How do you ventilate a coop without drafts

Chicken coop ventilationI have to admit that I’ve
been guilty of passing on this bit of chicken-coop-building advice that
you see in many books and on many websites:

“Plan your coop in such a way that it’s
well-ventilated but doesn’t create drafts.”

One of my friends called
me on it, and I realized I didn’t really know what I meant any more
than the other authors did.

So I started pondering,
and here’s what I concluded:

  • The ventilation is supposed to keep moisture from buiding up in
    the coop and to keep smells down.  (With deep
    , smells should be much less of a problem.)
  • Drafts are breezes at chicken-level, especially where they’re
    roosting at night.

Winter chicken tractorThe
solution to providing ventilation without drafts?  Get the air
moving up high, but enclose the roosting area so chickens are in a
still-air zone at night.

We’ve had success
overwintering chickens in very open tractors here in zone 6 with a
simple carpet curtain that encloses 75% of the roosting area. 
Meanwhile, the drawing at the top of this post follows the tips in
Livestock Farming

— provide ventilate in the peak of the coop and/or windows that open
in and down.

One of these days I’ll
get around to reading
Poultry Houses
which is supposed to be the final word on this topic.  Until then,
do you have any extra tips to add for draft-free coop ventilation?

Our automatic chicken waterer makes care of your flock
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