Vents on coop - block for winter??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Delphinium, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Delphinium

    Delphinium Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Northern AZ
    We currently have two areas of ventilation on our coop: three vents just below the roof, pictured below, as well as a roof ridge vent.

    [​IMG]

    We are thinking about blocking the lower three vents during wintertime, as it might be too drafty right where our girls are roosting. This picture might give you a good idea:

    [​IMG]

    The roof ridge vent would be the only source of ventilation... is this a bad idea? We live in Northern AZ, where temps can get in the single digits at night, but usually stay in the 20's. Thanks for any advice... this is our first winter with chickens.
     
  2. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Nice coop! [​IMG]

    I would close all but the roof vent if you get that cold. Just be sure the coop is kept clean to prevent ammonia build up. Another thing to consider is how many chickens you have. If you have more than 1 hen per 4 square feet in the house then you may still need some or all the top vents open for good cross ventilation. If you have at least 4 sq. feet per hen than the roof ridge vent may be enough if it allows some air to move--it would depend on what the vent looks like and its size. The windows level with the roost or any that cause drafts definitely need to be closed.
     
  3. Cluckn Crazy

    Cluckn Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Peterborough, Ontario
    I have issues with my vents too. Awhile ago, I read of a bycer filling the vent with hay/straw/crumpled newspaper to slow drafts or cold air as a step before closing it completely. I will have to leave one or two (of four) vents open all winter. Thats all I have to offer [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The ridge vent won't do much. I would not block it off unless it seems to be causing problems (frostbite) but I would not expect it to DO very much either, in terms of humidity.

    If it were me I would move the roost so that it is straight down the coop (not diagonal), maybe 14-16" from the wall opposite those vents. Then *if* those vents are on the generally-downwind side, you can probably leave them mostly or entirely open during the winter, although keep an eye on the birds' behavior and combs. If you start thinking it's too cold/drafty, I would suggest just shutting them partly not entirely -- an old feedbag and a staplegun can achieve a lot pretty fast [​IMG] -- and concentrate on keeping the coop very CLEAN (thus dry).

    Do not be shutting them entirely, as it is likely to lead to frostbite. If frostbite threatens and you feel you have to do *something*, mounting a small safely-rigged 60-100w lightbulb in there for them to sit under would likely work better than shutting down all ventilation.

    Remember that single digits F is not really THAT cold or testing for a chicken, as long as your air is dry. Which I would think in N AZ it probably would be??

    That's a nice coop btw! [​IMG]

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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