day and night during summer and hot periods. There will be other "windows" created for a cross breeze during summer.

    My roost bar is about 3 feet high with 2 vents on 2 sides at 6 ft and 2 on the back side at 7 ft (total of 6). Have to try to figure out where we went wrong with frost bite especially since in texas :(. We sealed all cracks and seams. The only thing I can think of is the run door had a little draft come in and the front doors don't shut as tightly as I would like (both on correction list for this summer). How do you make it so that a draft doesn't come in the window? We are putting 1x2's on the edges of the it the framing on the outside part of the window that overlaps the walls what helps to keep the draft out in winter?
  6. soratos

    soratos Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2013
    Murrieta, Ca
    We are in the desert in CA with temps in the 100's during the summer and low 30's in the winter. Our coops stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I think it has a lot to do with our ventilation. [​IMG]
  7. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    From what I have read here on BYC, frost bite is caused not from drafts but by not having enough ventilation. Chickens put out a lot of moist air, from breathing and from their poop. If you have adequate ventilation, this moist air will rise up and out the vent holes. If you are getting condensation, frost or frost bite, then you need to add more ventilation.
  8. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx

    Thank you! That's added to our fix list now. I thought they needed 1 sq ft ventilation per bird and I have 4 birds and 9 sq ft of ventilation. No harm in trying more ventilation though :).
  9. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think you can have too much ventilation, specially here in Texas. If I've counted my ventilation right, I will have about 35 sq ft of ventilation, plus additional openings. I don't have chicks yet, but will be getting 15-20 in a couple of weeks.

    Here's an idea. I've read on here that some people use house vent covers. Like those you use for your central heat/air. That way you can adjust them to let in/out how much you need. Just cut a hole, insert the vent and be sure to add hardware cloth to prevent predators.
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Your record high is 115. Your record low is (-) 4.

    In general if you have temperatures below freezing you don’t want a breeze hitting the chickens directly. Think wind chill. A gentle movement of air isn’t bad but a strong wind can get pretty bad. Chickens fluff up to trap air in their feathers for insulation. If a breeze is strong enough to ruffle feathers, heat can escape. It’s not that chickens can’t handle cold, they can really well. But I’m talking about extreme winds and such. I just consider it good practice in winter to have the openings above their heads in most coops.

    Summer for you is entirely different. Chickens do not handle heat well. Heat kills. In the summer you can’t have too much ventilation. It doesn’t matter if it is below them or on their level. A cooling breeze feels good. A real good set-up is a way for cooler air to enter at the bottom and warmer air to escape at the top.

    I’ve seen chickens sleep in trees when the overnight low was below zero Fahrenheit. These were not on a bare limb of a dead tree up on a ridgeline squawking defiantly in the teeth of a blizzard. They were in a thicket in a protected valley and able to move around to get out of a direct wind. In your climate, you could probably get by year around with a coop open at one end. Just block off the wind around where they are roosting, a solid wall on the prevalent wind side and some wings around the other two walls to form a cul-de-sac to block the wind. The rest could be wire.

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