Which windows do I shut when winter comes? Please look at my set up!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dbounds10, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    631
    5
    131
    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Ok, I was a complete KNOW NOTHING when I got my chickens this spring. I did allot of looking at coops and then built one. I have a "hole" basically on every dang wall cause I live in Texas and was obsessed with the heat. So now that winter is coming, I need all you experts to look at my setup and tell me which windows to leave open and which windows to close.

    I have a 4x6 coop, sand floor, and 6 chickens that are almost 30 weeks old.

    This is my coop. The pop door faces East - and my house. It is under a bunch of trees. The pop door is automatic, opens at 7 closes at 8 for now.

    [​IMG]

    This is the window on the north side of the house.

    [​IMG]

    This is the window on the South side of the house - and a pic of the roosts that are literally RIGHT in front of that window. The roosts are no longer round, we put in 2x4's

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the window on the West side of the house

    [​IMG]

    And this is a picture of the open "vents" that run along the roof line on the East and West sides of the roof. These cant be "closed" but I guess I could cover them somehow if I needed to. However, I think I will hear from you all that these need to stay open to let out the moist air. You can see that the North and South walls dont have this vent. The wall comes up flush with the roof.

    [​IMG]

    SOOOOO - My question is - I am wondering when winter comes, which of these do I leave open and which ones do I close up tight. I am worried about the window with the roosts right under it, but it is on the South side so will that be OK to leave open in the winter? Do I close them all? I dont think I am going to use a heat lamp unless I need to leave alot of the windows open just for them to get enough winter ventilation. UGH - I dont know what to do [​IMG]
     
  2. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    355
    2
    111
    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    Hey dbounds10, I like your coop. How cold does it get there anyway? I would close the north and west windows for the winter. Close the south and east windows at night and if the weather is nice open them for the day. Our wintertime high here will be 45 and although I close up everything at night(when it get really cold), I open their large door for the day. The chickens do just fine in the cold. I use deep bedding method inside and some hay on the ground outside. The hay provides some insulation from the freezing geound and they can play in it!! Good luck
     
  3. sadies0111

    sadies0111 Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Nov 18, 2010
    How cold does it get where you live? If it gets pretty cold (like below 40 degrees) I'd say close at least the window over the roost area. Otherwise, as a chicken owner from WI, where my chickens go through winter without heat to -20, I'd say, you can keep the other windows open for fresh air, unless it is going to be very cold and windy, and in that case, close the rest as well. Your vents would suffice for short periods if you feel like it is cold and windy enough to close the rest of the windows. When it gets chilly, you just don't want them to have the cold air blowing right on them. It really just depends on how cold/windy you get.
     
  4. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,933
    78
    173
    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    I think its more the wind than the cold. My suggestion would be to figure which direction the predominant winter wind comes from. Close those windows. Draft is more dangerous than cold. My coop is insulated and draft free but ventilates really well. The coop is cold enough that I have to put a heat lamp on the waterer to keep from freezing during cold snaps. When I built mine I tried to figure all seasons weather and wind and built it with that in mind.
     
  5. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    631
    5
    131
    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Well - It can get down in the teen's here. Last winter was especially cold and was in the teens during day and single digits at night and we had a foot of snow and ice on the ground for 2 weeks. That is not the norm though. We do stay in the 20 and 30's pretty steady. There are alot of trees back there but we will get some pretty nasty north winds. However, we can get them from all over the place. Sometimes when a cold front comes in, its from the north, but then it can change the next day and we can get some humid air from the south. Texas weather is the pits when it comes to predicting anything.

    The coop is not insulated at all, just 2x4 frame and T-111 siding. So you guys think on really cold windy nights I should just close all the windows to keep any draft off of them? It stays really dry in the coop as I use sand on the floor and mix in DE and Sweet PDZ. I also muck out the coop and poop board daily.
     
  6. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    355
    2
    111
    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    I really think that if close all the windows at night they should be fine. Open something during the day if the weather is decent. They have feathers and each other for insulation. So long as there are no drafts as someone else said, they should be ok
     
  7. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

    916
    3
    111
    May 23, 2011
    I'd close the window nearest the perch.
     
  8. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    210
    3
    101
    May 22, 2010
    I close all windows (4) in the winter. I have 3 pop doors; two will stay closed all winter. The third will be opened during the day and closed at night. Tht's enough ventilation. If its cold they stay inside on their perches which are up away from any draft from the pop door, they also have nesting boxes if they get too cold. My suggestion is close the windows if it stays below 30 and just have the pop door open/close automatically. Really don't put to much thought in this, you'll know when its too cold or warm enough. If its nice open a window. My problem is the fox ate all my hens so I have one hen one roo I need more to keep everyone warm. Good luck. don't loose sleep over this you'll see it will work out. Trial and error think of it as on the job training.
     
  9. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    4
    101
    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    [​IMG]

    This is my coop in the building stages. My thought on ventilation was to keep the vents at the top, and you'll notice the 8" opening across the top of the front (south) wall. There's another just like it on the back (north). Both are 8' long,

    I'm in coastal Maine, so we can have stuffy summers (nothing like Texas heat, but still stuffy). The winters are more moderate than they are further inland and upstate, but we can still plan on two or three stretches of 8-10 days with lows of -25 and highs that may or may not reach zero.

    To regulate the air, I've built shutters in sections to cover each, so that I can leave the whole 8' open on both sides during the summer. In the cold weather, I can open as much or as little as is and where needed. the general plan in the coldest weather is to leave one small section open on each side at the end opposite the roost. If I should notice frost on the feeder or the studding, that would indicate that the ventilation isn't sufficient to carry off the moisture, and would likely open up another section on the front (the higher) side and let convection do its thing.

    It's typical in the day or two after a winter nor'easter for a cold high pressure with some screechin' winds to move in. In those cases, the air is drier than during the snowstorm, and the coop is just leaky enough that I can close up all the vents and still have enough ventilation without having a gale blow through the pullet palace and make it drafty.

    Accentuating the obvious, coop design necessarily depends on location/weather. For where you are, I think you've got a great coop. The windows as the only ventilation would be too large and too low for where I am, but plenty adequate to vent the summer heat, which I suspect is the bigger concern where you are. If you have spells of cold winter winds that are a concern, you might consider sectioning and hinging your window shutters so that they could be fully open or allow a 6-or-8" at the top that could be left open on the lee side of the coop, so the wind isn't blowing directly in but still allowing the moisture to vent off. That or you could do some work now to allow to remove or replace a section or two of that plywood shielded by the hardware cloth in the soffits to adjust your ventilation if you have to keep the shutters completely closed up.
     
  10. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    355
    2
    111
    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    Good advice ScottyHomey!! Don't overthink this. If you use common sence all will be well. I love your coop too Scotty.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by