three sided box inside 12x20 coop


13 Years
Jan 28, 2009
Cecil Co. MD - 5Yrs. Chickens 4Yrs. Ducks
preparing to finalize winter coop designs

I have a 12x20 shed, of which half is used as my coop. Barn doors face south and will be covered with plastic sheeting on the inside, so i can open the doors and let sun beam in during the day.


Window on the left faces east of course and will be covered with sheeting, in some sort of frame )with foam insulated edges to deter draft) so I can remove it and replace it (should plan on something for the south door as well - like venting across the top that can be closed....) I'm thinking I will have vents with an overhang or baffle on all sides of the coop near the top of course, so that I can open particular ones depending on the wind conditions.

My coop/barn sits in a low spot and I have been able to determine some causes of moisture and humidity (thanks to BYC!) namely splash up along the bottom edges. With that remedied, I still am tackling the challenge of adequate air exchange vs "drafts" with these coming winter months.

I plan to insulate the walls and had thought about closing up the half shed area of the coop with some sort of solid barrier be it plastic on outside of the chicken wire panels we have (they are removable panels dividing the shed in we can move one to put the mower in and out. I like flexibility always - everything i have set up so far is movable) or maybe plywood, carboard or luan. heck even a blanket or two would suffice. I am figuring that with less open space, my small flock of 7 (3 & 4) would be able to benefit from heat generated by their bodies in a smaller area. But keeping in mind the need for adequate air flow, I am now wondering if I should just concentrate on making a three sided box at the roost level. Definately no draft on chickens worry then. Still working on the notion....

I guess it would be like a nest box with no bottom - roost box

what do you think
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I like this!!! I want to see more pictures..from a distance and from outside, nice

like the fan up there also...very good ventilation also.
I like your setup!

Quite frankly, my first reaction (also my second and possibly third) is "you live in Maryland - don't worry so much about it"
Honest, you do not seem to have unusually large-combed or cold-sensitive breeds, and it looks like your birds will have good shelter from wind and air as dry as the day's weather allows -- really, how cold does it get where you are, maybe 0 F on a cold night?

It might be worth knocking up a piece or two of plywood (or whatever) so the roost area is more enclosed, not so much to hold body heat in but just to protect vs wind when it's coming from an atypical direction. Rather than stressing about lots of vents atop all the walls, personally I'd be inclined to just make sure there are some available atop the south or southeast walls (or barn doors, if that's what's on the south side) and call it good. The ideal situation for winter is when the coop is largely vented through a good-sized building that buffers wind and temperature -- which is nearly the setup you've got, yes?

Obviously having more, on more walls, won't *hurt*, and it might be useful for summer cooling if you have any problem with that at present (tho you seem to have a lot of mesh area so probably you don't). But I don't really think you're likely to NEED more, or wind baffles, or anything exotic like that.

One advantage you have is that because only half the shed is chickens, you have automatically no more than half the stocking density (per volume of air) than people normally do --thus their humidity output is spread through a larger amount of air and is less severe than in a more densely stocked building.

Really I think you will be utterly ok and do not need to go to special lengths for a Maryland winter

Good luck, have fun,

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