Ventilation

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fishbum, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2014
    I have a 20x8wx9t coop. It's a prefab originally designed for mowers ect but was barely used so we turned it into a chicken coop obviously. It's a great set up and is working well for us so far however I think it might not have enough ventilation.
    A few weeks ago it rained for 3 straight days and at the end of day 3 the temp dropped drastically from where it had been. 2-3 days later the coughing and sneezing started. I confined the few affected birds in the warm dry laundry room for a few days on antibiotics. They made a significant turn around but not before it started spreading through the flock. If your saying MG in your head your right.
    After reading an article in Backyard Poultry I'm starting to think my husbandry is to blame. The article talked about ventilation in a little more depth than I had given thought to. I do have a heat lamp because I worry about the 8-10wk olds and figured it would be the spot they would go to and try to dry off a little. Apparently the heat lamp will cause them to not be able to bear the cold as well. I fear that although the litter is changed no less than every 2 wks, there are no holes or leaks in the roof that the moisture from the wet birds and having only a 6x6in vent at each end of the coop coupled with the heat lamp kicked in the MG thats present in all back yard flocks including mine according to the NPIP.
    So with all that said, is the 2 6x6 vents enough? I have a crank out window on the coop but heard that birds take the full brunt of the wind better than a slight draft. Not sure how I should rectify this properly. Your guys input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    This a new coop going together. I want to make sure things are right so if you have any constructive criticism I would love to hear it. It's 8x4wx6t. 2ft off the ground
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    A couple of more questions.

    Can you smell ammonia when you open it up in the morning?
    How many birds do you have in the set up?
    Does it feel damp inside in the morning?
    Is there frost built up on the inside?
    What side is you window on?

    If you have moisture building up, you definitely need more ventilation, if the window is on the East side (for me as my prevailing winds are from the North or/& west), then open the window.

    I really don't think you probably have enough ventilation for the size of the building, if the building is at capacity for birds. If you have less birds, then you have more air space per bird, and if you are answering "no" to those questions, you are probably ok. Ammonia builds up in wet damp buildings. Ventilation lets the moisture out of the building, keeping things drier, healthier and warmer for the birds.

    Mrs K
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    To fishbum: Looks like you have plenty of ventilation! just kidding!

    Do check out ventilation articles, this was the hardest concept for me. I kept trying to trap heat, what I trapped was moisture. Moisture makes for cold unhealthy birds. Trapped air build up ammonia, very unhealthy for birds. Think wind protection or shelter, not air tight. On the far side from your prevailing winds, should be a fair size opening to properly ventilate the coop. Many people put it under the overhang.

    Mrs K
     
  5. fishbum

    fishbum Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the input Mrs K. Windows face north and the "vents" are east west. Prevailing wind I'm not sure. I'm in the Catskills. There are currently 12 POL hens and 17 8-12wk cockerels and pullets and 5 Bantams. These guys free range and just sleep in the coop. Sounds like a lot but its pretty empty looking when they are all perched and the other coop is coming along for future division. No moisture or frost on walls that I've noticed but after the temps dropped it did seem stagnant in the mornings and there was an ammonia smell which I chocked up to the damp air from all the rain and I changed the litter a few days later. At this time I've left the window cracked for a few days. It's been crisper in the mornings. I had the entire flock on antibiotics for a few days and was thinking I needed a different one as it didn't seem to be working. Until I opened the window. The noses seem to dry right up over night and the sneezing is significantly less.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014

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