Winter Ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MadChickensVT, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. MadChickensVT

    MadChickensVT Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    2
    91
    Sep 5, 2011
    Middlebury, Vermont
    I know about the 1sf per bird ventilation rule, but does that also apply when it's below freezing? What about below zero Fahrenheit? I'm trying to finalize the ventilation in the new coop, and I need to know how many square feet of always open ventilation I need.

    I'm planning on ventilating the 8ft long ridge well. The roofing will be spaced back 3 inches on both sides, and then the cap will cover the gaps well, but be spaced 2 inches up to allow air to flow under it. Also the ends of the cap are open. But I see that the Woods open-air coops don't ventilate the ridge, they just have one side of the coop completely open. It seems like that would allow a nice pocket of warm air for the birds, but still have fresh air down where the poop is.

    I have two-foot overhangs on all sides so I can have big vents without worrying about rain and snow getting in.

    I realize I'm over-thinking this like I do everything [​IMG] I should probably just make all my vents adjustable except the ridge and then play with them to see how it works out.

    Thanks for any input [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  2. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,130
    30
    168
    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I agree, I would make all vents able to close tightly and make them adjustable. This would allow you to make accommodations for wind direction, snow/rain direction, etc. Good luck!

    Editing to say that I have a woods style coop. It's 7+ feet x 16. We made the open front windows a little more framed in, but still very large in the front. We also ended up putting a vent in the back wall. I know, the woods coop purists are all gasping right now! [​IMG]. But we made that window able to seal well with weather stripping sticky foam and slide bolts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  3. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    10,211
    3,002
    451
    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    Might want to check out this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=421122&p=1

    I keep my windows and vents open all the time during the winter, even when there's a wind chill advisory (usually about -20F) I might close them a bit, but they're still open. Ventilation is important in winter, you don't want a damp coop.

    As long as your birds have a place to roost that's wide so they can cover their toes and a place where the wind doesn't blow on them, they're fine. If the windows blow directly on the birds, you might want to think about cutting some different ventilation out. I keep my windows below the roosts, then the roosts, then vents up above.

    I, too, have about a foot overhang, and snow still manages to get in during really windy storms.
     
  4. MadChickensVT

    MadChickensVT Chillin' With My Peeps

    138
    2
    91
    Sep 5, 2011
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Quote:How high are your roosts? I checked out your page, but there's no pics of the roosts. Where are the upper vents? Thanks!
     
  5. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    10,211
    3,002
    451
    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    Quote:How high are your roosts? I checked out your page, but there's no pics of the roosts. Where are the upper vents? Thanks!

    Roosts are up high enough for me to walk underneath them. I'm 5'4" ... so they're probably 6 feet up there? They go across the back of my coop, both the original 8x8 and the addition in 2 rows about 18 inches apart.

    The vents are on the two sides of the coop for cross ventilation, all the way at the top. If I had to do it again, I'd make them bigger. You can see one in this picture:
    [​IMG]

    These are the roosts in the 8x8 part of the coop. If you go in the people door, they're on the opposite back wall. There's a table next to the "ladder" part of the roost and I hang food under that and the top is essentially a poop board. The same thing is repeated in the addition part of the coop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by