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stupid humidity!! GAAAH!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by technodoll, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    (( sorry, ranting below! ))

    It's been around 95% humidity OUTSIDE the past few days, blizzard conditions with freezing temps and arctic winds, blowing snow and IT'S SO WET AND DAMP!!

    How on earth am I supposed to keep the coop inside at less than 95% humidity when it's that wet outside??

    I had to close off all the air vents as freezing wind was pushing in, the girls are shivering and am very frustrated at the whole thing!

    I've patched and insulated the old coop as best as I could but it's still damp, cold and drafty - the heat lamp is on 24/7 but doesn't seem to do much except skyrocket our electricity bill (I have a 9-week old pullet under there, alone because the other girls pecked her to bleeding point).

    All this and winter is barely starting.


  2. That system is heading here, and I closed up the coop and barn as tight as I safely could. With only 12 hens I have lots of airspace. Do you have lots of clean bedding? I topped mine today along with a sprinkling of food-grade DE and a little Stable Boy on the planks and perimeter. Is there any other place you can relocated the 9-week-old? My fallback location is a downstairs bathroom where I brooded the chicks. I know it has been terrible there, you must be ready to rip your hair out. [​IMG]
  3. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Batten the hatches!! [​IMG]

    It's not the cold nor the snow that's miserable, it's the WIND! [​IMG]

    A bit warmer at the end of day than this morning, but oh man has it ever been brutal.

    Skin freezes in less than two minutes if not protected.

    Good luck with your coop, let us know how it goes!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, on the one hand, no, obviously you can't change the weather [​IMG]

    OTOH it is not necessarily quite as dire as you might think. First, just b/c it is humid and below freezing does not *guarantee* frostbite or anything like that, just makes birds more susceptible (so keep a close frequent eye on them).

    Also, if you manage things shrewdly and keep a generally clean DRY coop, your coop may have sort of "negative water capacity" for a while so to speak, that is to say the wood and bedding can be dry enough to absorb and handle a certain amount of weather-related humidity for a while (at least if you limit ventilation to only what's necessary).

    Finally, if your coop is warmer than the outdoors -- and with a large insulated coop with a dirt or slab floor, it WILL be unless you have a whole big lot of windows open -- then *because of the warmer temps indoors* the outdoor air will become less humid when it comes indoors. (In terms of relative humidity, that is, which is what matters w/r/t frostbite. Warmer air can hold more water, so for a given # g of water per volume of air, when that air becomes warmer, it has a lower relative humidity).

    If you think you are seeing problems (pale or dark comb points), you can plug in a lamp for them to get under, but I wouldn't *assume* you're going to have problems just b/c it is yucky weather.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, a little ways upwind of you at the moment, with similar weather although perhaps not quite as chronically-wet as you're describing
  5. Omani

    Omani Songster

    Aug 10, 2009
    I feel your pain. We're an hour south of Buffalo (blizzard of '77 anyone?) That nasty weather is coming here tonight.[​IMG]
    Luckily, we added plastic sheeting to the walls as a wind barrier, like a house wrap. The temps inside have been staying above 45*F (outside 20*-25*F). But I don't have a clue what to do about the humidity other than change the bedding every day. I'm hoping that once this storm passes and I can open the vent, it will go down.
  6. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Pat, it feels colder IN the coop than outside...

    I have a wood floor and scoop out the poop from under the sleeping quarters about once a week to limit the dust, the flock likes to scratch all the bedding into coop corners so I add a bit about 3 or 4 times a month to the bare spots and the cycle repeats itself.

    Heating lamp (175W) is on 24/7 to try and dry things up, good news is that the coop thermometer is reading -2C (just below freezing point) with 95% humidity but none of the water dishes have any ice (I have 3 different pens in one coop).

    I don't want to see the electricity bill [​IMG]

    When the arctic winds die down I will open up the ventilation traps again, although I know they are too small for the coop.

    We're selling this place and should be out by next summer, one condition is that when we move I get to build a brand-new coop for the flock instead of patching up this century-old drafty rotten piece o'crap! Woo!

    Now if only the flock can stay alive and healthy until spring, we're all set.


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