Ventilation - sizing, placement

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 81Ranch, May 13, 2009.

  1. 81Ranch

    81Ranch New Egg

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    May 13, 2009
    New to the site & chickens, too.

    This spring, we bought 30 chicks, they are two weeks old now, and we've been working on getting the coop ready. Our first one is 8x8, and it's purpose is to house the 20 meat chickens we're doing... We'll build a 4x8 for 8 - 10 hens next.

    We're from the Texas panhandle, so it's warming up nicely. We finished (or so I thought) our coop yesterday, and put the chicks in last night. Have two heat lamps running so they would be warm enough over night (low temp around 60). Everyone survived the night, I thought we had it whipped. It got pretty warm this afternoon, up to about 95. Checked on them and they were panting heavily. All of them. We brought them back inside, everybody's good. I crawled inside the coop, and while it was warm, I didn't think it was THAT bad. Put a thermometer in there, was probably about 93. At that time, I had two windows, one on the south side, another on the north that are 1'x2'. our prevailing winds are south-west, and I've got a privacy fence on the north and east sides (about 2 foot away from the coop).

    I did some reading and figured out that wasn't enough venting, so I added one that was 1'6"x2' on the west side, and another that was 1'x2' on the east, so now I've got vents on all sides. Temp went down to 87 or so.

    Do you think I've got enough ventilation, what else can I do to make sure the chicks are comfortable?
     
  2. annek

    annek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    I am in South Carolina and am just finishing up my coop. Our weather is not as hot as Texas but very muggy. I think you will need some more ventilation than that. I may have gone overboard but chickens are very heat intolerant and I only want to do this once. This is what I did to my coop, it is 7x7 with 6' walls.

    On one wall I put in a 4x2' screened (hardware cloth) vent close to the floor (closeable in winter), a smaller 2x2' vent (hardware cloth) above it close to the roof, next wall has a 3'x6' door that opens into a 3 sided dirt pen that will be left open during the summer months. Third wall has a 2'x3' window that opens top or bottom. Fourth wall has a 5'x2.5' window that opens top or bottom and a walk through door that I will screen if I need more ventilation. Additionally I have screened the eaves on both sides, and screened the peak end of the roof with hardware cloth that will continually be open even in the winter (I am also ordering an attic fan thermostatically controlled to put up there).

    I also added foam insulation and then covered the walls with a fiberglass reinforced plastic type sheeting for ease of cleaning and to prevent them from pecking the insulation. I didn't want to use regular fiberglass because of possible mold/mildew problems. You may want to check into insulation to help to keep the heat out.

    Hope this helps.

    Anne
     

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