winter coop design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Diesel Motor, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Diesel Motor

    Diesel Motor New Egg

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    Nov 24, 2014
    I am new to this chicken thing and this is our first winter with 15 ladies and two boys.
    We repurposed a cubby to a chicken coop as the kids didn't play in it. It is an 8'x8' with a covered 8x11' run.
    Our winters can be cold. On average -10c but down to -20c in Jan Feb.
    This last week it got down to -5c. There was some moisture on the window, but I don't think it got down below freezing inside as the water didn't freeze.

    My questions are:
    Ventilation is important but,
    Drafts are bad.
    How can you have one but not the other?

    I've started to insulate the coop, the ceiling is done. Insulating the coop will reduce the drafts but.
    We utilize a poop board and scrape it everyday. Soon will be utilizing PDZ.

    Any input welcome.
     
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ventilation will let moist air escape, a draft will chill your chickens. In winter I leave all windows under the eaves of my coop open. They are on all four sides. I cover all windows that are on the same level as my roost. This way my girls and boy don't have drafts blowing on them but they have plenty of ventilation.
     
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 people like this.
  4. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you want to avoid is areas where the wind can blow directly on a chicken, and get their feathers all blown about (they insulate themselves by fluffing up and filling the areas around their feathers with still air.

    If the wind isn't blowing directly on them, the more ventilation the better.
     
  5. Diesel Motor

    Diesel Motor New Egg

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    Nov 24, 2014
    So I would have to say the ventilation defeats the whole purpose of insulating the coop?? Yes?

    Thanks everybody.
     
  6. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on the design of the coop. For most small coops, I'd say absolutely.

    For things like larger Woods/Colony house buildings, or other buildings that are designed specifically with airflow in mind, probably not.


    JackE's coop is a good example of a Woods house -where insulation would be useful, but still has good ventilation.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/445004/woods-style-house-in-the-winter
     
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Warmer air rises and carries the moisture with it. So there should be opening at highest point possible, but sufficiently away from the roosts.

    My setup has gable vents and the make-up air comes from the pop door. I also have shutters to keep openings at the down-wind side of the coop.

    As for insulation, it helps to retain the heat from the birds but not necessary.
     
  8. Diesel Motor

    Diesel Motor New Egg

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    Nov 24, 2014
    Thanks everybody.

    I completely understand the ventilation. Easy.
    But I absolutely don't see a reason to insulate the coop if you require venting all the time. It's much like leaving a window open to let the smoke from the woodstove out of the house in the dead of winter. Either shut the windows to keep the heat and smoke in or open to ventilate.
    The coop is 8x8x8 with 15 hens and 2 roosters. Two 12"x12" vents enough?
     
  9. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Outside of insulating the roof, to help absorb some of the summer heat, insulating a coop is kinda pointless. Like you point out, if the coop is properly ventilated, what's the point in insulating the walls. Besides, chickens already come with perfect insulation of their own. People talk about insulation holding the chicken's body heat in the coop. But, I have seen, with my own uninsulated open-air coop, that the inside temp is usually ten degrees or more, higher than the outside, during the winter. And that is with one whole wall open.

    As far as your ventilation goes, you don't have enough. It's recommended to have one square foot of ventilation, per bird. Though, more is better. You need to cut some more holes in your coop. Sounds like it gets pretty cold where you live. Keep a close eye on your coop. If you see frost forming in there, you are going to want to increase fresh air flow quick. Otherwise you may be dealing with frostbit birds, and maybe even possible respiratory problems also.
     

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