Ventilation/Vents Placement Help Needed

Tortoise

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Aug 19, 2018
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I'm a few months into the planning and gathering ideas stage of designing the inside of a shed coop not yet purchased.

Planning on the 7x7 Rubbermaid shed for 2-3 chickens.

The winter no heat, but lots of ventilation makes me very nervous. Where to place vents and how many is throwing me.

I notice most ventilation is at the top of the coops. Cold air falls and warm air rises.

Why isn't it better to put the majority of the vents towards the bottom below the roosts, keeping cold air from falling onto the chickens at night, with one or two small vents towards the top, releasing any possible hot air and moisture?

Should all walls have one vent? Is one vent per wall enough?

Help with understanding ventilation placement please.
 

Ghosty

Crowing
Jun 26, 2018
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It's a 49 square ft coop, so I would ventilate it like you have 12 birds, not 3. One square foot of ventilation per 4 square feet of coop space. Maybe a 5 x 2 vent on one side, with a couple 1 sq ft gable vents up top on the two adjacent sides. I would imagine roosts above the window vent is more ideal, but it comes down to what works best for you. We can't all have a wood's coop built from scratch.
 
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rosemarythyme

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I notice most ventilation is at the top of the coops. Cold air falls and warm air rises.

Why isn't it better to put the majority of the vents towards the bottom below the roosts, keeping cold air from falling onto the chickens at night, with one or two small vents towards the top, releasing any possible hot air and moisture?

Should all walls have one vent? Is one vent per wall enough?

Help with understanding ventilation placement please.

Warm, moist air rises, that's why most vents are placed high up. Chickens don't need to be kept warm in the winter as much as they need to be kept dry, to allow their feathers to trap in body heat.

There's no one correct way to ventilate. The recommended minimum is 1 sq ft per bird or 10% of floor space, but I figure if you can fit in more than that, do so. Your climate, the direction of winds at your location, the size and shape of building can all affect it. I have a lot of different types of ventilation (5 windows across 3 walls, floor vents, under eave holes, ridge vent, gable vent) but I tried to place it all where it made sense for me. For example, I have no window in the south wall as that's where we get winds from, but I do have a floor and gable vent on that wall as that's where my roost is as well, so I don't want moisture building up on that side at night. We have a metal roof so a ridge vent helps to keep condensation from being an issue, etc.
 

Tortoise

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Aug 19, 2018
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Thanks everyone.
I think I understand more about placement. I still have concerns with the cold drafts from the upper vents flowing down onto the chickens.
However, your experienced and I'm not so I will listen to all the advice.
 

Ghosty

Crowing
Jun 26, 2018
671
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SW Missouri
Thanks everyone.
I think I understand more about placement. I still have concerns with the cold drafts from the upper vents flowing down onto the chickens.
However, your experienced and I'm not so I will listen to all the advice.
Upper gable vents would be needed in summer. You can design them so they can be closed off in winter, if they get too much draft. The chickens will be out in the cold all winter, the main thing they need is fresh air, and shelter from the wind. You need air circulating in your coop. The idea is generally that the air comes in the larger window vent and goes out the upper gable vents. You could use more ventilation in summer and close some up in winter. All up to what works best for you.
 

Tortoise

Songster
Aug 19, 2018
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Chicago
Upper gable vents would be needed in summer. You can design them so they can be closed off in winter, if they get too much draft. The chickens will be out in the cold all winter, the main thing they need is fresh air, and shelter from the wind. You need air circulating in your coop. The idea is generally that the air comes in the larger window vent and goes out the upper gable vents. You could use more ventilation in summer and close some up in winter. All up to what works best for you.
That's the part I don't quite understand. Air coming in the window vent and going out the gable vents. In summer yes it would work like that. In winter the air is cold which falls not rises.
But I understand in winter one needs to be sur to not let heat and humidity build up. So good ventilation is needed while keeping the drafts off the chickens.
 

Ms Chicory

Songster
Oct 18, 2018
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The cool dry air is better for the chickens in the winter, they can take the cold temps if they are dry and can fluff up their feathers, thats how they keep warm.
The moisture is what you do not want on your chickens, even if it would be warmer air.
 

MANNA-PRO

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