Ventilation and roost positioning -- help please?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 6, 2010
Island County, WA
We have been given an old tortoise shed which we are converting into a chicken coop. It is 6' x 10', and slopes from about 4' to 5.5' tall. One 6' side has a human door, the full height of the shed, the other 6' side has a window and a tortoise door which will become our chicken door to the run.

Aside from ripping out the insulation, we only need to add ventilation (that thing was airtight!), nest boxes and perches.

The window is about 18" tall by 28" wide, and it starts maybe 3' from the bottom. We've taken out the glass and added hardware cloth. We have also taken off an 18" x 8' panel of OSB from along the top of the tallest 10' side, and covered that in hardware cloth too.

We have 10 seven week old chickens, and may (hopefully) be getting 2 - 4 more this month that are already laying.

My question is about positioning the perches. How far from the ventilation do they need to be? Will it be too drafty if the chickens are roosting a few feet from an open window, at the same height? Do we need to be able to shut the window? (We could put the glass back in at night.) The window is toward the taller side of the coop, so we were thinking about running a perch the full length of the coop on the shorter side.

Also, is that enough ventilation? And would it be enough even if we closed the window? We could add more easily enough, the problem is just positioning it.

Last edited:


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
Salem / Redgranite
Take a look at the post "Roost space & run cover" - there is some helpful roost information there that might answer your questions. Basically if it gets really cold in the winter you don't want an open vent or window next to your roost. My best idea would be to have the vent above the roost (at least 24") and an window that you can open & close next to the roost so they can have a breeze in the summer.

Ventilation = good
Drafts = bad

Good luck!

Backyard Hencam

12 Years
Apr 27, 2009
California Central Coast
In our somewhat temperate climate we have a hardward cloth opening (up high) nearly the length of the coop that is always open. Our understanding is that a crossdraft is what is harmful. The roosts are not next to the the open ventilation. A rancher near here has one entire side of his coop open to the elements (covered in hardware cloth). He is inland and colder than our location. He insists that chickens can stand low temperatures but not drafts. Hope this is helpful.


Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
So besides the window you have a 18" x 8 ft. section of ventilation??? That is plenty of ventilation even if you had to block of the window in winter time (not sure what kind of winters you guys get). Personally, I like a roost near a window. It allows the chickens to cool off on warm days/nights. And since you kept the window, you could just replace it come winter time, or cover the area with a sheet of plexiglass screwed over the opening.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom