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  •  » Drafty vs. Good air circulation

#1 2009-11-02 02:26:00

Schipperkesuue
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2009-07-15
Posts: 1020

Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I am planning on insulating the barn in the next few weeks.  Probably with fibreglass on reflective fabric and covered with OSB.  I have read lots, and they always say no drafts, and good air circulation.  What is the difference and how do I insulate my barn to ensure the magic combination?

The barn is a typical hip-roofed barn.  Nice loft (empty) and a sweet pigeon area up top (also empty, but maybe not for long, heh, heh, heh!).  The birds and rabbits are in the main floor- all one room.  There are 2 doors on the north and east side.  Both are drafty.  There are small windows on the south and west sides.  Again, all are drafty.  Where the ceiling of the main floor is attached to the walls, it is open to the loft, much to the delight of the barn cats who stay in the loft and hang their heads down to meow at me when I go in.

So, how do I get good circulation of air and no drafts?

Sue


Foxhill Farms:  Home of Jet Kennels outstanding registered Schipperkes as well as Rare American Blue and White Rabbits, a variety of chickens, an ever increasing number of hungry turkeys, 3 cats, 2 Keeshonden an Australian Cattle Dog and a very patient and tolerant husband/bunny warmer!

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#2 2009-11-02 11:49:36

Skeffling Lavender Farm
I Love A.C.E.
From: Wiarton ON - Bruce Peninsula
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 6568
Website

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

What an excellent question, I hope you get some good answers Schipperke.  We have built coops etc with vents etc but no real official idea if they are in the right place.  :confused:


www.skefflinglavenderfarm.weebly.com  2012 Breeding quite friendly Lavender & Wheaten Ameraucanas, Lavender Orpingtons, Euskal Oiloas (Basque hens), Partridge Chanteclers, Black Pendesencas & Sumatras

Easy Chickenry and Homesteading articles

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#3 2009-11-02 19:34:07

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5369
Website

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I agree, good question. I want to know how my hen house can have cobwebs and dust on everything at the same time there is enough moisture to freeze the windows shut? Dust and moisture at the same time? How does that happen?

I think drafts come in low down, sift across the floor leaving chicken toes frozen , thus making roosts gets hen off a cold floor. ANd I think circulation means windows and vents so air can get out. But to me for air to get out, it has to be coming in somewhere. It's confusing. ANd maybe it's bad advice.

To answer your question, I cannot answer your question. All I know is that we put vapour barrier in our hen house and I think that was a mistake. Next time I would insulate, which we did, 6 inch fibreglass, but I would leave out the vapour barrier and not have windows frozen  shut and thick with exhaled moisture. I think to have air circulating it has to come in somewhere and leave somewhere and to my ear that means a draft. If yuo can, keep the floor draft free, good luck with that!

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#4 2009-11-03 00:46:47

Rosewood Farm
I Love A.C.E.
From: Barriere, BC
Registered: 2009-02-25
Posts: 5463

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Uno, I would put in the vapour barrier as it is better to have moisture condensing on the inside of the coop than inside the wall itself.  If condensation occurs among the framing wood it will start to rot inside the walls.  The difference between drafty and well ventilated seems to be a difference in the velocity of air circulating.  Good ventilation is going to include a way for fresh air to enter and moisture laden air to exit.  For fresh air we open a window or two.  Does the moisture laden air go against the fresh air flow to get out?  If you open too many windows you have a drafty coop.  I have often noticed that a lot of the old barns had cupolas.  A perfect way for warm, moist air to exit.  Baffles to keep a reasonable flow and a system to open and close the cupola.


Rosewood Farm,
Breeder Berkshire Pigs.
Black and Blue Cochins, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.
Beltsville Turkeys.

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#5 2009-11-03 03:15:54

north of the hill chick
Growing Member
From: Almost Lockport, Manitoba
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 22

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Look to how old barns are built as old knowledge in some areas (such as this) is good knowledge.

We are winging it this year. Our coop is in the barn which a metal siding on poles. It heaved a bit with all the moisture last winter and spring so we have gaps at the bottom. We have piled hay all around the gaps to slow the wind down as there is a barn cat (that came with the barn) to take care of the mice. He seems to not bother the chickens, and our coop is very secure. (so far knock on wood) There seems to be a good balance of cracks and insulation. We may add ventilation to the well insulated "nest/roosting" room to deal with moisture and ammonia, but other than that, they have lots of places to get up out of drafts, lots of bedding (straw/hay mix) and we shall see where the winter takes us. Sorry not really an answer, but a commiseration of how to deal with air movement vs. drafts.


30 Berg layers, 20 others, 2 Guinea Fowl
And a darling hubby, energetic DS who is 3 and a house cat, two barn cats

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#6 2009-11-03 03:38:44

haylo1573
Active Member
From: Leduc County
Registered: 2009-08-08
Posts: 188

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Ah the ventilation vs draft dilemma! I have wondered about that too and have no answer for you, but I'd like to go on a tour of some of the older Alberta coops from when our pioneering forefathers managed to raise chickens and with out electricity to boot! I don't think we give them or their hardy birds the credit they deserve.

Uno, I'm with survivor on this one, you want the VB. Once upon a time (Long Long Ago) I was an Architectural Technologist and the drilled into us that the VB always goes on the moist/warm side of the insulation which in most Canadian applications is the inside. There were some BC exceptions but I seriously doubt they applied to coops. You see when insulation gets wet it does not insulate (you'd be better off with an air gap like between panes of glass rather that wet fiberglass IMHO ). Then you end up with a sweet recipe for mold. Moisture, plus food (wood, straw, dust and the fibreglass) darkness and stagnant air.

Hmmmm. Suddenly wondering how much of the sick birds from moist ammonia buildup in poorly ventilated coops is actually due to them breathing in mold spores in poorly ventilated coops!


2 cats, 3 dogs, 2 rabbit, 3 kids and 2 blue Wyandotte bantams, 3 standard SL Wyandottes, 2 BLR Wyandottes, 2 GL Wyandottes, 3 Toulouse geese and a small flock of Shetland sheep. (In no particular order!)

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#7 2009-11-03 15:30:28

Labman
A.C.E. Addicted
From: N* of #16,East of Edmonton
Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 868

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I am trying a couple of new to me methods of venting. Clean cool air in low at 90* and offset to the roost,warm humid air will rise and exit at the eaves, which have a 1 1/2 inch gap all around between the walls and roof. I can control which areas are open just by removing/replacing the ethafoam that is inserted in the gaps. one 1500 watt oil filled heater! 1 25watt cookie tin water heater.

New coop (still in Const.), will have a vent low on the South/East side with an exhaust fan on a timer located high on the West. Timer will come on only every 1 - 2hrs and remain on for 15min. and only from Midnight until about 7:00 A.M. when I open the pop door.
The main chicken area is 12' X 10', with 18 hens and 1 Roo. There is also a Brooding room, which is 6' X 8', but it only has a 4' high wall and the top is wire to seperate the B.R. from the main room, I will have my Sportsman, 2 portable Brooders, a Hova , a built in 2' X 3' X 3' brooder and still room for clutter.:P
2 1500watt oil filled heaters, 2 15watt Cookie tin water heaters.
I am also inserting a Solar Vent ( Cnd. Tire, green plastic vented), above the main roost area.
Luckily I had a bunch of Tech Cable at my disposal, so I was able to run a 65amp service to each of my Coops.

:moneythrow:


3 RIR, 1 B.Orps., 12 Babcock 300s, 5 Part. Chanties, 3 B.Chanties, 2 Easter eggers.
The Boys= 1 Part. Chantie., 1 Barred Rock, 1 Crested ?.
2 Labs.,1 Bichon Frise, 1 Lazy EX-Tom, 1 Dbl maned Blue-eyed Lionhead Doe, 1 Blk/Wht. EX Buck, 8 Ring-necked Doves and .... a variety of Exotic Pheasants.

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#8 2009-11-03 16:50:58

Brook
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Nightingale (Strathmore)
Registered: 2009-07-22
Posts: 1262

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Because I am still trying to figure it out.....would one of those oil filled heaters produce too much carbon dioxide and monoxide to have hung in a tiny backyard coop? What about fire hazard?

I think I need to take a trip through the canadian tire!

:confused:


Environmental Technologist, Stay-at-home Mom, & City Chick that recently moved out to the country!
Mixed flock of laying hens & Mixed herd of meat Rabbits
Lovin' Life!

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#9 2009-11-03 17:35:42

Labman
A.C.E. Addicted
From: N* of #16,East of Edmonton
Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 868

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

They are OIL FILLED, it heats the oil with an electric element, there is no open flame. They are supposed to be quite energy efficient. They look similar to the old style cast-iron steam fired heaters alot of us grew up with in our school hallways.


3 RIR, 1 B.Orps., 12 Babcock 300s, 5 Part. Chanties, 3 B.Chanties, 2 Easter eggers.
The Boys= 1 Part. Chantie., 1 Barred Rock, 1 Crested ?.
2 Labs.,1 Bichon Frise, 1 Lazy EX-Tom, 1 Dbl maned Blue-eyed Lionhead Doe, 1 Blk/Wht. EX Buck, 8 Ring-necked Doves and .... a variety of Exotic Pheasants.

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#10 2009-11-04 00:44:46

Brook
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Nightingale (Strathmore)
Registered: 2009-07-22
Posts: 1262

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

ooooohhhhh, I assumed the oil was the fuel source, not electricity...I get it now! :thumbsup:

I was born in '81, and never lived in the country...so an oil filled heater is new to me :D

Thanks for the help! Is this something I can get at Canadian Tire?


Environmental Technologist, Stay-at-home Mom, & City Chick that recently moved out to the country!
Mixed flock of laying hens & Mixed herd of meat Rabbits
Lovin' Life!

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#11 2009-11-04 01:10:25

Rosewood Farm
I Love A.C.E.
From: Barriere, BC
Registered: 2009-02-25
Posts: 5463

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Yes, bottom right on page 26 in this week's Canadian Tire flyer.  Reg. $99.99 On special at $74.99.  Made by Noma.  Similar products are available from Home Hardware, Home Depot, Rona, Walmart


Rosewood Farm,
Breeder Berkshire Pigs.
Black and Blue Cochins, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.
Beltsville Turkeys.

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#12 2009-11-04 13:28:17

Schipperkesuue
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2009-07-15
Posts: 1020

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I think the upper circulation is OK with the cupola on the top and all the open spaces around the loft walls to the ground level.  What I am wondering about is where to put the venting from the main floor to the outside.  If it is too high the air will go into the barn and straight out.  If it is low, will it chill the chickens as they wander around? 

Susan


Foxhill Farms:  Home of Jet Kennels outstanding registered Schipperkes as well as Rare American Blue and White Rabbits, a variety of chickens, an ever increasing number of hungry turkeys, 3 cats, 2 Keeshonden an Australian Cattle Dog and a very patient and tolerant husband/bunny warmer!

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#13 2009-11-04 14:34:36

LynneP
I Love A.C.E.
From: Nova Scotia
Registered: 2009-08-08
Posts: 3135
Website

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

We had the same problem, lots of good circulation up to the loft but drafts in the lower walls.  We're re-sheathed the barn with 1/2" wolmanized-one-side plywood and used battens on the seams, then painted with linseed based red barn paint.  We built a hatch on the opening to the loft with a cat circle to let the critters come and go as they please- no rodents here.  So now we are draft free on the lower level but have good ventilation for moisture into the loft, which has openings in the eaves for hay storage and the needed circulation.  It's confusing- drafts mean in the location of the poultry or other animals (a no-no) but ventilation is offered overhead to vent moisture...:thumbsup:

Our coop is built into the barn and is isolated and insulated- no heat lamp and it stays cosy because of heat generated by the hens.  We use a white layer lamp only from 5 am - 8 am.

Last edited by LynneP (2009-11-04 14:36:20)


Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

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#14 2009-11-05 02:10:16

Schipperkesuue
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2009-07-15
Posts: 1020

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

LynneP, are you saying that because my barn loft has good circulation and is vented at the walls to the first floor, that the loft ventilation will naturally suck all my moist air away if the bottom level is fairly tight?

Those old farmers sure knew a thing or two!

Sue


Foxhill Farms:  Home of Jet Kennels outstanding registered Schipperkes as well as Rare American Blue and White Rabbits, a variety of chickens, an ever increasing number of hungry turkeys, 3 cats, 2 Keeshonden an Australian Cattle Dog and a very patient and tolerant husband/bunny warmer!

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#15 2009-11-05 17:57:12

LynneP
I Love A.C.E.
From: Nova Scotia
Registered: 2009-08-08
Posts: 3135
Website

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I'm guessing it will- take a look to see where it will go and that some moisture there will be acceptable- if not you can always duct it outside.  But yes, the standard barn shaped roof is designed both to draw air into the hay loft and to vent the moist air up to the peak, where a vent or cupola then lets it waft outside. 

Big Nor'easter heading my way, oh my! 

We put up our snow boards today.

Last edited by LynneP (2009-11-05 18:18:37)


Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

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