Ventilation question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Lucy4, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are in the process of finishing our small coop, playhouse style, which will have two windows for ventilation. But when we slide the plexiglass back in for winter-time, what about air flow then? What's a good way to provide ventilation during the cold season without it getting too windy for the chickens? Thanks.
     
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:make an opening in the higher edge of the wall, that way air is comming in but no draft.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, you will want to build some actual vents too. I would suggest atop several walls, not right atop the roost (or at least, not *only* there)... something like 6" high and most of the length of the wall(s) is good. Make a flap or slider so you can close the vent partially or totally depending on the weather (you'll want to weatherstrip it if you live somewhere with Real Winters).

    So on real cold days, you will shut things down to just one or two walls' vents partly open, only on the downwind side(s).

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, folks. How wide should these openings be -- I'm imagining quite thin.. like a finger, but maybe I'm wrong. Is that what people mean by "arrow slots"?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    A thin slit like that won't give you much ventilation (although there may be times in really bad cold winter storms when you want to *temporarily* shut things down to that)... I would suggest something on the order of 6" high by most of the width of the wall, for your size coop. So on the 5' wall it might be 6" x 4', or you might split it into several smaller ones to fit between studs.

    Pat
     
  6. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I like your ventilation page!

    But excuse my thick skull for a moment... you mean having 6" by 4" openings *as well as* the windows, or in lieu of?

    I wonder if I could make some kind of window where it closes part-way for winter, but wasn't wide open. Hm. I wish I was handier.
     
  7. Puck-Puck

    Puck-Puck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pat and Chickens,
    thank you for the link to your ventilation page. Thank you also for spelling out that you almost can't have too much ventilation, even where there are Real Winters. This is information I've been looking for! The hat-and-coat analogy works for me. [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:As well as. I suppose you could make the covering flaps (to close the vents down) out of plexiglass... but you really need more ventilation than just that, so if you're going to have more than that *anyhow*, seems to me it may's well be a normal window [​IMG]

    I wonder if I could make some kind of window where it closes part-way for winter, but wasn't wide open.

    You can -- the best things would be either a double-hung window, or a, what do you call it, the kind that opens inward from the top like a hopper door -- BUT the problem is that you ideally want your ventilation at the top of the wall, which is often not easily achieved with windows. Plus, you really ought to have more ventilation than just windows will provide. Thus, it makes sense (IMO) to have both.

    The thing you need to understand about chickens is that they create tremendous amounts of humidity, both by breathing and by pooing. They poo a LOT. Really. Wet poo. It does not take many chickens *at all* to really humidify a coop, especially a small coop like yours, and humidity is Not Good. So a chicken coop needs quite a lot more ventilation than a storage shed or a doghouse would.

    And it is EVER so much easier to have built it that way in the first place, than to find yourself with frosty windows and frostbitten combs in January and have to haul out the Sawzall and hack holes in your beautiful coop [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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