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?
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