In the Brooder
8 Years
May 28, 2011
NorCal SF East Bay
I am building a coop/run for my daughter. We live in NorCal SF East Bay where temperatures hit 32F and 100F only a few days a year. I am building a shed type coop with a slanted roof, 6’ at the front and 5’ at the back. Do ventilation holes at the top of the front and back walls need to be adjustable or are screened holes that are open all the time acceptable? I will be installing windows that may be opened.
from Connecticut! Your daughter's lucky to have you support her hobby!

I hope this link will help answer your ventilation questions:
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from another East SF Bayer! We have a similar type of coop with a slant roof. We have 4 in. ventilation all the way across the top of both sides. DH assured me when we built it that this was the best way to get good ventilation for our girls. We also have two big drop down doors on the tall side and I often leave one open during the day to give it a good airing out.

We have a couple forums for chicken lovers in this area of CA. One is Bay Area BYCers and the other one is California - Northern.
Thank you for the ventilation link. Good info.

I was thinking of a 4” by 4’ vent on both front and back walls, covered with hardware cloth. Are yours uncovered all the time?

Didn’t know about BA BYCers. Just Googled it. Thanks

I get nervous when people talk about ventilation "holes", since sometimes it means "...that I will make with my drill and a holesaw bit". That is generally really inadequate. You want LARGE OPENINGS. Which may of course be what you meant in the first place

If it were me I'd probably design a hinged flap to cover the upwind-in-bad-storms openings, just because I'm not keen on going out there in bad weather to retrofit things. But if you don't mind standing in a storm with a staplegun or a hammer and nails, or if you don't think any storms are likely TO be a problem to chickens inside the coop, with such warm temperatures I could very easily see NOT doing any flaps or other arrangements for closing. It is easy enough to do with staplegun or hammer if you someday need to.

However, if you get to 100F I would suggest that ONLY having "ventilation holes at the top of the front and back walls" may not be at all sufficient to keep the coop from overheating. Most people in that type climate have most of one wall all-mesh, or more. Windows alone are often not enough (for one thing, typical doublehung or singlehung windows only let you open *half* their area. So that is something to consider, anyway.

Good luck, have fun,

We have a 4 in. by 8 ft. vent all along the top of both the front and back walls. The front wall vent is 4 ft high and, because we just extended our nest boxes on the back side, the back side vent starts at 20 in. high. Ours are covered by hardware cloth and protected by the overhang of the roof. They are open all the time. The little chicken door is open during the day and sometimes we open one of the big doors for even more ventilation. This will be our second year with this coop. It seemed to be warm enough in the winter and not overly hot inside last summer. Of course, we did have a cooler than usual summer and, fortunately here in Nor CA it usually cools down in the evening when it is time for the chickens to roost. We have a large covered run attached to the coop but let our flock free range in our 1/3 acre yard during the day. They generally only go into the coop to lay their eggs or to check out the feeder to have a quick snack.

Drop in and chat on the BA BYCers forum! We have an amazing group of chicken lovers here in the Bay area who are very generous with their time and knowledge!
Yes, I was thinking of a series of 2” holes but have re-thunk that after reading some of the info provided here. The coop will be 4’ X 4’, for four chickens. I am now planning to have a 3 ½” X 45” hardware cloth covered vent at the top of the front and back walls, which will be under a 1’ roof overhang. No rain should get in the vents as the prevailing wind blows towards the short wall side. Debi, this sort of sounds like what you have, only shorter walls. It will also have about 6 sq. ft. of window openings. The coop will have filtered sun light for most of the day.

Bryan, we still have rain here. In March, we had 27 days of rain, and three days just this last week. No walls, I would think, would make for wet chickens.
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Hey chucken, I'm in Marin and we are in the process of building our coop/run and also have a shed type coop with slant. We have ventilation on all sides averaging 5 inches in height..we have hardware cloth covering it and we fidure on the handful of super cold nights we can cover some of the vents with plexiglass or something so the coop still gets light.

I'll try to post pics soon...

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