Vent Open at Night?

Rosanna

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
48
3
34
PA
We bought our chicken coop a week ago and moved our chicks into it on the same day. The coop has a vent in the back with a wire over it that has a door to open it and lock it and also a sliding window in the front with normal window screen. I'm a little too nervous to leave the window open during the day or night since I don't know if the screen is strong enough to keep predators out. I know the chickens need good ventilation but I've been so worried that if I leave one of the vents open at night that a predator will break in somehow. I have been closing and locking everything up each night and then opening the door to the back vent during the day everyday. We have coyotes, foxes, racoons, cats, hawks, etc in our area. Will it be ok to leave the back wired vent open during the night also? I'm not sure what type of wire it has over it but it feels pretty strong. I'm not sure if we should add some additional hardware cloth over it to protect them more so that the slots would be smaller. I want to make sure they are getting enough ventilation but also want to make sure predators won't break in and that it won't get too breezy. See below for pics. Thanks!



 

thomasboyle

Songster
6 Years
Feb 28, 2013
933
297
176
Northwest Hills of CT
You will want to leave it open as the weather gets warmer. The weak points of fencing are how it is attached to the coop, and how well it is welded to the other wires. To test it, take a pair of pliers, grab onto it, and yank on it hard, trying to tear it off. A raccoon or bobcat or dog will do the same with its teeth and or claws. If the welds give way, replace with stronger fencing. If it comes loose from the coop, re-attach with deck screws and fender washers. My coop has been attacked several times, and the 2"x4" outer fencing has been bent up a bit, but nothing has gotten past it or even touched the 1/2" hardware wire inner fence. If you have bigger predators - I had a 500lb black bear near the coop last week - then I don't have much advice on that - if they want in your coop, or your house for that matter, you aren't going to be able to stop them short of lethal force!
 

Rosanna

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
48
3
34
PA
You will want to leave it open as the weather gets warmer. The weak points of fencing are how it is attached to the coop, and how well it is welded to the other wires. To test it, take a pair of pliers, grab onto it, and yank on it hard, trying to tear it off. A raccoon or bobcat or dog will do the same with its teeth and or claws. If the welds give way, replace with stronger fencing. If it comes loose from the coop, re-attach with deck screws and fender washers. My coop has been attacked several times, and the 2"x4" outer fencing has been bent up a bit, but nothing has gotten past it or even touched the 1/2" hardware wire inner fence. If you have bigger predators - I had a 500lb black bear near the coop last week - then I don't have much advice on that - if they want in your coop, or your house for that matter, you aren't going to be able to stop them short of lethal force!
This is helpful, thank you! I will try the pliers test and if it's doesn't budge much then I will keep it open at all times. Thanks!
 

The Lazy L

Songster
8 Years
Dec 16, 2011
874
326
216
Northern Indiana
Rear vent. I would leave it open AFTER I replacing the 2" x 1" (estimated size from the pictures) with 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth, screwed on with fender washers.

Front windows. I would replace the nylon insect screens with 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth, screwed on with fender washers.
 

jetdog

Songster
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
1,282
138
148
Massachusetts
I would cover both windows with hardware cloth and washers from the inside, I assume you can open the real window from the outside.
 

Rosanna

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
48
3
34
PA
Thanks for the advice! I think we will replace the wire on the back vent for sure or at least put hardware cloth on it in addition to the current wire and once that is replaced then I'll feel comfortable leaving it open at night. :)
 
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