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Snow, subzero and humidity help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Newchickey, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I am trying to figure out the balance of all of this. 8x8 coop, 4" vent all the way across the top front which is the highest point at 8 feet high. (single slope roof front to back). Window 2 1/2 feet above roost which is a cut out about 2' X8" with hardward cloth and wood shutter propped open about 6" out. I am leaving the door to the run open which is predator proof as you can get. 40"X40" window that slide open to one side on the east side across from their roost. Open all day as long as snow isnt blowing in, at night I put in a board and it leave about 8" at the top by 20" open.

    At night snow can blow in through any of those onto their backs. I have a temp and humidity monitor in the house to check it at anytime. When its snowing the humidity level in there has gone up to 86%. Frost on the inside of the window. I am putting vasoline on the combs at night.

    How in the world do you keep snow out, humidity level down when there is actually a storm? Or is it impossible. I keep reading keep it low, cut more vents, but that gives snow/rain more access. I am lost. Am I doing all right? Had a little bit of frostbite in November, but then started greasing up the combs on the very cold nights.

    It is due to be -22 here tomorrow and thats during the day!

    Right now 1pm in it is 9 degrees and 76% humidity in there and snowing outside. The side window is all the way open as wind and snow are not coming from that direction.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  2. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm right there with you! I don't count the windchill as they aren't in the wind. That said.....the actual temp is headed for -10F tonight. Our high tomorrow is 5, and tuesday's low will be -8.

    With snow you get humidity. You can't have snow without it.

    What you don't want is the wind howling through the coop to remove it. Nor do you want warm moist air to sit near the freezing point.That's why a low passive vent near the floor and high protected venting near the top is great. Rain and snow don't get in, but as the warmer air inside rises it is replaced with inflow from the lower vents.

    My girls are currently totally shut in, which I dont like, but the winds are howling directly into their pop door, forcing the air out the top vents and right across them. Brrr

    the rooster is in his own coop out of the wind, with an open pop door at high vents. Since he has no snuggle buddy, i added lots more curly pine shavings for him to snuggle down into. Everyone gets vaseline tonight and tomorrow.

    I am building an open air coop this spring, which does not allow winter moisture to build.

    Does any of that help?
     
  3. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok now i can envision your coop.

    You have upper vents, what we call the swinging bedroom window here at my house, windows, and a pop door.

    No vents down by the floor?

    My coop has the top vents, hinged bedroom door, pop door, and near the floor....literally two inches from the floor are 4 2inch holes, covered in hardware cloth inside, and a slanted heating vent outside...keeps out critters,rain, and snow.

    Today all are closed but the upper and lower vent.

    At 25 non wind howling degrees, pop door, and swing window is open...and of course the passive vents.

    The swing window is the same level as their perch.
     
  4. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The door to the run is at the floor, about 12"x14" and opposite side of the coop as the swinging bedroom window. My swing window is above their roost about 2 1/2 feet
     
  5. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    You want to get that wind/snow off the chickens on the roost area. Not sure how you can make that happen if I am understanding the layout correctly - but - oldtimers in the 20's used burlap or muslin curtains around the roost area. Is it possible to hang from the ceiling? You want some sort of fabric blocking of the winds. Feed sacks, old sheets, etc. You can weight them if needed.

    Another way to accomplish this would be to juryrig up a barrier on the outside of the window - not to close it off, but to block the wind. Even hanging an old sheet or tarp off the window that is propped open might help - again, you are trying to block the wind but allow free air access.

    Usually, you try to have the open windows on the opposite side of your prevailing winds.

    Pics of your coop would help!
     
  6. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have burlap and can do that, but I cant block their light source, right? That would basicly be the large window to the east. Because I have a tarp covering the North side of the run, snow rarely comes in that window. If I do that, maybe I can take off the board, air will still filter through, but not the wind really I guess. I will have to try that.

    This is the East facing side with the large window. The Northside is now wrapped with a tarp on the run, the coop actually had a front porch now and the North and West sides of that are wrapped as well. I can step up onto the porch from the east side. Its great for storing everything I need for the winter with out having to go to the garage

    [​IMG]

    This is the window above their roost. No one goes up there any more! lol It has a shutter on it that I prop open
    [​IMG]

    The front is not done on this yet, but you can see the opening between the actual building and the false front that extends up. Its about 4" wide and the entire length. Hardware cloth is attached to it now. The porch roof angles out from above that, so it is pretty protected from snow and rain getting in, the tarp wrapped on the porch helps with that to.
    [​IMG]

    Better pic of that vent. The roof angles down from 8' here at the front to 7' at the back

    [​IMG]

    These are the roost, the swing window is about 3 feet above these

    [​IMG]
     
  7. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's cool! Ha! Pun not intended.

    I still think a small hardware covered low vent and the top one would be great for the big chill we've got going on.

    I will not sleep well tonight with worry, but I'm sure they'll be fi e. It's too cold and dark for me to go out and check on them and i don't want to open anything and let their hard earned warm air out.
     
  8. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the door to the run open, is that not enough at the bottom? How do yours have any warm air? I just checked. Its 4 degrees in my coop with 80% humidity. I just went out, most of them have their heads tucked under their wings, I checked combs and waddles and all are warm. I will probably go out in the middle of the night when I wake up and think about them. Would rather bundle up for a few minutess and know they are okay than to lay awake all night. We were colder than this middle of November and they were fine. In fact they started laying that week! Crazy. All this cold and I am getting 7-9 eggs a day from my 15 pullets. No extra light in the coop. Im thinking thats pretty good.! [​IMG]
     
  9. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh your pop door to the run is open! I can't do that here. I'd be ru ni g a varmit hotel. Lol.

    Yup should be ok. We feed ours warm scratch about an hour before roosting at night. Little buggers are furnace factories.
     
  10. Newchickey

    Newchickey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Warm scratch? do you literally warm it?

    Heres a peek at the inside, I am not done, got to cold had to quit painting

    This is the East side above their run door
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    This is the North West Corner
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    This wall is spring, each wall will have a season lol Bess is checking it out. Below I got more work done on this wall.
    People at the church, trees, cows and chickens by the grey house! lol
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014

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