Ventilation versus draft question??

Discussion in 'Coops, Runs and Housing' started by stu-hens, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. stu-hens

    stu-hens New Member

    Hi all you chicken keepers and experts;)

    I have a question for you and very interested in peoples thoughts/experience etc....

    I have read alot about the need for plenty of ventilation but its always followed up with no drafts and this is quite hard to achieve in a small coop.:confused:

    for example supposing coop of 5ft by 2.5ft. and 2.5ft high.
    entrance is by a door 1ft by 1.5ft high which gets shut at night.
    This door has a perspex window which i have broken out the top half.
    I have two 3inch by 1feet slots at the top under roof line on the front of the house and have also a similar slot on one side if the coop.

    I was worried about airflow in the summer however do you think this is too much for the cold evenings of 4 degrees c at the moment and heading into winter??
    I cannot see how you can have ventilation without draft unless you have a large shed like coop.Als my floor i have made removable for easy cleaning and this does not reach the edges of coop and there is a gap of half an inch to the side.

    Question is my coop too drafty? do i need to block off slots for winter??:confused:

  2. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    My understanding, as the general rule, is that you want air movement but not directly on the animals. You want air exchange in the coop but you don't want it to blow directly on where they eat, perch or sleep. Think of yourself in a car. You want air exchange but not your face or head hanging out the window. Does that make sense ? It's a subtle difference.

  3. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

    The ventilation is for respitory health, avoid build up of ammonia smell etc, the draft is for warmth, no direct "cold wind" on the birds day or night as they roost and sleep, a steady cold wind will rob them from the warm air they have stored between their feathers, giving them the chills and make them work harder to re-warm them selves.. Chickens are very energy efficient, if you provide them the right environment, they can spend their energy providing you with eggs, if they spend their time "working to survive" productivity drops. I provide "wind blocks" at the corners of runs, and places where they can hide behind when the north wind is really cold during winter days. Hope this helps.
  4. stu-hens

    stu-hens New Member

    Thanks for the response, I wanted the extra ventilation for respiratory purpose as they all have been sneezing.

    My concern was now its getting colder it could be a bit drafty for them,i will hang something over window and leave the slots open.
  5. MrsRoeder2011

    MrsRoeder2011 New Member

  6. redmaples

    redmaples Junior Member

    what you can do is visit your local harware store and see if the have someting called a gable vent. you see them on the top section of the attic part of the house on the exterior wall they sell really cheap ones about the size of a car liscense plate and they basically have slits on them to allow air to move freely but not heavy wind. these help alot. my coupe is very open in the summertime wind or not but once it starts to get cold the windows get closed up just as cogburn said the cold wind in the winter will strip away their warmth in the summer it will help to cool them. Although they can survive in the cold wind but you won't get any eggs. they will huddle together to keep warm as and won't be very happy. I see them huddle on the roost in very cold conditions.
  7. anderson8505

    anderson8505 New Member

    My understanding of draft vs ventilation is that ventilation occurs at the top of the coop and draft would be cold air sneaking in through lower areas of the coop. Think about the construction of a home-- without ventilation at the top you will have issues with your house. That's all I can help with since I have open coops in FL; back walls and side walls are planks spaced apart with hardware cloth on the 4th side. On our coldest of nights I do not cover the coops.