1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    Where is the best place to vent a coop in the winter? Floor level or roof vent? Do you folks even vent the coop in the winter? I have 6 hens in a 4x8 coop and when it is hot it starts to smell. I have been leaving the coop door open that is attached to a lockable run at night. That stops the smell. When winter comes I will be closing up the coop with only the access door open. Opinions needed. John
  2. momofdrew

    momofdrew Songster

    We put a series of one inch holes on two sides opposite each other and also can raise the roof for ventilation if needed...they are all covered with hardware cloth to prevent intruders...plan on fixing a covering for the holes for winter so the weather cannot get in...but the air can move...Pam

    whoops we put them at the top of the coop
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I have vents on one wall, one on the bottom, and one on top, they are covered in hardware cloth and I have a sliding door on them. They work very well in all seasons, by haveing them on the same wall keeps the air flow really circulating well, and yes on nice days in the winter we open them, sometimes all day.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Mine are in tractor style coops year long so basically, their whole coop is vented.

    However you vent, do make sure it is good. Humidity in a coop plus cold weather = frost bite.
  5. Chicken of the Sea

    Chicken of the Sea In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2008
    Wellsboro, PA
  6. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    I read the article on venting - we do have vent slots on the top sides of 2 walls of the enclosed coop - but now I'm worried it might not be enough.

    So, is it possible to quote a good humidity target? Its easy enough to measure that. Or is not that simple?
  7. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    Thanks for posting the great link Chicken of the Sea. I see I have some work to do before it gets to cold. I only have a 12"x16" vent at floor level. From your link that isn't even close to the venting I need. I saved the link for future reference. John
  8. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Humidity will become a factor especially in the colder months, so good venting around the roofline, or at least higher up in the coop, is crucial. With proper litter maintenence, insuring it stays dry etc., should keep the smell down as well.

    I mix DE in the litter, and this seems to help by drying out the poops rapidly. I also do a daily poop pick-up in the coop and run areas, which helps prevent the problem. With only six hens this shouldn't be a time consuming a chore. The use of a roosting pit or dropping board, will also speed up this job, as the poop piles are concentrated more in one spot. I also add fresh litter every week, to make up for the material removed when doing the poop pick-ups. I use about a six inch layer of wood chips so the flooring doesn't get saturated with the droppings, and start to smell.
  9. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    As I read through these great posts I am getting the impression I am not to worry about supplying heat for the flock? Since all this venting is necessary there is no way to keep heat in. Am I right to assume that it is the drafts I am to worry about? John
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As Bill says, a droppings board that is cleaned each morning helps a good bit, if your roosts are suited to that sort of arrangement.

    Something to remember about drilling little holes for ventilation is that a 1" diam hole has less than 1 square inch of vent space, a 2" diam hole has about 3 square inch of vent space -- a single square FOOT (which is still less ventilation area than most coops need - CONSIDERABLY less than many need) is composed of 144 square inches. So it is awful hard to get enough ventilation with just them holes.

    Ridge vents, in my experience, let snow sift in during winter storms. While this is tolerable in, say, a horse barn, it is NOT what you want in a coop (snow = moisture). Some use them anyhow, so it is a personal choice, but, I'm just sayin' [​IMG]

    Good luck and have fun,


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