Ventilation Maybe? Drafts Probably? Help after a build ...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by afviolettes, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    So ... I built my coop in the dead of Texas Summer, and the design we chose made sense with two 2' x 2' windows on the south side and two 18" x 12" vents on the north side. Quick coop run-down. It's ~400 sqft ground area with a ~50 sqft inside floor space (excluding nesting box spaces).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This is an East Side shot and then a South side shot (windows). Below is the inside of the coop where I have my roost bars.

    [​IMG]

    Where I live, 2.5-3 hours West of Dallas, we typically have a Southerly wind in the Summer (about 80-90% of the time) and in the Winter we have a 50/50 split. In the Texas Heat the birds never had a problem sitting up on the upper roost whether it was windy or not.

    As the cold weather approaches, I'm beginning to think that I created myself a draft problem with little ventilation. If I close up those windows the only "fresh air" directly getting into the coop is through their entry door. Other than that it's sealed up as tight as wood and screws allow. The roof above the coop itself is insulated with a combination of insulation bats and spray foam (ran out of bats!).


    My first thought for ventilation is to maybe drill some "vent" holes on the east and west sides. I added some white circles here below for my idea - obviously with pictures it's hard to tell scale, but I have a 6 inch hole saw attachment that would do a mighty nice job.


    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I could do the same on the south side between the two windows as well ... and put a couple of vent holes in the middle of the windows.


    Looking for the communities thoughts/opinions on how they would crack this nut ... I honestly didn't put much thought into the difference or planning between ventilation and drafts ... until I saw the temperatures forecasted below 40 this weekend ... with rain the whole time. Might as well be 0 for around here!

    Thanks!

    - Jason
     
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm no expert but I think you'll be ok. You could block part of the window (lower half) with plywood to cut some 'draft'. Nice coop & run!
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think that's a viable option.
    You might not know for sure until your first big wind and you go inside to see(feel) what the airflow is like.
    Stay flexible, plan on being able to partially or totally cover openings that are letting in too much draft.

    Here's a couple links to check out:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048597/ventilated-but-free-of-drafts

    This is a great video showing air flows, tho the roost in that coop is way to close to ceiling.
     
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  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    At your location, draft will not be an issue for fully feathered standard sized fowl. I would even place a hardware cloth floor in the coop to ensure even more airflow during heat of summer. I would place more emphasis on keeping ground dry.
     
  5. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Good idea! thanks! My kids call it the Chicken Mansion [​IMG]

    aart, thanks for those links - however - I was unable to open the video, gave me a warning about the video being private. I think I need to get in the coop the next time we have a southerly wind and see what it feels like it inside the coop. I just have an inkling that those big 2 foot windows are going to let in a lot of wind/breeze. At least I have the drill etc at the ready to make changes in a relative hurry if I need to.

    Centrar, unfortunately my coop construction makes it not feasible to do that option. In theory I could do it, but it would require some major retrofitting from my original design/build. Maybe next time!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Aart,

    What do you think about just barring open the windows a certain extend vice having them full blown open ? Essentially making the window create a wind break, where the wind would have to "bend" around the window itself (unlikely). Still probably need to add some upper airvents - just a random thought this morning.
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Really I think you have enough ventilation. As long as you keep the 8 x 12 vents open. In your original post, you say they are on the Northside, but with the sun, and your east side windows, I think they must be open on the west?

    The higher the ventilation, above the birds, I think works the best. I am assuming that you are relatively dry, humidity wise? But I think you have a nice set up, I have vents on my high side of the roof and am quite pleased with how much difference in makes.

    I think I would go with a wait and see. Go down early in the morning, if it is damp, then you need more. Keep deep bedding, and throw scratch grain on top of it once a week, so they stir it up. Allows the manure to dry out, but breaking it up.

    Mrs K
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Too bad that video is unavailable, it was great illustration of air flow.
    The owner must have made it private, thanks for letting me know, I'll stop sharing it.

    Propping the windows partially open might work, might be easier if they were hinged at the top-which might be a pretty easy modification for you.
    I like top hinged windows be cause they can be left open all summer to keep most rain out while still providing ventilation

    Again, will still take some observation to find the best configuration for your coop, site, and climate.
     
  9. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    Mrs. K,

    My windows on are on the south side and my vents are on the north side. My nesting boxes are on the east side of the coop.

    I may have done a bad job of explaining that with the pictures.

    I haven't had any humidity issues thus far - the only "humidity" issue I have is a leaky water bucket, which is being replaced this weekend.

    aart,

    That's a good idea as well! Due to the way I did the roof I actually have zero issues with rain, the only rain issues I have is if it blows side ways (which happens every once in a while here in Texas).

    The next thing my SO wants me to do is build a small "tunnel" of sorts on the entry door for the chickens to backup the "wetness/coldness" from when they go in and out of the coop, so that's on the list for the weekend - assuming the weather cooperates.

    Thanks to all for good ideas and help!
     
  10. afviolettes

    afviolettes Out Of The Brooder

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    @aart

    So I picked up a nifty little sensor to track my temp and humidity - I hung it about 18 inches from the ceiling, midway, (so just shy of probably 5.5 feet there ceiling to floor). And inside temps held pretty much 2-3 degrees a higher than "outside" temps, but the humidity was high! It started around 70% by morning it was above 90%!

    This was with only 1 window open and almost no wind last night. Tonight it's supposed to be close to 25 degrees with significant wind.

    I did fashion a heat lamp in the Coop that I can remotely turn on/off, haven't tested it yet. I've also yet to make any additional "vent holes."

    Thoughts?
     

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