Ventilation and Light?

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

  1. jesd

    jesd Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2009
    We're working on our coop now (have another 4-6 weeks, thank goodness), and are debating how much ventilation/natural light is necessary. Due to the constraints of our backyard, the coop is backed up against two walls, leaving only two sides free. One side will of course have the door, and another side will have a bump-out for the nesting boxes. We are planning on an overhanging roof, and some windows covered with hardware cloth (and shutters for bad weather). The coop will likely be 3x5 and maybe 4-5 ft tall. So, are two 1x1 windows enough for ventilation and light? Do we need to drill holes in for additional ventilation? Wire for light?

    Thanks for any advice/thoughts!
     
  2. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,719
    12
    171
    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Where are you?
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    109
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Against two building walls is fine as long as it is not the north and east walls of the coop (meaning the coop is in a SW suntrap, will get very hot). Because you will not get a 'through' breeze, I'd suggest building in a bit more ventilation than you would otherwise.

    Two 1x1 windows is, IMO, not really enough for a 3x5 coop (it depends somewhat on where you live, but pretty much anywhere you'll want more. That's fine for *window* size, but I would suggest some vents high on the walls as well. How tall is this coop? If the occupied portion is short (like, ceiling only 3' or so) then make sure the roost is at one *end*, so that you can leave vents high on the wall at the far end of the coop open during the winter (not the wall your prevailing winds come from though). If it is a playhouse-style semi-walk-in coop, it's not as crucial to do that, but still not a bad idea.

    I would suggest your openings be perhaps 6" high and most of the length of the wall(s), with flaps or sliders to cover them. you can split the flap in half for the long wall to enable you to open only half the length of it in wintertime.

    If you live in a really hot climate, you would probably want larger areas for ventilation.

    Of course there are many ways of doing it, but the above should serve you well, which can't be said for *all* the common alternatives [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. jesd

    jesd Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2009
    Where are you?

    We're in Maryland. It gets into the 90s in the summer, and not usually below the 20s in winter.

    One complication here is that there isn't a natural air flow around the coop - our yard is fairly well surrounded by a tall fence.

    We're thinking probably a 4 ft tall coop (3x4 wide) - small, but we have only 4 chickens... I like the idea of vents up on the wall. We were also thinking about somehow propping the roof open during the hottest days, but this is complicated by our desire to keep out little birds/mice/rats...​
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    109
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Here's a thought: make one of the two sides of the coop completely removeable (except for a foot or so above the floor, to hold bedding in) with strongly-braced hardwarecloth *only*. (As long as this is not a side you'll get weather from). You can remove that panel for hot weather, then put it back on (recommend bolts and wingnuts, w/weatherstripping if construction is a bit gappy) for the colder part of the year. It can, itself, have a window and/or vent in it for colder weather use; or the removeable part can stop short of the top, with a permanently-set vent there.

    Good luck, have fun, as long as this corner between walls is not a heat trap and not facing the worst of your weather you should be able to make it work pretty well,

    Pat
     
  6. jesd

    jesd Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    32
    Apr 5, 2009
    Great ideas, thanks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by