Friday, January 24, 2014

Feathered Friend Friday: Coop Ventilation

Welcome to our "Feathered Friend Friday" series. Each Friday I write a post with facts, photos, or funny stories about our chickens and guineas. If you need to catch up, you'll find all the Feathered Friend Friday posts here 

Sometimes it can be hard to know if there is adequate ventilation in the chicken coop, but there is one surefire way to tell - your nose. We have been using the deep litter method in our coop for years now and it has always worked out well for us. However, recently the coop has been a little too stinky in the mornings when I let out the chickens. We do have 18 chickens in the coop, so that is a lot of poo overnight! Once I began to detect a hint of ammonia, I knew we did not have enough ventilation and air flow.


To remedy the issue, David got to work with his drill and a 4 1/2" round bit to create ventilation holes at the top of the coop far above the roosts. Placing the ventilation up high ensures that no drafts will hit the chickens while they are roosting overnight.

Instead of just cutting out a large area of the coop, he made lots of these little circles so it would be nearly impossible for potential predators to fit inside. He also stapled some 1/2" hardware cloth on the inside of the coop to cover the holes and keep everything out.


David cut several of these ventilation holes around the top of the coop and they are definitely working because I haven't noticed a smell at all. An added benefit is that they let in extra light. We don't have any windows in the coop (our coop is a transformed garden shed) so it can get dark in there. But now there's a little extra light for us and the chickens. And the circles actually look kind of cute from the outside!


Even though it has been very cold lately (this morning it was 1 degree!) ventilation is still necessary. As long as the chickens stay dry and drafts aren't hitting them directly, they can withstand very cold temperatures. Cutting down the moisture in the coop by adding extra air flow also helps to prevent frostbite because the main culprit in frostbite cases is excess moisture, not cold temperatures.

I think the chickens and our coop kitty, Emma, are enjoying the extra light and the stink-free zone.


How do you add ventilation to your chicken coop?

~Tammy

Shared with Maple Hill Hop 

41 comments:

  1. i would think it would help with germs, too.

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  2. Brilliant! Oooooh, that's SOOOO cold! Stay warm, Tammy!

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  3. Our ventilation is very similar to that with the same wiring type.
    We do have it facing where there is'n a direct draft on the chickens and it has worked great like that for us , many many years :))

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  4. We too have holes drilled into the walls up near the roof, but only on one side. On the other side is a wooden sliding shutter with the 1/2" wiring that means we can control the amount of ventilation during the summer and winter months.

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  5. Birds have more delicate respiratory systems than other animals, so they will really appreciate this!

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  6. Oh what a great idea! I love how you guys take such good care of your animals :)

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  7. Great tutorial!!
    Have a great weekend!

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  8. A creative solution to a smelly problem!

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  9. This seems like a very clever solution. I don't tolerate foul odors very well... so I would be begging for ventilation. You guys are just givin 'er and continuing your quest to "dig in". Good for you!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend!
    xoxo

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  10. I ventilate the chicken coop in an easier way that is cost-effective and no tools needed: I haven't got a chicken coop. The closest thing that I'm in the market for now is a hut on fowl's legs. Yes, if you ever read Russian folktales, you would know one of the most famous, which is about Baba Yaga, the fabulous witch who lives in a hut on giant chicken-legs. The hut can and does dance around in circles, which basically keeps people from going inside when nobody's there. It can kick pretty good too. If you see one anywhere that's available anybody, I'm in.

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  11. Love the circles! Functional and pretty!

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  12. Ventilation is a really big deal up here in homes with our cold winters - it's something, that if not done correctly, can lead to a lot of trouble. A home needs to breathe, but correctly. Heat rising up through the ceiling, if trapped, can build up as frost on the underside of the roof, and when it melts in the spring, people have all kinds of water & moisture problems. Mitch is pretty much an expert on this & is often called to repair poor ventilation in attics, frost problems, etc. I find it very fascinating how he can trouble shoot these problems! However, he really isn't a fan of climbing into old attics to correct other contractor's inconsiderate mistakes.
    Anyway - I think it's awesome that you guys were proactive about your coop ventilation, and did an excellent job! We have vented sofit in the overhang of our coop. It serves pretty much as your new system will. Great info, Tammy!

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  13. Again, a wonderful lesson learned for future cooping.... I know the chicks and kitty are going to enjoy the "breath of fresh air".... and so will you in the early mornings..... We are in freezing temps around here again....It has been one extremely cold winter...I just got my computer up and running...praying it stays well.. I hate not getting to visit....have a great weekend and blessings!

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  14. Those ventilation spots look nice too!! I'm glad it was an easy enough solution!

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  15. Oh David is very clever I am so happy you figured a somewhat easy fix. Happy chickens is what you want. Hug B

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  16. You two are VERY clever and the girls have a pretty fancy digs! Happy Weekend!

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  17. That is a fantastic idea Tammy, and one I'm going to add to my homestead info.! Stay warm this weekend!

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  18. Such a great idea Tammy. I'm sure that the chickens love that extra light too! :) And, you're lucky you guys are handy! STAY WARM my friend!

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  19. the ventilation fix turned out really nice. it looks good and I'm sure the chickens are pleased too.

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  20. When we get our new chicken coop this summer, we may have to do something like this. So glad to see Emma :) Hope you are all staying warm!

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  21. I like how it looks.
    I love Emma, she is so sweet.
    Stay Warm, wow, that seems really cold for your Neck of the Woods!

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  22. Still can't belive Emma lives with the chickens, so cute!

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  23. Tammy, you hubby did a wonderful job with the ventilation. I like how the holes look from the outside, like portholes on a ship. I am sure both you and the chickens appreciate the stink-free zone. Have a happy weekend!

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  24. Wonderful and creative idea. And once again, Emma in the coop makes me smile :)

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  25. Very impressive wonderful job, good you sorted out the ventilation. You have a lovely little coop there .
    Enjoy your weekend x

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  26. you sure do take good care of all of your animals!

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  27. It does look cute! Our current hen house is not an ideal design unfortunately, but because they are in a large, fenced run, it does mean we don't have to shut them in at night so they have great ventilation! I'm after a shed though, so much easier to clean if you can fit inside it too!
    Janie x

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  28. I ventilated my coop just like you guys did. I ventilated back in the summer, it was so hot here. I noticed the chickens panting in +80 degree, very humid weather one night and quickly, with my kids holding flashlights so I could see, I cut several holes out and put the wire over them.

    Love the kitty sitting in the door!!

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  29. Clever! I want, I mean, Renoman needs that drill bit! :-)

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  30. Great solution and that's cool that it adds extra light too! :)

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  31. They do look super cute from the outside. ;-) What a great solution to the problem. :-)

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  32. No chicken coop here but that was a great idea and I agree that it does look rather lovely from the outside. I'm sure Emma loves it even more now. She will be really be part chicken because she would never want to leave.

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  33. It's great to have a handy husband!! Very good idea for the air and light! Yeahhh for Emma! Has she ever been around baby chicks?? that would be interesting to see!

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  34. Fresh air is always wonderful and I'm sure your little chickens appreciate the added light. I am worried about raccoons fitting into those holes - a solid mesh screen across all of the holes, screwed down with 1x2's framing the screen would make me feel better :) Hugs xo Karen

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  35. I have to laugh because great minds think alike- just this past week I did almost this exact same thing, lol! Except we added holes to both the north and south peaks of our coop. After insulating, we ended up with loss of ventilation that needed to be remedied. Working on a post as we speak :). Good for you- that ventilation is so incredibly important and I'm sure your chickens are much happier :)!

    Erin
    http://yellowbirchhobbyfarm.blogspot.com

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  36. Great job you guys! Great ventilation makes for happy girls as well happy humans :)

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  37. Ha ha - they are enjoying the stink-free zone. Too funny. I think this is something a lot of people overlook in trying to keep the coop warm. We are blessed with a very high roof so our vent windows are up high although we've had a chicken or 2 make their way up to them to check them out. :-) They are nosy, aren't they???

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  38. David is handy! Our chicken coop is really a good chunk of the barn. It's HUGE, so we can go forever without cleaning (ahem) because it's so big. :)

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  39. I'm sure they will like that.

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