Why are vents placed at the top of coops and not bottoms?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NHchicks, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    As we redesign our coop, my husband thinks we should leave a bottom area un-boarded for ventilation. I told him vents are at the top, but he thought that applied to climates with a lot of heat issues so that heat rises out of the vent, and wouldn't necessarily apply to cooler areas like ours. Before he digs into the project, I need to have a better answer for him than: Well, that's what they say at backyardchickens.com.

    Does anyone have any fairly scientific reason for placing vents at the top of the coop?
  2. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    'Cause hot air rises?
  3. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Yeah, but it's cold here, and in the summer we'll most likely unboard the mesh again. (Removable siding - winterized by boarding up in winter, back to wire mesh screening in summer)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2010
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    You want ventilation, not drafts. See my BYC page for pics of my Coop, I have eave vents at the top. I close the windows during the winter to avoid drafts. Mine has worked for over 15 years, so I must be doing something right. The vents at the top allow moisture and excess heat to exit. Even in winter, I've noticed that the Coop stays 10-15 degrees warmer than outside with all the chickens on the roost. I think my deep litter compost method also helps in the wintertime. My windows are also set in shade in the summer and with the leaves of the trees gone in winter, sunlight enters the coop, helping with daytime heat.
  6. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
  7. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Updrafts would not be good for the chickens....you want the moisture and ammonia out but you don't want the chickens to roost with a breeze!
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I could be wrong about this, but I think if the vents were low you could be setting up the conditions to actually create a draft over your birds. Cool air would sink out the vents, creating an airflow downwards.

    The air exiting the coop would not be the warmer air (which contains the most moisture) but the colder, dryer air. That's the opposite of what you want, ideally.
  9. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    The issues are
    #1 provide ventilation
    #2 eliminate draft

    Although you live up north consider the wild new weather patterns. You may very well experience unusual heat this next summer. Of course the hot air will rise no matter the temp, but I suspect your husband wants to "trap" the warmth in. I think it will be easier to keep it draft free with the ventilation at the top. Some people have one wall open to the elements even in cold climates so trapping the heat in is not so important.

    I was real happy with my design that had vents at the top and vinyl coated wire on the bottom. In the colder months I cover the wire floor with shade cloth and then wood chips. It would dry out even if they dumped over their water, but it stayed draft free
  10. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Thank you all! I think the answer is bottom vents mean drafts = bad. Top vents mean moisture rises up and out with no drafts = good.

    (he was just thinking leave the bottom for a vent because it would mean one less board to cut to fit the space there)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010

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