crooked stripe

Songster
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
846
5
161
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
 

momofdrew

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
999
2
139
Rochester,New Hampshire
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
 
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al6517

Real Men can Cook
11 Years
May 13, 2008
10,684
144
321
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.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
974
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
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.
 

BawkinOnTheBench

Songster
11 Years
Jun 13, 2008
257
4
131
UT
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?
 

crooked stripe

Songster
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
846
5
161
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
 

bills

Songster
12 Years
Jan 4, 2008
475
6
141
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.
 

crooked stripe

Songster
12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
846
5
161
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
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
257
341
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'


Good luck and have fun,

Pat
 

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