Very confused about "ventilation" in coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mondotomhead, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. mondotomhead

    mondotomhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    354
    5
    101
    Sep 22, 2011
    Sturbridge
    I've read lots on ventilating coops especially in the winter. It seems to me that as long as wind doesn't blow threw the coop, leaving a small window or small door open would work for ventilation. Doesn't this defeat keeping the coop warm.

    What is meant by ventilating?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    When you "vent" your clothes dryer, you allow the humid, moisture filled air of drying the clothes to escape.

    A chicken coop, of a dozen birds, breathing, drinking and pooping produce quite a bit of moisture. That humidity must escape or it is trapped inside. This moisture laden air holds ammonia gas as well and is harmful. I personally believe high humidity is also a major source of frosting on combs and wattles.

    Here's our barn. The eaves are wide open. Not sealed off or boxed in. Air enters and then, air escapes out the top open eave, as shown.

    Of course, this exchange takes most of the heat with it. That isn't my concern as I don't add any additional heating anyhow. As long as the hens are dry and secure, they are happy and do very well

    .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    451
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    A lot of people I think use windows for ventilation, but because the warmer, humid, ammonia-filled air rises, I would not be comfortable without a decent amount of ventilation at the highest point of the coop. To me, the simplest way to do this is have the roof slanting in one direction and leave the eave on the high side (at least) open to the air. I have read that the air will exchange sufficiently at this high point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    So true, Judy. A ridge vent on a house demonstrates the fact that a vent should be at the highest point of the structure. Natural air currents, ie, heat rises, will "exhaust" or vent like a chimney out the highest point. If your coop design is an A-frame, then a ridge vent would be ideal. If you roof design is a "slant" roof, then leave the higher eaves open, such as we did, and the air will exhaust (vent) out in a similar way, just natural air convection currents.
     
  5. mondotomhead

    mondotomhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    354
    5
    101
    Sep 22, 2011
    Sturbridge
    Thanks for the explanations. My coop is rather small with rather small vents at the top. I think I need to enlarge those vent holes. A couple of my roosters are showing frostbit on their combs. I'll be getting out the saw this weekend!

    Thanks again.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by