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Ventilation vs. Draft

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by txkittykat, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. txkittykat

    txkittykat Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 22, 2015
    Arlington, TX
    We'll be putting up our coop/run in the next few weeks and I'm really in need of some visuals. I know ventilation is very important, however, I don't understand drafty versus well-ventilated. I'm a visual person and can't seem to find any images of what to do and to avoid,if that makes sense. I'm in North Central Texas (so, it gets really hot and into the teens as well). I want my ladies to have the best, manual, ventilation we can design.
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    I can't get a pic. but ventilation should be above or below them and should keep them dry a draft will make them cold and won't always keep the coop dry.
  3. txkittykat

    txkittykat Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 22, 2015
    Arlington, TX
    It'll be a small coop, I guess it'd be best to post pictures once we've got the coop built. I just prefer to do it right the first time.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    When it comes to ventilation, think roofline and gable vents; not windows and doors. You want your ventilation up high, as high as you can get it. And you need to keep your roosts well below the 'ventilation zone.'
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Draft for me means airflow is a function of airflow outside which means it varies a lot. It also involves a lot more turbulence and is often like a perceptible wind. The incoming air is also perceptible as coming from a point source.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I used to have better examples of this but they’ve improved and upgraded their website so my link doesn’t work anymore and I can’t find those drawings. This might give you a visual.


    In winter with openings up high and a wind blowing the cross breeze up high causes some turbulence in the air below but its gentle enough to not bother the chickens as long as the roost isn’t up in the breeze zone. This works really well to get the moisture and ammonia out.

    In winter with openings up high there is still air flow when the wind is not blowing. Warm air rises and carries more moisture. The temperature in the building is generally a little warmer than the air outside. This heat comes from their body warmth, warm poop, water warmer than the air, and if the building is on the ground, from the ground, especially during a cold snap. It’s not a lot but it’s enough to get air movement.

    In addition, ammonia is lighter than air. With openings up high gravity provides the energy to force heavier air in and ammonia up and out. If you have much of an opening up high, ammonia should never be a problem unless your coop is just wet. That’s unhealthy anyway for other reasons.

    In the summer the more open ventilation you have the better.
  7. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    X2 what I was trying to say but worded far better.
  8. BootsFeathers

    BootsFeathers New Egg

    Jul 10, 2014
    In the winter time, we wrap the 3 main sides of the coops where the cold wind will most likely blow from. Here in Georgia, that is the North, West, and East. We don't have much wind blowing from the South. We leave the South wall unwrapped for the ventilation. That is also what wall the door is located on and the roost faces.
  9. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2015
    Vancouver, Wa.
    @txkittykat , gear your coop for warm weather, and look at coops that were built for similar climates.

    Protect your chickens from hot weather, cold weather is their friend:
    Definitely have vents in the eaves, and higher up. But in Texas, I'd also make sure that at least 3 sides have large windows that open and are secured with 1/2" hardware mesh; you'll probably leave them open 24/7 mostly in the summer. A warm wind is different than a cold, wet wind.
    Many of us even use fans in the hot weather.
    Pick a roof that is more reflective.
    Build it so that the coop is shaded in the summer.

    My 'windows' have a cover that opens from the bottom (hinged at the top), and hooks to stay open. That way if there is a summer rain, you can lower it partway and keep the coop dry.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016

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