Ventilation in very small temp coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pawsplus, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    17
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    So b/c of my introduction problems, my 2 pullets Audrey and Bianca are getting their own mini-coop in their own run adjacen to the other run. The idea is that over time Clarice (big mean boss hen) will get used to the idea.

    The mini-coop will be made using a dog house similar to this one, which I already have:

    [​IMG]

    It's 4.5 feet long, 3 feet high at the front, and 2.5 feet wide. There is plenty of room for Audrey and Bianca, but obviously once they are up on a roost, any ventilation I add at the top will be a draft blowing on their heads. [​IMG]

    The roof hinges up. I will be adding large, locking hook n' eyes to keep anyone from getting in (they'd have to get into the pen first, which is Fort Knox, but I take all precautions. I COULD add spacers to keep the top from lowering all the way (leaving a small gap). But again, that would be up near their heads when they are on the roost.

    How much do I need to worry about this? Obviously they will only be shut in at night and I will keep it VERY clean. Suggestions for how to ventilate it?

    I VERY much hope this will be needed no longer than a month. Obviously the goal is for them all to live happily together. But in the meantime I have to make things as safe and nice for them as possible.
     
  2. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

    98
    0
    29
    Aug 11, 2011
    I have not tryed this but have been thinking a small Register Vent would let you open and close the vent in really cold weather and strong winds!
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I wouldn't worry about it at all
    It's only temporary, and you can always add a vent if you see a need for it.

    Just try it as is, and go from there
     
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    17
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Given that it's temporary, I'm trying to avoid anything that that's much work, LOL!
     
  5. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    17
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Quote:OK. I'm not sure how I'll know if there's a problem, though. I gather the main concern is ammonia buildup--if I keep the bedding very clean, that shouldn't be an issue though, right?
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think you'll be fine just for a month, and it won't be too cold in TN within the next month will it?? With only two birds, daily poo removal, and only being contained inside overnight, you should be just fine.
    But if you're worried, drill a series of holes up high along the wall furthest from the roosts (assuming that would be the wall to the left of the doorway?). And as along as you had a windbreak on that side - or the coop was positioned so that the holes were away from the prevailing wind side, things should be fine.
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    17
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Quote:OK. I could also put the holes in and then drop a piece of tarp down over them--so they were covered but not plugged (air flow still possible).
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I don't think you need to worry too much. It's really nice of you to give them their own little home for now, so they won't be bullied.

    They can use a roost that's only a couple of inches above the floor or litter just fine. When sleeping, they don't need as much head room, either, since they hunch down when they're sleeping. They won't have their heads up at the top, unless you choose to have the roosts a lot higher than they need to be. Just put them high enough to not be an issue with the litter levels. That's not the size and style of coop you'd want to use really deep litter in, anyway.

    With small vents on only the end they aren't roosting in, just under the edge of the roof, I don't think they'd have a problem in colder weather. This time of year, I wouldn't worry at all. Are you planning on adding a solid door or a 1/2" hardware cloth screen door? If you put in a hardware cloth door, framed in sturdy wood, you wouldn't even need to add vents. The door would be enough. If they were going to be in it all winter, then you'd want to do a solid door, though.

    If racoons are an issue, I would use something like a hasp latch, rather than a hook and eye. Then you can lock it down and they can't just unhook the hook. They're pretty handy that way. I'd also cover any vents you add with hardware cloth. We usually use screws and washers to attach it.
     
  10. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    17
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Quote:Well . . . not really! It's only a little over 2 feet tall and Bianca is a REALLY big chicken. I put the roost up 1 foot from the floor and given that they have to jump up to the roost a bit, headroom is scarce! They're roosting on the bar so it's fine, but yes, their heads are right up at the top.

    Here's the completed "Mini-Cooper." [​IMG]

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=570785

    With small vents on only the end they aren't roosting in, just under the edge of the roof, I don't think they'd have a problem in colder weather. This time of year, I wouldn't worry at all. Are you planning on adding a solid door or a 1/2" hardware cloth screen door? If you put in a hardware cloth door, framed in sturdy wood, you wouldn't even need to add vents. The door would be enough. If they were going to be in it all winter, then you'd want to do a solid door, though.

    I made it solid b/c I have no way of knowing. I sure HOPE they're not still going to be separated from the other girls come winter, but I don't want to have to redo things so went ahead and made it solid.
    If racoons are an issue, I would use something like a hasp latch, rather than a hook and eye. Then you can lock it down and they can't just unhook the hook. They're pretty handy that way. I'd also cover any vents you add with hardware cloth. We usually use screws and washers to attach it.

    I use locking hook n' eyes--you need opposable thumbs and an understanding of how springs work to operate them. [​IMG] Like this one (although this one isn't locked--you pull the spring back and then drop the hook down into the eye and release the spring):

    [​IMG]

    Those are the ones I used to lock the top down. I did use a hasp lock w/ a clip through it for the front door. Racoons are highly unlikely since they whole pen is Fort Knox'd up to the max, but I never say never (that way lies danger!).​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by