Humidity getting the best of us

Duckfarmerpa1

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Hi again...ok, we now have three coops. We are trying to regulate the humidity in them with the vents, but, it seems the weather will not cooperate. Granted, we built our coops before we knew all that we needed to, like i can’t walk into them..they are only 4” high..so, that’s being changed as SOON as the weather warms up because going in is such a pain! And gross! The one is 21” x10”. The next is 18”x 10”. The last we just built fast for our quarantine pullets so it’s small...11”x4”. But they will only be it it for three more weeks. Each one has the vents required by square ffootage per bird in coop. The vents are high, but not by roosts. It just seems my play sand keeps clumping and I can’t keep things stable. My hubby says it’s because one day it’s too dry...from being 6’. Today it’s melting because it’s 40’ ....and it’s all a sheet of ice. So, when we rebuild, is there a key to making the vents to get the humidity perfect, or is it never truly perfect? Or.. I mean..close to good.
 

Beekissed

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Hi again...ok, we now have three coops. We are trying to regulate the humidity in them with the vents, but, it seems the weather will not cooperate. Granted, we built our coops before we knew all that we needed to, like i can’t walk into them..they are only 4” high..so, that’s being changed as SOON as the weather warms up because going in is such a pain! And gross! The one is 21” x10”. The next is 18”x 10”. The last we just built fast for our quarantine pullets so it’s small...11”x4”. But they will only be it it for three more weeks. Each one has the vents required by square ffootage per bird in coop. The vents are high, but not by roosts. It just seems my play sand keeps clumping and I can’t keep things stable. My hubby says it’s because one day it’s too dry...from being 6’. Today it’s melting because it’s 40’ ....and it’s all a sheet of ice. So, when we rebuild, is there a key to making the vents to get the humidity perfect, or is it never truly perfect? Or.. I mean..close to good.
Err on the side of too much. Remember, good, passive flow in at the bottom, plenty of space over the roosts and the main area of poop to let out the warm, moist air.

Ventilation is pretty easy to get right now....take a sawsall and cut holes where you need to now and place hardware wire over them. Don't listen to what folks say about drafts in the coop.....there are many chickens that roost outside in trees all winter long and they are the healthiest birds in the flock.

I'd get rid of play sand for any bedding in the coop and run....sand holds moisture and manure. It's not good for much of anything to do with chickens.

I have perfect ventilation in my coop and it's basically open air. When I used to close it all up with tarps and plastic, I had problems with frost bite and smells. When I opened up everything, it was so much warmer, so much easier to keep the DL working. It had nothing to do with the actual moisture in the DL, as that has turned out to be a GOOD thing....it's the moisture in the air that's the killer. Get the air flowing up and out and you'll see a huge change.

Plus, getting a good mixture of bedding materials of all sizes and kinds, nice and deep, and keep capping off the nightly manure with dry bedding from elsewhere in the coop. Works wonders on smells.
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Err on the side of too much. Remember, good, passive flow in at the bottom, plenty of space over the roosts and the main area of poop to let out the warm, moist air.

Ventilation is pretty easy to get right now....take a sawsall and cut holes where you need to now and place hardware wire over them. Don't listen to what folks say about drafts in the coop.....there are many chickens that roost outside in trees all winter long and they are the healthiest birds in the flock.

I'd get rid of play sand for any bedding in the coop and run....sand holds moisture and manure. It's not good for much of anything to do with chickens.

I have perfect ventilation in my coop and it's basically open air. When I used to close it all up with tarps and plastic, I had problems with frost bite and smells. When I opened up everything, it was so much warmer, so much easier to keep the DL working. It had nothing to do with the actual moisture in the DL, as that has turned out to be a GOOD thing....it's the moisture in the air that's the killer. Get the air flowing up and out and you'll see a huge change.

Plus, getting a good mixture of bedding materials of all sizes and kinds, nice and deep, and keep capping off the nightly manure with dry bedding from elsewhere in the coop. Works wonders on smells.
Oh, the play sand was for them to do their dirt baths...I also have ashes mixed in with it, but it’s clumping...so..you’re saying cut holes in the bottom and the top of the coop? When you say your coop is open air...does it have walls and just hardware cloth one a whole side? My hubby just surprised me today with a new bigger one part of the coop..that I can walk in and everything! It’s about 12x18...we’re adding it onto the two coops we have built together already! Yeah!
 

Beekissed

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Oh, the play sand was for them to do their dirt baths...I also have ashes mixed in with it, but it’s clumping...so..you’re saying cut holes in the bottom and the top of the coop? When you say your coop is open air...does it have walls and just hardware cloth one a whole side? My hubby just surprised me today with a new bigger one part of the coop..that I can walk in and everything! It’s about 12x18...we’re adding it onto the two coops we have built together already! Yeah!
I have a hoop coop that's built in on both ends~sort of~but just covered with tarp on the rest of it. On the front end I have a half open door~so top half is just screen~and half open windows on either side of it. The pop door under the roosts in the back is always open, as are the vent holes at the top of the coop both front and back. Then there are open areas at mid level and along the bottom of the tarp on one side to let in fresh air. There's also a large window that can be opened right next to the roosts, in the back.

In the spring/summer/fall the shade tarp is open on both sides about 3-4 ft up the sides of the coop and all windows are open wide~just has a sort of shade cap rather than a full tarp covering. This winter I hope to open up the door to make it full screen instead of half. In the winter months, the tarp over the hoops is clear, in the summer it's shade.
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Great info! My hubby built me a huge addition to our one coop yesterday! He kept saying it was for his new pig....so, tomorrow I can use these tips to tweak it! Thanks!
 
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