Winter Ventilation, and Drafts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Juise, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not that I killed any of my chickens last Winter, but I am about to close off the warmer weather ventilation and I want to make sure I am doing it right. :)

    All of our ventilation is up at the tops of the walls, between the walls and the roof. The coop is 12 foot by 8 foot, and we have 11 chickens. It generally stays above 0°F here, but can go below.

    One 12 foot wall butts up against another barn and has no ventilation, and the other 12 foot wall has 2 inch holes along the top every 6 inches. The 8 foot walls have a negotiable amount. The upper 4 feet of both those walls are completely open right now, and I put a board over most of it in the Winter.

    How much of a gap should I leave at the top of those boards? I think I left 5 or 6 inches last year, but I can't remember for sure, it could have been less.

    So my other question is really about understanding what is meant by "drafts". I'm not entirely clear on the whole, "It's not cold that kills them, but moisture in the air, and drafts, so make sure they have plenty of ventilation and a draft-free coop." It seems a bit contradictory?

    Thus far I have just understood it to mean "no drafts directly at the chickens", is that correct? I mean, any ventilation is obviously going to cause a draft, so the idea is that the ventilation is just high above or far below where the chickens roost, right? It's okay to have a vent up above their roost, yes?

    Thank you!
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    No, you want the upper ventilation away from the roosts. Sounds like you can adjust your ventilation by opening and closing vents. My coop has a window on the far wall (away from the roosts) that is open all winter, more or less open depending on the weather.
     
  3. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks :) So I should just shut the vent that is on the same wall as the roost entirely, then? No cross ventilation will be okay for the Winter?

    I don't particularly think the holes along the front wall do much, they open upwards, so they allow moisture to rise out of them, but do not really help with air circulation I don't think.
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    That is just what you want, warm moist air to vent out without creating airflow so much as air exchange. If you have upper vents above the roosts, then cold air spills down over the birds at night.
     
  5. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome, thank you! So... now how far open do you leave your window? The vent I have to decide on now is 8 foot long, 4 inches? More? Less?
     
  6. Ruth10

    Ruth10 Out Of The Brooder

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    I also have a question regarding ventilation. My A-frame coop did not have any specific instructions for ventilation. The only 'ventilation' I see is that the top part of the A does not come completly together (as per the design of the coop) and the end piece was cut with a notch to allow air flow, but not much in my opinion, at the top peak of the coop. Do I need to add some other type of ventilation system? I am still struggling to see that the bottom of the A frame coop is tall enough for any chickens. It is only 17in from the ground to the underside of the coop floor. Just doesn't seem like enough to me. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    I slide the window more open or closed depending on the weather. During the day, except on the most bitter cold windy ones, the pop door is also open. You may have to do a little trial and error to see what works best, but more ventilation is always best if you are not sure, as long as there are no drafts.
     

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