Ventilation Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CompostQueen, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. CompostQueen

    CompostQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2010
    My husband and I are constructing our coop out of a shed that we got from Costco. It is 8x6. It has massive double doors on the front of it that are around 6 ft wide. I tried to take pictures of it but it was getting too dark and they didn't really turn out. Here is the website for the specific shed in case you want to visualize: http://www.keter.com/products/bellevue/ We plan to attach the scratching yard to the front of the shed so that we can leave the doors open without fear of predators, and allowing for a lot of ventilation. At the top there are two triangular vents on the front and back. There is also one window. The window is maybe a square foot, or a little bigger. We are debating about whether to leave the "glass" in it (the window does not open at all) or to leave the "glass" out and install hardware cloth.

    There are a few other factors to consider: if we install the hardware cloth at the moment there would be nothing to cover it if it needed covering (not that that couldn't be rectified but...) We should get our chicks within the next two days and plan to raise them in the shed after a few days of being inside. I live in Central Virginia and it is already a HOT summer (often 100 degrees +, and Humid!). Obviously the doors will not be open while the chicks are teensy... Would they benefit from the window being open (all the time) or would it be a detriment? When they are adults will the top ventilation triangles and the front doors being open (except in terrible weather) be enough?

    Boiled down "glass" or hardward cloth? [​IMG]
     
  2. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out Pat's big 'ol ventilation page.

    I have seen those sheds and doubt the ventilation is sufficient. They really should be able to have some kind of a cross breeze.
     
  3. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. CompostQueen

    CompostQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2010
    I have read the ventilation page that is how I knew that I needed to leave the doors open. As I mentioned the doors are more than a quarter of of the total wall space. I am just trying to figure out whether I need more.

    The link as you posted it did not work for me. In case anyone reading this needs the link, hopefully this one will work: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  5. GoAngels

    GoAngels Out Of The Brooder

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    As coincidence would have it, my wife and I were just at Costco today and saw the exact shed you are talking about. I commented to my wife that it would make a great chicken coop. Anyway, the doors are so big relative to the window that it probably wouldn't make much of a difference. I would still probably cover it in hardware cloth. You will always need some ventilation...so even when it gets really cold, you can just close the doors and the window will be the sole source of ventilation.
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be careful about monitoring the heat in your coop, particularly if it's in the sun during any part of the day. I'd put a min/max temp gauge in there to keep an eye on it. So many people worry about chickens in the winter when it's summertime heat that kills so many chickens every year.

    There was a good article in Backyard Poultry magazine this month about keeping chickens cool in the summer:

    http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/issues/5-3.html
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:It's going to be WAY hot in there with the doors closed. I sure wouldn't try it myself. Unless maybe I were home ALL THE TIME to check on them literally every hour. You can put them in a high-walled brooder, with the shed doors open, and that way they will be protected from drafts or blown-in rain while the shed won't get as hot.

    When they are adults will the top ventilation triangles and the front doors being open (except in terrible weather) be enough?

    Whilst the front doors are open it should be fine.

    However I am concerned that you may be underestimating how often, and for how long, you may end up wanting/needing to close the front doors. In particular I am thinking about what happens if you get a day of driving rain from that direction in, say, November or March; and in the wintertime, especially during a winter storm event. With those doors closed, humidity will quickly skyrocket in the coop (especially if the doors have been *open* the rest of the time and the bedding has gotten damp) and you'll get mold in summer and frostbite in winter.

    If it were me, I'd work out some way of adding more ventilation, and/or try to minimize the number of chickens being kept in there.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  8. CompostQueen

    CompostQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow! Thanks for all the great advice!!!

    GoAngels- Thanks for the encouragement! [​IMG] I think it will be really great too once I get everything situated.

    Elmo- You are so right about the heat. I think because of all of the recommendations in the books about the importance of heat lamps I was really stuck on that. I am going to go get a copy of Backyard Poultry magazine and check out that article. It sounds very helpful!

    Pat- Thank you for all of your comments, they are really helping me to fine tune this! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I am going to attach the scratching yard to the front of the coop- encompassing the doors. At least around here many people construct their coops in a half moon of cattle panels with the back half covered with a tarp, but otherwise all ventilation. Wouldn't having the doors open and the shed at the back of the scratching pen be a lot like that? At least to my way of thinking/hoping the pen itself would screen the open doors quite a bit, especially because on one side of the pen is a fence with bushes and a neighbors shed on the other side of that, giving a wind break. On the other side I was thinking of putting up some sort of bamboo screen or something so that air could still get in but rain, snow, etc would be partially filtered out.

    At the moment my chicks are inside in a baby pool. I would keep them inside the entire time (and I certainly can if need be) but would rather not for obvious reasons. I love your idea of putting a large brooder inside the shed with the doors open. Does the brooder need to have solid sides in order to keep drafts out, assuming they are outside in the open shed?
     
  9. mxer

    mxer Out Of The Brooder

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    You would not believe the heat that builds up in the upper portion of the coop, above head level. I installed a roof vent that spins with the wind but still lets heat escape on calm days. Made a very big difference and fairly easy to install.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Um, maybe. I strongly suspect that you will find you have more heat buildup and less weather protection with your setup. You can always wait and see, and deal with adding ventilation later, if you want... it is just usually easier to do it first, at leisure, rather than *after* problems become evident and usually in foul weather and with time pressure [​IMG]

    Does the brooder need to have solid sides in order to keep drafts out, assuming they are outside in the open shed?

    I would if the chicks are still pretty small. To keep cold storm breezes out, etc. Once they are getting reasonably well feathered out, like 6-8 wks, it is not so important.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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