winter coop humidity

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 54smokepole, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. 54smokepole

    54smokepole Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2008
    North Dakota
    Need some ideas here. I realize the need for dry conditions in the chicken coop. My problem is I live in ND and it gets very cold here in the winter. Cold as in -30 below zero Fahrenheit. My coop is insulated and very tight. I need it this way to retain some heat in the coop. As a result it is very humid in there. If I add venilation, I won't be able to keep the coop warm enough and will have frostbitten birds. Luckily it warmed up to 40 today and I opened the windows and changed the floor litter to dry it down a little. I am trying to plan for next winter.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Would some dry stall product help out? What about a counter current heat exchanger ventilation? I know the latter exists... but not sure if that is the right name for it.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As long as your ventilation inlets are protected from the wind, you should be able to open them a number of days (during the day) even if the temp. is still below freezing. Possibly *substantially* below freezing depending on your situation. Have you played around with it to see?

    Otherwise, you will want to figure out a way of engineering protected air inlets so that the incoming air is somewhat warmed before it hits the chickens. If you can enclose a run in a sturdy fashion (like, a roofed run that you wrap with heavy-duty clear plastic for the winter) then that will give you a warmer chamber to ventilate from. On some coops it would not be hard to make a lean-to chamber on one side or back that you draw air from - if this were done on the S or E side and got some sun thru a translucent panel it would be an even warmer air source. You might be able to figure out ways of ducting air under the coop, along the ground, etc in order to obtain semi-warmed air that way, too (just make sure that any condensation can drain away and the inlet is predator-proofed). There are various mechanisms that can be used in barns, it's just hard to say anything more specific without knowing the specifics of your coop.

    P.S. you might also consider installing an opening for a fan that you could manually turn on (on warm days) to get additional air through the coop. It would need to be an ag or industrial type fan though b/c of the dusty cold humid conditions, I would NOT trust a household fan.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     

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