Would this work? (Ventilation)


In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 3, 2009
Kentucky Lake area
Hi everybody,

I am currently planning on building a coop about 20x20 (rough aproximation). Here where I live in Kentucky the summers are fairly hot getting to about 105 and the winters getting down in the teens but rarely, rarely below 0.

So im thinking, what if I put a vent( like in your house where the a/c comes out) between every stud, down at the bottom, about a fooot above the floor and at the top. Then in the roof I put a couple (depending on how many I would need for the space) of those attic fans. The advantage is I can turn off the fan(s) and close any of the vents when needed. Also, with the fans on, you are constantly having fresh air replace the air thats in the coop.

Does anybody have any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,
I think those things would rust in very short order, even though they are powder coated. I have them in my house (without chickens-lol) and the one in the bathroom is rusting after 3 years, and the rest of the house is showing signs of rusting.

If you put them at the bottom, your chickens would be at risk to drafts, even with the vents closed because they are not draft proof.

I live in California where it is regularly over 100° during the summer, though our humidity is not typically as severe as yours. I recently installed a commercial stainless steel fully sealed greenhouse shuttered exhaust fan with a thermostat so the fan sucks all the air out of the coop when it gets over 95° and stays on until the temperature drops. I also have a riostat on it so I can dial down the speed of the fan. The rate of air exchange for my 8x8 coop is approximately three times a minute, a little overkill on high. It is fabulous and the coop no longer heats up to hold the heat long into the night. The self-opening and closing shutter keeps unwanted critters out too. If you are interested, here's a link to where I purchased mine: http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/Ventilation-Solutions/departments/1047/

fan I purchased is only 12"; they come in larger sizes to accommodate the size coop you are planning, and they are made for moist environments.

There are lots of alternatives. However, I think using household vents in an ammonia and farm animal environment would be a mistake.

Good luck with your project. Don't forget to take pictures along the way and share them with us so we can ooooh and aaaaaah and drool!
Sorry but that will be *radically insufficient* ventilation, especially for a 20x20 house. (this will be pole-barn style construction, yes, not stud walls on a raised platform?)

What you want is to make at least two sides of the coop mainly wire mesh. Not just a few windows, but the majority of the whole wall being open. A good roof overhang will prevent most rain-in problems, and what rain gets in will not be a problem because you have such good free air movement to dry things back out.


There is no reason to be using fans (which are expensive, use electricity that's expensive and occasionally fails, tend to malfunction esp if used to suck air out of the coop rather than pump it in, will need to be replaced periodically, and fans are a significantly common cause of barn fires) when sensibly designed passive ventilation will work as well or, in most cases including this one, *better*.

Good luck, have fun,

(this will be pole-barn style construction, yes, not stud walls on a raised platform?)

I guess Im hi-jacking my own thread, but I had actually not thought about that. Does anybody have any reccomendations as whether to go this route or stud walls. Cost, effeciency,etc...

I was voting for pole barn because otherwise you almost have to have a Proper Deep Real Foundation to keep the thing from shifting enough it starts to come apart at the seams.

You will need to think about the design and structure though -- 20x20 is a *big* building, especially if you want it to be clearspan, so you need to work out the engineering of the plates and trusses-or-rafters and so forth. IMHO the easiest cheapest construction would be a non clearspan pole barn (with posts down the middle of the inside, doesn't have to be a wall there though); second easiest cheapest would be clearspan pole barn; stud wall construction would be a distant-ish third because of issues of stabilizing the foundation of something that spans that much area.

JMHO though, good luck, have fun,

Ok I will research about the pole barns. Actually I would LIKE to make about a 30 x 30, to house 300 hens (which gives 3 sq. ft. per bird). Id like to have 300 hens, because Im trying to get into the buisness side of it now. I have about 15 hens now just for fun really, but would like to sell eggs.

So in the end, once I figure out the costs, Id like to build about a 30 x 30. Also im trying to figure out if its worth it to get the organic certification. Like how you can't have birds coming in contact with pressure treated wood. I don't know how that fits in with the design of the building, but just a thought.

One thing to consider is that it is quite often less expensive, certainly easier, to build a longer narrower building than a squarer wider one. So, for instance, 30x30 will cost more than 20x45 although both have the same square footage. The longer narrower bldg is also easier to thoroughly ventilate.

Pressure treated wood can be covered with regular wood, I *think* that would satisfy your regulations although you should check.

Good luck, have fun,


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