Winter ventilation concerns

RoyalChick

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Nov 3, 2019
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Northern New Jersey
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Would you happen to have a pic of the baffle? I will remember to slip my hands under the wings. Haha Love it.
I really tried to get a decent picture for you but pretty much failed so did a sketch (please don't laugh - there is a reason I don't make my living through art!).
The first picture shows what I mean by the whole of the gable end being open (protected by hardware cloth of course). There is literally no solid wall there both ends are the same and that allows a lot of air flow high up above the chickens.
The coop is oriented along the prevailing wind and I was in there finishing up details during a blizzard and it was kind of snowing inside because of sideways blown snow. The chickens weren't that bothered by it - the snow was the fine dry kind that flies around.
Anyway that is when I decided a baffle would be a good idea to stop it snowing on top of the chickens heads when they slept.
The 2nd and 3rd photos show the baffle in place and open, resting on a rafter. It is hard to see what is going on but you can also see that the soffits are open (with hardware cloth) and there is also a roof ridge vent and windows that I leave partially open most of the time. There are additional areas where I have cut holes in the walls so there really is a load of ventilation.
Finally there is my sketch of how it works.
Theoretically, if snow built up on it, then it would eventually melt and drip down inside where the baffle hinge meets the coop wall. I am not too worried about that because I can always close the baffle if we have a serious blizzard (I just push it up with a long stick) and there is so much ventilation that a bit of wet coming in will dry out in no time.
Hope this helps. By the way, I didn't close the baffles at all last winter and we had record cold (single digit F) and record snow - but not a lot of wind blowing during the snow.

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Liz Birdlover

Crowing
Jan 6, 2018
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Delaware, USA
A dry coop is best, humidity & wetness are bad. My weather can vary from humid, steamy 100 degree summer days to 20 degree winter nights, plus we can get lots of rain at times, or drought in July. I installed sliding windows, 9 windows total, there's a window on each wall of a 12x20 coop, so depending upon where wind is blowing rain or snow from, I can usually always have windows open, whether fully or just a crack. The windows are screened but also inside is "security screen" I made with 1/2" wire, in case a pesky raccoon gets any chicken dinner ideas. So far, so good. The winds blow in from the south west 90% of the time here. If we do get a nor'easter, I adjust which windows are cracked open. 80% of the time all windows are open. I also use wood chips on the floor, sprinkle a bit of stall dry 1st. I take 15 min each morning to scoop poop under night perches...this keeps the humidity levels down & my coop never smells, so using a bucket & kitty litter scoop for 15 min truly makes a difference.
 

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Jul 17, 2021
54
130
71
Northwest Iowa
Adding hardwire mesh then a fascia board would be probably the best and cheapest way to give more ventilation. Either way it would involve cutting the metal siding underneath the rafters. Also hardware stores sell long ventilation strips that don't allow rain to enter. They also have multiple sized louver vents that you need only a metal hole saw to install with caulking.
Sweet! I am going to look into the ventilation strips and see what Dan thinks. Thank you!
 
Jul 17, 2021
54
130
71
Northwest Iowa
I really tried to get a decent picture for you but pretty much failed so did a sketch (please don't laugh - there is a reason I don't make my living through art!).
The first picture shows what I mean by the whole of the gable end being open (protected by hardware cloth of course). There is literally no solid wall there both ends are the same and that allows a lot of air flow high up above the chickens.
The coop is oriented along the prevailing wind and I was in there finishing up details during a blizzard and it was kind of snowing inside because of sideways blown snow. The chickens weren't that bothered by it - the snow was the fine dry kind that flies around.
Anyway that is when I decided a baffle would be a good idea to stop it snowing on top of the chickens heads when they slept.
The 2nd and 3rd photos show the baffle in place and open, resting on a rafter. It is hard to see what is going on but you can also see that the soffits are open (with hardware cloth) and there is also a roof ridge vent and windows that I leave partially open most of the time. There are additional areas where I have cut holes in the walls so there really is a load of ventilation.
Finally there is my sketch of how it works.
Theoretically, if snow built up on it, then it would eventually melt and drip down inside where the baffle hinge meets the coop wall. I am not too worried about that because I can always close the baffle if we have a serious blizzard (I just push it up with a long stick) and there is so much ventilation that a bit of wet coming in will dry out in no time.
Hope this helps. By the way, I didn't close the baffles at all last winter and we had record cold (single digit F) and record snow - but not a lot of wind blowing during the snow.

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Thank you SO MUCH! This is kind of the way we were thinking of going - something to close it off if it gets bad. And it looks like leaving it open might even block some of the snow that might swirl in from getting on the chickens. Love your dry happy chicken. 🥰 Very cute coop!
 
Jul 17, 2021
54
130
71
Northwest Iowa
A dry coop is best, humidity & wetness are bad. My weather can vary from humid, steamy 100 degree summer days to 20 degree winter nights, plus we can get lots of rain at times, or drought in July. I installed sliding windows, 9 windows total, there's a window on each wall of a 12x20 coop, so depending upon where wind is blowing rain or snow from, I can usually always have windows open, whether fully or just a crack. The windows are screened but also inside is "security screen" I made with 1/2" wire, in case a pesky raccoon gets any chicken dinner ideas. So far, so good. The winds blow in from the south west 90% of the time here. If we do get a nor'easter, I adjust which windows are cracked open. 80% of the time all windows are open. I also use wood chips on the floor, sprinkle a bit of stall dry 1st. I take 15 min each morning to scoop poop under night perches...this keeps the humidity levels down & my coop never smells, so using a bucket & kitty litter scoop for 15 min truly makes a difference.
I wish our windows were up higher, like yours. I did not know there was such a thing as "stall dry" .. now I need to go looking for it. Thank you! 😀
 

RoyalChick

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Premium Feather Member
Nov 3, 2019
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Northern New Jersey
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Sweet! I am going to look into the ventilation strips and see what Dan thinks. Thank you!
The only problem with ventilation strips intended for people-dwellings is that they cut down a lot of ventilation area. Soffit vents are a great example - I have vents in the soffits of my home but for the chickens I don't have vents I just left it open (protected by hardware cloth).
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
34,596
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
I really tried to get a decent picture for you but pretty much failed so did a sketch (please don't laugh - there is a reason I don't make my living through art!).
The first picture shows what I mean by the whole of the gable end being open (protected by hardware cloth of course). There is literally no solid wall there both ends are the same and that allows a lot of air flow high up above the chickens.
The coop is oriented along the prevailing wind and I was in there finishing up details during a blizzard and it was kind of snowing inside because of sideways blown snow. The chickens weren't that bothered by it - the snow was the fine dry kind that flies around.
Anyway that is when I decided a baffle would be a good idea to stop it snowing on top of the chickens heads when they slept.
The 2nd and 3rd photos show the baffle in place and open, resting on a rafter. It is hard to see what is going on but you can also see that the soffits are open (with hardware cloth) and there is also a roof ridge vent and windows that I leave partially open most of the time. There are additional areas where I have cut holes in the walls so there really is a load of ventilation.
Finally there is my sketch of how it works.
Theoretically, if snow built up on it, then it would eventually melt and drip down inside where the baffle hinge meets the coop wall. I am not too worried about that because I can always close the baffle if we have a serious blizzard (I just push it up with a long stick) and there is so much ventilation that a bit of wet coming in will dry out in no time.
Hope this helps. By the way, I didn't close the baffles at all last winter and we had record cold (single digit F) and record snow - but not a lot of wind blowing during the snow.

View attachment 2850937 View attachment 2850938 View attachment 2850939 View attachment 2850940
Lovely job of photos AND the sketch is perfect! :clap

Your girls don't insist on flying up there and roosting on the rafters, or the edge of the baffle?
 

RoyalChick

Addict
Premium Feather Member
Nov 3, 2019
8,625
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Northern New Jersey
My Coop
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Lovely job of photos AND the sketch is perfect! :clap

Your girls don't insist on flying up there and roosting on the rafters, or the edge of the baffle?
Thank you!
I was really worried about the roosting in the rafters issueat and prepared to put netting up if I had to in order to prevent it. My new chicks when they were learning to roost but weren't yet really accepted by the big girls would roost on the top of the open window (what a mess!), but other than that no, I have not had a problem.
The rafters are really high up - just over 8' at the top of the hill and about 9' at the bottom of the hill and their roost is also high - 4' up. The roost is also nice and big and comfy (tree branch). Don't laugh - but I actually think they like looking out of the window from their roost - so they seem very content to be there gazing out at the field.
I will keep my fingers crossed on that but so far nobody has even tried to get right up into the rafters and I do have a couple of real flyers in my flock.
 

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