Ventilation and Coop Build

ToddSquad5

Hatching
Sep 25, 2019
2
5
9
Hi! My husband is working on finishing up our coop/run. He built it onto the shed he was also building, so they share a roof and a wall. My main question is about ventilation, but I welcome other constructive feedback also.
1) The ceiling of the coop is made from boards with maybe a quarter inch of space between them. Is that sufficient ventilation? I'm thinking we may need to add some rectangular holes with hardware cloth near the tops of the walls, but do we need vents on each wall, or would only the wall with the pop door be sufficient? Because I also want to keep the coop dry.

2) Best placement of roosting bars?

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Kayla's Lunch

Songster
Jun 9, 2018
493
736
227
Maryland
I think it is supposed to be 1sq ft. of ventilation per bird, so you would need more. Are you saying that the roof has 1/4" spaces? Wouldn't rain come in? Sorry if I am not understanding something here.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,534
8,701
656
Stillwater, OK
Hi! My husband is working on finishing up our coop/run. He built it onto the shed he was also building, so they share a roof and a wall. My main question is about ventilation, but I welcome other constructive feedback also.
1) The ceiling of the coop is made from boards with maybe a quarter inch of space between them. Is that sufficient ventilation? I'm thinking we may need to add some rectangular holes with hardware cloth near the tops of the walls, but do we need vents on each wall, or would only the wall with the pop door be sufficient? Because I also want to keep the coop dry.

2) Best placement of roosting bars?

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Hi ToddSquad, welcome to Backyard chickens! I’m in Oklahoma, with winters that don’t usually go below 0 F but hot summers, so I prefer a lot of ventilation. I made one wall (the south wall) mostly hardware cloth (never covered) and added five windows, along with a white metal roof with reflective insulation and shade cloth over it all. It still gets too hot in summer! Here’s a pic of the open end from the outside and inside (before roosts and nest boxes).

If I had it to do all over, I would have added larger windows that went down to near floor level. Instead, I’m planning on a solar gable vent fan next summer. Unless you have heating, your coop will likely be at ambient temperature anyway, so I think maximal ventilation with minimal drafts is ideal...
 

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ToddSquad5

Hatching
Sep 25, 2019
2
5
9
Thanks for the replies so far! @Kayla's Lunch some of my pictures didn't load. Sorry for the confusion. There is a roof over the coop and run, but the ceiling of the coop is made from boards. So there is a triangular loft space above the coop that'll keep the coop dry.

I'm in southern Indiana. I think I will definitely put some ventilation on the run side, under the roof, but if I put vent holes on the outside wall, how do I keep water out? A little roof over the window?
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,534
8,701
656
Stillwater, OK
Thanks for the replies so far! @Kayla's Lunch some of my pictures didn't load. Sorry for the confusion. There is a roof over the coop and run, but the ceiling of the coop is made from boards. So there is a triangular loft space above the coop that'll keep the coop dry.

I'm in southern Indiana. I think I will definitely put some ventilation on the run side, under the roof, but if I put vent holes on the outside wall, how do I keep water out? A little roof over the window?
For the main coop with pics above, I ended up covering the whole coop and run in order to keep the run drier, but I don’t worry about a little water that gets into the coop from windows. Here is a pic of our rooster coop - I was much more worried about the heat than the cold for our roosters so those windows (south facing again) are head/chest level for them. I’m also using deep litter in this coop. If we have a real gale with lots of sideways driven rain, then I may scoop out and replace wet shavings but it usually dries itself quickly due to the deep litter and high ventilation. The venting along the top is more in line with what most people do ventilation wise in their coops, but heat is such a problem for us. My major ventilation is all south facing because our cold storms come from the North. All N sides of coops are solid or have windows that can close.
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,151
33,690
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
1) Ideally you want a minimum of 1 sq ft of vents per bird or 10% of floor space, whichever is greater. Some gaps in the ceiling is not going to be enough. Plus another very common problem on here is a coop with no natural light (so you have to add lighting), so including working windows can solve both those problems.

To deal with rain, an awning style window is an option, or big roof overhangs, or just placing windows out of the way of prevailing winds. I have windows on 3 sides of my coop and vents on all 4 sides and no issue with keeping the inside dry.

2) Roost bars should be higher than the nest boxes, placed in such a way that you don't get drafts blowing over them. Need at least 12" clearance from walls, other roosts, etc to allow the chickens to easily get on them, though I'd do 14-16" if possible.

Also wanted to note that chicken wire isn't predator proof.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,906
68,625
1,412
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
The wall that you have the pop door in, since it is completely under a roof, I would take out half of that wall and replace it with hardware cloth.

Do realize that the chickens will try to roost in that triangular loft space.

I would take out that flat roof, and then there is more headspace in the coop.

As to a window on the opposite/not-sheltered side....

I would put one in that closes with an awning flap. So when open the flap would be a roof to protect from rain. (But really, any style window works that has some rain protection).

You will want a window on that unprotected side so the air blows through the coop in the summer (I have heard that your area of the country gets hot summers). But it would be nice to close it in the winter. (But only close the window on the unprotected side. The coop wall with the pop door should be about half wire and open all year).
 

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