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Venting, cooling chicken house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by eggcited2, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. eggcited2

    eggcited2 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    We have a 10 x10 shed, (8 ' tall inside at the peak) we are going to use for a chicken house. We just added windows to it today. One on east side and one on west side, for cross ventilation. The windows are 17" by 31" and slide sideways. The shed has a wood floor in it, so that is solid. We are also going to add a roof vent to the roof of it (it is a hip roof/barn roof). It also has two doors on the front of it that open, nice big walk in double doors, that take up about 2/3 of the front of the shed.

    Do you think that will be enough ventilation?

    The shed is not setting directly on the ground, but up on blocks so air can move around under it for ventilation under the shed.

    It is for housing at night and during bad weather, other wise the chickens will have 2-3 acres of fenced in ground to run free on.

    Eleven chickens will be in the chicken house (shed). Ten pullets/hens and one roo. I may add a few more next year (only maybe six new chickens next year)
  2. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Songster

    Nice setup you have...I have pretty much the exact same shed you have a bit larger though about 21 x28 I have two large 2 x 4 windows on the north side, two doors that are open on the south side with a sliding window, and a door on the west side.
    As for ventilation from fumes ammonia etc Im in good shape however with this weather I still have a 24 inch floor fan running along with a box fan in the window on the south side and it still is every bit of 100 degrees in there come 12 noon daily....I have the 24 bringing in air from the north side and the box fan in the south blowing it out. Best of Luck and keep the waterers full!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Figure 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken ...or if you want to stretch things a bit, 1 square foot of ventilation for 10 square feet of floor space. You'll probably want/need more than that if you live somewhere with hot summers, though.

    This is an excellent discussion of the subject:


    One problem with using windows for ventilation in the winter is that the part of the window that's open is often down closer to roost height than vents that are placed up at the top of walls. Open windows at roost height in winter = cold drafts = bad.
  4. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    My husband and I have fought the heat, and have tried the box fans etc. I worried the fans would fall over or short out. I worried they would be too much air when the night cooled off,....in other words I worry alot....Anyway, we just gave in and put a thermostatically controlled vent fan in the coop. With the windows on the east and south and the floor vents on the West, the breeze is just lovely. We have it set to kick on at 85 degrees. During the hottest part of the day, it is very decent in the house!! We put the fan up by the roof, so the cross breeze is great.[​IMG].

    I would recommend everyone, just save the worry, and put one in. It will last for years and save you a LOT of time and effort. Especially if your a worrier like I am.[​IMG]
  5. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Songster

    I was referring to the heat on my post..Sorry wasnt trying to say that for year round keeping the windows open. I have three venilators on top of the coop to help vent out. Plus I use stall dry and fresh bedding more often in the winter to stop the ammonia.

    Im very interested in the vent fan you put in Julia. Keep us posted if you have any issues on dust etc. I have that problem with my 24 barrel fan...What size of a coop are you using it in?
  6. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Keep in mind that no matter what fan you use to pull air out of the coop that the dust will kill the motors unless it is dust proof. At least once a week you need to use compressed/canned air to clean out all of the ventilation openings in the motor(more often if the holes are getting completely clogged). The motor will get very hot and burn up in short order due to overheating if the openings become clogged. Depending on how the fan is made a filter could be rigged on the intake side of the unit or motor itself to keep the coop dust out of it. Also if the fan has oil ports it will need more oiling in dusty environments due to the bearings drying out.
  7. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    The "dusting" is my husbands job. He has been "puffing" it at least once a week. He poofs the window screens at the same time.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I think you probably ought to add more ventilation -- you have currently got only 3.5 sq ft of secure ventilation available (the windows), and furthermore windows are lousy wintertime ventilation. For wintertime you are best off with good-sized openings high on the walls, on at LEAST the usually-downwind side of the building. And with that little ventilation, even if you can keep the doors open all day you are still likely to have excessive-heat problems in summertime.

    I'd suggest adding a couple more large (as big as your windows, or bigger) openings, that can be WHOLLY opened but can be closed down/off for wintertime, and then ALSO adding some vents at the tops of the S wall, perhaps a foot high by the full width of the wall (minus intervening studs etc), with a flap or slider that can regulate how open that upper vent is. That should put you in pretty good shape.

    I would not personally bother with a roof vent, it's just one more thing to leak and for rain/snow to get in (and in a chicken coop you really do NOT want more moisture coming in during wintertime especially!) and if you look at the ACTUAL opening size -- the total of the narrow slit around the edges of the cap -- it is pretty minimal. Appropriate for attics; not terribly useful for chicken coops. You'd do better with the sort of scheme proposed in the previous paragraph IMHO.

    The problem with fans used for anything OTHER THAN merely creating a breeze for hot chickens is that they are an electrical cure to what is fundamentally a *design* problem that can be solved much more effectively by cutting more openings in your coop. Fans are prone to failure (esp. inexpensive ones designed for household rather than outdoor/workshop/barn/industrial use), some types of failure resulting in fires, and of course they don't work when the electricity is out. A fan can't keep your coop any cooler (in terms of what the thermometer reads) than simple GOOD PASSIVE VENTILATION can.

    JME, good luck, have fun,

  9. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    I will admit; the coop "FEELS" lots better but the temperature doesn't go down. My coop is 8 X 10, with 2 sides of big slider windows, floor vents across the entire west side and now the vent fan high on the north. My husband had been poofing dust out of the fan and windows on the weekend. After reading the post here, he has decided that he will do the "dusting" daily. Thank you for the reminder of what dust can do in a barn.....

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