Vents in chicken coop


9 Years
Jul 29, 2010
I built my chicken coop with a closable vent in each end near the peak on the roof. I will put a heat lamp in the coop to help keep them warm during winter months ( I live in Connecticut ). My question is: when it's really cold outside is it ok to close both vents to help keep them warm? I am concerned because I know the vents are there to let fumes from chicken poop out.
This is my first winter, so take what I have to say with caution. I don't think you'll need to close the vents unless you are having some strong winds possibly blowing snow in the coop. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will point that out.

Keep them open or the moisture and poor air quality get out of control!!
Chickens don't need heat in the winter. Make sure you use a roost that they can snuggle down over their feet. I like a 2 x 4 with the wide side up. Don't use small branches or dowels they have to grip and balance all night.

I'm in the Pacific NW, so it doesn't get all that cold but last January we did have a spell of teens and low 20's. I put up a red heat lamp pointed at the waterer to keep it from freezing.

Don't close the vents if they are up high and not blowing on the chickens. You still need ventilation in the winter.
We're in progress on a permanent house and pen for our birds and have to ask for clarification when everyone says "not blowing on the chickens". We're framing the house to have the windows/vents up above the nesting boxes. Is this sufficient? They are 6 inches down from the ceiling and about 12-14" tall, 22" wide. The top of the nesting boxes will be about 4' from the floor (22" from the floor and then about 23" tall. As of now where we have the front wall and back wall of the house framed, this is where we have the windows. The nesting boxes will be on the side and we're planning on windows above the boxes on both side walls for cross ventilation.

So, if you followed that (hahaha)... are we ok? In a nutshell, 2 windows on each side of the hen house. 22" wide x 12" tall placed at about 5' or so from the floor. Nesting boxes top out around 45" from the floor.
Hi, also from CT here!

I have a light on my chicks tonight, only because I just put them out in the coop last night for the first time and it's supposed to get so cold tonight. Since they are only a few weeks old, it would be a shock to go from the brooder and heat, to the coop on a 30 degree night. But in a week or two, I will have the light off in the coop as well, and I only intend to add it's heat on super frigid nights. It's not necessary very often, if at all, in our climate to add supplemental heat, or so I've been told, because I asked the very same question. Every one of my friends that has chickens has never lost any to cold, but they have lost some to predators.
They aren't there just to let the fumes out, but mostly to let the moisture out. Don't worry too much about keeping them warm, they'll do fine as long as you keep them out of the breeze and keep the coop dry. If you close up the vents and trap moisture in there, you'll end with condensation on the ceiling and walls dripping onto the birds and into the litter.

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