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  •  » Drafty vs. Good air circulation

#16 2009-11-06 17:15:48

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

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

After thinking about this topic for a few days, I remembered a previous related topic.  Here is the link. http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/Alb … hp?id=1686


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

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#17 2010-04-05 21:26:43

Cindy
Growing Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2009-12-31
Posts: 48

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Lots of good info here, but certainly confusing till you get it worked out.  My coop is an 8x8 shed, 8 ft high on one side to 5 ft on the other.  I insulated with the pink stuff, used vapour barrier and put in one window that opens on the south wall and one small vent on the east above the door.  Had 10 chickens in there for about four months, then my hubby and I got the chance to go to South Africa for a few years, so my chickens moved to a friend's coop up the road  and we left the country.  When we got back in 2008 circumstances not right for me to have chickens, but this year I'm starting again.  Coop needs some attention, water got in and the ceiling insulation was wet, and mold growing on the inside of the vapour barrier.  Yecch!!  Today I pulled that all down, and am letting it dry out for a bit. Huge numbers of big black ants up there under the insulation, too bad they didn't hang around, as I'm sure any chicken worth it's keep would have loved them for a snack!  On the low side, I never did get a faschia (is that what I mean?) board on, only had the insulation stuffed in there.  Now I think that I will just secure that with wire mesh and leave it open, in the summer anyway.   I think that will let moist air out, and I will keep the window open for fresh air.  I'll have to get up and check the roof but I  think the water may have been driven in by the wind under the roof on the window side.  No signs of water damage around the window. I have just purchased plans for a new little coop with broody house attached, the instructions call for styrofoam insulation and it seems as tho it will answer lots of these issues.  Now, just have to get some post holes dug, not easy as we are mostly on rock under a thin layer of dirt here in Nova Scotia, but have to get the run ready for my new girls. Cheers!

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#18 2010-04-06 00:31:32

mims1972
Active Member
From: Moncton, NB
Registered: 2009-12-16
Posts: 263

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Cindy,
We live in NB and I we are currently gutting out an old outbuilding here for our turkeys.. and thinking of putting some insulation in our other coop (for chickens).  Some poeple tell me to not insulate too much since you need to let it breath.  So confusing.  The chickens did good in their un-insulated coop this winter but it was a mild one.. so now we are wondering.. should we insulate it with pick styrofoam.. maybe only on the ceiling? And do the same for the turkeys??

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#19 2010-05-02 17:27:54

DoubleSSRanch
I Love A.C.E.
From: Millet, Alberta
Registered: 2010-01-04
Posts: 3376
Website

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I personally plan on fully insulating my coop that Im building this summer. Floor, walls and ceiling. VB on the inside on floor, walls and celing, and TYVEK on the outside under the siding. We can get down to -50'C here in the wintertime, so I want the building itself to be air tight. As for ventilation, I may put a type of whirlybird on the roof, have open soffets (well with the proper soffit stuff anyhow) of the truss ends, and I will also be installing one of those fans you mount in the wall, that is on a timer, and has the flaps so the wind can only get out, not in. (You know those ones that you see on really big poultry barns.) So I can flick that on when needed or leave it on a timer. I go in and out of y coop 2-3 times a day, which means opening the man door, so that would also aid in ventilation. Plus, there wil be the little chicken door. On warmer days its left open so they can come and go, and to let fresh air in. Oh and I change the bedding minimum once a week, so that would remove the wetness from the litter often, and air the whole building out.


Director with the Fort Feeders Co-op Association, Happy to answer any questions about what we do!
Full time cattle farmer
Beef sales

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#20 2010-09-19 12:14:15

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

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

We're in the middle of a second coop build, inside the barn.  The ventilation issue is on us now, and we opted to have a sealed window on the west (windward side) of the corner of the coop and a window that vents on the north corner. Then, on a wal where the coop meets the main floor of the barn, we'll construct a large window panel that can open to the barn so that we can vent outwards when we need it, such as on hot days, but seal it down when it's frigid.

We're on the hills, in a windy snowbound area.  We have lots of barn/feral cats so we don't have rodents, and we could use fibreglass/vapor seal/tuck tape on the interior and Typar/plywood sheathing on the outer wall.  This whole concept of adequate ventilation versus drafts of one of those chicken things that can be confusing, but it worth mastering.  We also have heavy predation, so we're using 1/2" hardware cloth in various places, which is great for air flow.  Then we baffle it in winter with snow boards on the lower half.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_DSCF1154.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_DSCF1156.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_DSCF1133.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_DSCF1132.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_DSCF1103.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_Platformandwindow.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/th_RestoredwallSept2009.jpg


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

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#21 2010-09-19 13:24:31

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15431

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Sheesh, isn't this the thread that never ends!  Glad I started it.  In the meanwhile I to have made changes to my rabbit barn.  Totally insulated with 4' rockwool, vapour barrier and painted plywood.  It is still an old barn with leaky doors (2) and air openings into the loft so I am hoping for good circulation.

One more thing.  This spring showed me the roof still leaks so I have an insulated tarp spread over the rotted boards in the empty loft.  Next year....

Sue


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#22 2010-09-19 14:13:42

coupdeville
Growing Member
From: Courtenay, BC
Registered: 2010-01-01
Posts: 113

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

I use a $40 bathroom fan on a dimmer switch to control the fan speed. it an be installed in the ceiling or in a wall just below the ceiling.The window is left open an inch or so with a piece of cardboard in front of it to stop a heavy draft.Moisture,dust
and the ammonia get drawn out 24/7.


Moved to Courtenay! 5 Kids, 2.8 acres, bee hives, garden, two cats.  John Deere 430. 12 Chickens !

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#23 2010-09-19 15:34:40

Dan Smith
Moderator
From: Calgary, Alberta
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 4440
Website

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

This is what I have and It has worked for 12 years. I have a coop 16 feet long and 6 feet wide( not wide enough) and 7 feet high. You don't want a coop too high because the heat rises and if the height is too high that the birds can't benefit from the heat. I have two chicken openings with sliding doors up and down and I have them half shut in winter so if the birds were allowed out on a Chinook winter day , they would have to crouch down as they go through it. I have one door on the East wall and the other on a North wall but there is a bit of a shelter in front of that door so there is no strong breeze coming in. It is like a horse shelter with three walls and a roof but a wall of hay bales would work just fine. Those two doors have a sheet of 1/2" wire which slides down and keeps out weasels and other predators in the winter time but at the same time allowing the fresh air to come in over the floor. The floor although it is cold it is always dry because of the air circulating over the shavings. The floor never gets cold enough to freeze the tip over pail of water that I put in the coop in the winter. I do not put any sort of heating element in my waterer's in the coop.  The roosts and the nest's are higher up where the heat rises to and is trapped because of the insulation and well constructed walls and roof. The only times I have ever had moisture on the walls is when I have had too many chickens inside for the floor area. I have found that if I have the correct amount of chickens inside during winter then the walls don't get sweaty and If I have too few chickens then the thermostatic heat lamps are on a lot thus causing a high electricity bill. In this coop I also have an opening window which is used primarily for allowing the extra heat out in the summer but if I have a few too many birds in the coop I can crack the window open and allow some extra humid heated air to escape but this is where you create a draft because the cold air coming in will fall extremely fast down the wall towards the floor and the heated air will push upwards because it is lighter then the cold air. It is this cold breeze that passes over the birds that gives them the chills in my opinion.  And yes I agree with what has been said about the humidity creating an environment for disease. There have been winters where I had too many birds in the coop for the size of the coop and it was those winters that I had sweaty walls and a more drafty coop because I opened the window to allow the excess humidity out. For this coop I have found that the correct amount of standard sized chickens is one bird for every 3 square feet of floor space. Some times one bird for every 2 1/2 square feet works as well but it is getting near that crowded point.  Another point of interest is that if you have a well insulated coop and have the correct amount of birds which I usually do then my heat lamps don't turn on until it gets down to -20 or colder because the birds are giving off heat which is keeping them toasty.  Also I do not have to strategically place my heat lamps over the roosts or nests because they give off heat and it builds and spreads throughout the coop because of the insulating factor.  Like I said there were a 2 or 3 winters where I had too many birds in there and last winter was one of them and that is when mold begins to grow on the walls . Sorry for being long winded but I thought that this might help some of the newer people here. Have a great day in spite of the rain.


Home to Black Copper Marans,Blue Copper Marans, Barnevelder's, True Ameraucana's, Welsummer's , Autralorp's, and Delawares ,four Doberman Pinscher's, three son's ( two still at home ) and a patient and loving wife.

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#24 2010-09-19 16:31:52

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

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

There's a lot of experimentation involved.  Helps to have a thermometer in the coop too, to compare conditions in various seasons as the air is baffled or allow to flow.

Sue- An excellent thread- one of the great conundrums in poultry raising...


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

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#25 2011-08-27 17:01:27

CarpenterGirl
New Here
From: Sherwood Park AB
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 7

Re: Drafty vs. Good air circulation

Wow!  That's a lot of good information!

What Dan said about air flow made sense to me.  DH wants to continue using our tiny temporary emergency need-it-now! coop that we built.  It's on a standard 4x8 sheet of plywood, half of which is coop and half run, all 4 ft tall and not insulated, nor well framed.  He built it without a man door into the coop. I've added that, but it still doesn't have any windows (we did drill some holes for air flow at my insistence), nor a pop door, just an opening into the run.  We likely won't have time to build a proper coop before winter, but this gives me some good strategies on how to give them the required air circulation without freezing them to death.  I really like the idea of baffling the wind.

Thanks guys!

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