Ventilation / Drafts


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 10, 2008
I live in Michigan and we get some very cold weather, I recall a winter a few years back in which thge temperature stayed below 0 for 9 days.

I built a fairly nice coop and all has gone well to this point. I have plenty of windows which provided execellent ventilation in the warm weather. This week I installed some old removable single pane storm windows that were laying around after a recent renovation.

With the reduced ventilation, I decided to cut in two vents. I have a standard floor vent placed high in the gable on one end of the coop, and a larger 6 x 14 inch vent in the opposite end. Everyone seems to recommend lots of ventilation, and this seems to work, but it will certainly create a draft. I have read that drafts are to be avoided. This seems like an oxymoron. How can I get good ventilation without some draft?

Pullet Pimp

11 Years
Jul 1, 2008
From everything I have read on here and in books, it is draft at chicken level that is bad. You should be good if it is at the peaks like you described, unless that is where the roosts are. Drafts directly on the birds is what to avoid.

Good luck


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Draft = moving air pointed at chicken. Ventilation = moving air pointed elsewhere in coop, so that at actual chicken level (and roost level) there is not much of any breeze.

Also you can do various things to temper the speed at which air enters the coop - close upwind vents on windy days, make flaps or hoods or baffles, etc etc.



Buff Hooligans

12 Years
Jun 11, 2007
We have roof peak vents. They are about 3 feet above the hens heads. No winter casualties yet.

It's like a bedroom window left open at night in the fall. If it were right next to you, you'd get a chill. But if it were several feet away and the draft was diffused by the air in the room, it's not a problem.


11 Years
Jan 29, 2008
southern tier,NY
I know what you mean thinking it's oxymoron.I too have read about ventilation and draft free coops in every book I own and have ever read about chickens.
I know some owners that raise game roosters outside in a cage all year round.All seasons they are out in the wind and cold here in Upstate NewYork and they are the healthiest chickens I have ever seen.Not by just fairing weather but disease resistant to:hmmne owner has been raising them like this for over 60 years.So it is often hard for me to believe you really need to go to some of the extremes people do with their chickens.Not that there is anything wong with people making a nice home for their pets just overkill.
I will post a picture of a pen similar to the pens here.The only difference is that here they are square and usually have metal roofing laid on top.They face them on the southern exposure in the winter.Mine isn't done but they put a 2x4 across the middle as a perch for the bird. Will

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