ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by erinm, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

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    Central Massachusetts
    Hi all,

    I have aquestion about ventilation. no matter what I do, In this weather I have frost on the walls and when the sun comes out it starts to melt and then they are wet. I have the ventilation, they are open but i do not understand. 2 winters in a row. Anyone have suggestions? ErinM
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    How *much* ventilation do you have. This pretty much is telling you you need more. something on the order of 1 sq ft per chicken is a reasonable ballpark starting point but some coops will need more (some less).

    If your walls are very thin, insulating them and the ceiling may also help, but it will only help condensation (and retaining indoor temperature somewhat) -- it will not help with the basic problem of needing mroe ventilation. So, you can insulate (cover it so it can't be pecked) but you ALSO need more ventilation. Honest.

    Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear [​IMG],

    Pat
     
  3. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

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    Feb 24, 2007
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    the coop does not smell. The condensation is the only problem. How can I add more ventilation? i already have two on the ends open as far as can go. at the top.I plan to insulate this summer. anything ejse? Erinm
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    How much actual vent area do you have, like in square feet or square inches, and how many chickens in the shed?

    The condensation is because your coop air is too humid -- you need more ventilation to remove humidity. Smell is not the only factor, you know? From your problem, I pretty much guarantee you simply need more ventilation.

    You add more ventilation by cutting a hole (better, holeS) in the walls and/or doors, preferably at the tops of the walls and preferably somewhere sheltered by a roof overhang if possible. To cut a hole in the wall, basically you drill decent-sized holes at the 4 corners of where the hole will go, then use a jigsaw or reciprocating saw to connect the dots [​IMG] Make sure you're not going to cut thru a stud or electrical wire or other important things like that. It's really not difficult. Then just staple or screw on hardwarecloth for predatorproofing, and hinge on a flap that allows you to close the vent down some if weather warrants. (Flap is optional, actually, just desirable)

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  5. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    If your coop walls made out of sheet metals you will see the condensation no matter how many holes in the walls you drill, the only way to get red of that is to insulate the building.
    For some reason or another it sounds to me that your coop walls made out of metal sheets.

    Omran.
     
  6. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    It is a plain wood shed. My vents are about 12 x 5 inches on either end at the top, open all the way. 18 chickens inside. ErinM
    I will drill and flap then in the spring. It is impossible for me to get at any area now beacause of the snow and the inside is dusty in the loft near the vent areas. Loaded with stuff can't get at it that way either right now. I wish spring would hurry. Erinm
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  7. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need more air movement.
     
  8. BigBen

    BigBen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What if your trying to heat the coop? All the heat will go out of the vent.
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    There's rarely any real need to heat a coop.

    If you have vents at the top AND bottom, the warm air rising is what carries out excess moisture.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:No. *Some* of the heat will go out the vent, carrying iwth it all the surplus humidity and ammonia which make the coop unpleasant and unhealthy for the chickens in a wide variety of ways.

    That is just the way life is.

    Chickens don't need much in the way of heat; they DO need decent air quality.

    BTW, in a cold climate I would strongly recommend against having floor-level vents open during the winter. Drafts on chickens. Vents open just at the tops of the walls work fine.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     

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