Ventilation question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CuriousQueen, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. CuriousQueen

    CuriousQueen Chirping

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    I’m redoing an old shed to start my first coop. Many years ago it was my pigeon loft. It is 8x8 and is one of those lofted style roofs. The roof should only need redhingling but I have to redo the rest.
    There is a hole in the roof about 8” diameter that has a turbine vent on it.
    It causes a draft, but the way I had it in the inside it was fine for the pigeons.
    Question is:
    I’m considering this roof vent.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Master-...atic-Roof-Vent-in-Black-SSB960ASCBL/205338995

    It allows air out but doesn’t let moisture in. I intend to put a window on the south side. But wondering if the above is enough for our cold winters in Missouri.
    It isn’t so much the cold, we can have extreme temperature changes. Last week we had a night -11 f with a real feel of -25. Sunday it will be close to 50f
    Big swing!
    Should I add a louvred vent on the side side as well?
    Thank you.
    Ps. I’m enjoying the many articles, reviews etc y’all have on here. The reading has kept me busy.
     
  2. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster 5 Years

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    I read once that you should have about one square foot of vent for every bird. I'm not sure how much air those roof vents move or even if they move air when there is no breeze. I just have holes in the side of my coop under the eaves covered in hardware cloth. My coop is 6' by 8' and I have about 10 square feet of vent area that is never closed no matter how cold it gets. I live in NW Montana.
     
  3. CuriousQueen

    CuriousQueen Chirping

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    Oh wow, I’m glad I asked.
    Does big temp changes like I mentioned above cause any problems?
    Thank you for answering my question.
     
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster 5 Years

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    Draft is worse for birds than temperatures. As long as the birds have a well ventilated coop that doesn't have a breeze blowing on the birds, they should handle most weather without a problem. My vents are up high but the roost is only 20 inches above the floor of the coop. By the way, probably the best roosts are a 2 by 4 with the wide side up. That way the birds can cover their feet with their body and keep their feet warm. Best waterer for cold weather, in my opinion, is a container (most use a 5 gallon bucket but I use a 10 gallon clear tote with lid) with a stock tank deicer and horizontal nipples. This is my third winter with that set up and have never had frozen water.
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Your location would help. That way I can give you the best advice based on your climate. i.e., I am from northern Canada. I have barely any ventilation open in winters, against people's suggestions, because I need that heat held in and it's already quite dry here. However, I need my ventilation placed differently here, than one might in a hot climate.
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Crowing 8 Years

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    I basically get the same temps you get, and you can see below my coop's ventilation setup. The whole front wall is open. Chickens generate A LOT of moisture, just from breathing. And that moisture has to be removed from a coop. I read once, where a human would have to have the respiration rate of a horse, to match a chicken. So, that's where the 1sq ft of vent opening per bird comes from. We've had the same wide swings in temp as you describe, and none of my birds have ever seemed to suffer any ill effects from it. They are tougher than you think.

    [​IMG]
     
    Soon2BChixMom and CuriousQueen like this.
  7. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Personally I would suggest one of two things:
    A woods coop- I don't know much about them, but have heard good things (like the one above)
    OR
    Make lots of ventilation, but make it all openable and closable. Make your coop walk in. Make vents at the floor (so all the heat doesn't escape) and at the lowest roof-point thre is. Make sure they are a foot above or below roosts and remember, drafts are not ventilation. I made the mistake of having my winter ventilation at the highest point, which allows what heat my birds produce to slip out. Make ventilation closable and openable.
    Then, if you need to close up completely you can. BYCers usually avoid this, but I have had to. Why? I have 5 adults in a 6x8 coop. Not a lot of heat was being produced. I had to contain what little I could.
    Openable and closable ventilation means you have custom ventilation- appropriate for all sizes of flocks and all types of weather. Which, is, in short, great. But if you do this, you have to really watch your birds. Make sure no moisture is accumulating, or you'll be in big trouble. When I fully shut up my coop (when it gets below -35 C), I only feed snow to my birds (and one daily trip with lukewarm water that is NOT steaming), to prevent moisture from accumulating. It works- but my climate is very DRY and NEVER humid. So, this may NOT work in YOUR climate. Your birds are the best answers- NOT what some stranger on the internet tells you. SO, in conclusion, yes, follow the rule of thumb (1 square foot of ventilation per 10 square feet of coop space) for ventilation, but make it ADJUSTABLE.
     
    CuriousQueen likes this.
  8. CuriousQueen

    CuriousQueen Chirping

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    Kansas City, Missouri
    Thanks all for the clarifications. I’ll install adjustable louvred vents.
     
  9. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Free Ranging

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    My Coop
    Vents at the floor? I have not heard of this before. Just curious why would one do that?
     
  10. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    So that the heat does not escape. When you place vents at the highest point, all the body heat escapes- fatal in a cold climate. As long as there are no drafts, it would work.
     

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