Where to place my vents

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CupcakeChickens, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. CupcakeChickens

    CupcakeChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2014
    So I'm entirely new to chickens, and I'm designing our first chicken coop. Thankfully I'm not unfamiliar with pets, airflow, and respiratory issues.

    I know from experience when breeding horses, consideration for air circulation needs to be given at foal height since that's where they are spending their time. So I thought the same could be applied for chickens.

    A few things about my location that I feel may be important for coop design are:
    South Florida heat
    Winter nightime temps can freeze (not often)
    Major Breeze way runs north and south
    Row of perches go up the middle at an angle
    Vents double as light sources, measure 6in tall and 3ft long

    Hurricanes and winter temps can be taken care of with special straps and shutters

    I was thinking I would put the vent where they perch to give the better air, but then thought that would be too breezy and don't want them to get sick.

    So I thought I would put it near the bottom under the perches and above the litter pan so that the ammonia dissipates.

    But then if I did that, I felt like we should vent the top, and we're back to the original problem of it being to drafty.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They don't need an enclosed coop at all in your climate, or mine. Heat is what is dangerous to chickens, not what we get down here that we call winter. 100 degrees can be lethal. They require lots of breeze and shade in the summer. Even then, many people find themselves doing other things to cool their birds -- water misting, fans, etc., etc. I run a box fan for several month of the year and my coop is so large and open air that they use it midday in the heat of summer for cooling off.

    Here are some examples of setups for warm climates:

  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good for you for considering the importance of ventilation.
    The following is my opinion.
    You certainly wouldn't want a draft on a cold wet chicken but most people put too much emphasis on preventing drafts. Chickens didn't evolve in draft free buildings. Some chickens roost in trees and are quite healthy till eaten by a predator. I have a friend who's chickens prefer to roost in her covered run (no sides) rather than retire to the coop. They've done so for a couple winters with no adverse health effects. Some of my coops have open sides on both the east and west walls. They are very healthy but a couple roosters have gotten frostbitten combs this year since it was the coldest in over 25 years at near 15 below zero.
    If I lived in Florida, I'd go for the most ventilation I could provide while making them dry and predator proof.
  4. CupcakeChickens

    CupcakeChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2014
    Thank you for those links and information. I feel silly for building this dog house structure now. Lol And I forget that just because I find 60 degrees to be cold, chickens probably won't care. And while we are usually below the freeze warning line since we are so close to the beach, we have had a few windy 40-50 low temp nights.

    The are protected out of the west by the garden wall. And to the east right now, they have the tomatoes garden for now, which really now that I think about it, should protect them all winter long.

    And now this means that the coo p will be less expensive, and easier to build. I'll have to get some pictures up in another thread.

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