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Hello and thank you for reading my question, I am hoping that someone out there has a solution for me.

i decided to see the temperature range inside the cube during the winter to see if my 4 girls are warm enough. I can’t afford a cube cover at the moment so I have covered my cube with two unused sleeping bags and moved it to a covered sheltered area. The sleeping bags do not cover any of the ventilation slots on the cube, the are on the top and side where the egg door is.

the thermometer I purchased stores the min and max temperatures and they have been fine but my concern is the humidity lows and highs. These are averaging at a min of 60% and max of 80%. This seems way too high. I have tried opening the poop trays a little and even leaving the door open a little but I cannot reduce the humidity.

Has anyone else out there done any research into humidity inside cubes ? I have read (internet sites) that high humidity is a leading factor in spreading coccidiosis.

i also see that the mark 2 has far more ventilation than the mark 1.

i am open to any advice.

Many Thanks

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60-80% isn't high at all Debby: we run at that range inside our house. I've never heard of high humidity spreading coccidiosis, which is an gut destroying enzyme in the outside environment. Chickens are most susceptible to it when they first go outside and generally have built immunity to it by 6 weeks. Adult cases can usually be put down to poor health and welfare or poor breeding. I suppose boggy wet runs may promote it, but that is poor welfare as just said.

You may get condensation inside the coop at this time of year, even with insulation and it is important it is removed otherwise mould spores grow which will result in respiratory infection. A simple wipe over the inside surfaces each morning with a piece of kitchen roll will suffice.

As you realise, it is important the ventilation isn't covered by insulation. The ventilation needed depends on the location, the ambient temperature and the number of chickens. I would think with just 4 you would be fine.

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Many thanks, I was having a mild panic about this. Seems so high compared to household recommendations of 50%

it only goes to show you shouldn’t believe all you read on the internet as I read that it should be 40% to 46% !

i don’t get condensation of any sort inside. I am a bit OCD when it comes to my girls and clean them daily, remove offending items from poop trays and a quick wipe inside the cube, turn over the barley straw in their nesting box etc.

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Basically, with adequate ventilation, the humidity in the coop will reflect the humidity outside, so 60-80%. Significantly higher and the ventilation is insufficient, although you will get extreme cases when the chickens have decided to stand in the rain and then go to bed with wet feathers!

I've only lived in one 'modern' house where the humidity was very low. I used to get a sore throat, same as driving with the air conditioning on. Our house is porous stone, built in 1768, held together with a clay/sand/lime mix and no damp course, so it also reflects the exterior humidity. All our other houses were somewhat similar, but actually this is the driest one we've ever had.

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Yeah, that makes sense. 

I will still monitor it though I think, as I have the equipment. As I said ocd 😌

I originally bourght the thermometer as they were all cuddling into the nesting box at night, therefore too cold. I put the sleeping bags on top and this helped considerably. Only Annie goes into the nesting box at night now and I think it’s because she used to get pecked by Ingrid. Then Ingrid was killed by a bird of prey - hope it choked ! All my girls are traumatised and won’t go into our wood anymore. Hopefully In time they will forget and go back in as they used to love it there.

Edited by DebbyTutton

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I don't see any problem with the humidity that you mention, and I also wouldn't cover the coop unless the night time temperature is below -6 at night. As living creatures, hens, like us, excrete water when they are breathing. So when you get a load of them in a coop overnight, then you will get a build-up. So long as it is aired (much as you do with your own bedroom) each morning, then you won't have a problem.

I have seen the mark 2 Cube and would (personally) not bother with one; the mark 1 is MUCH better made.

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Hi,

i started getting concerned as four of my girls were cuddled up in the nesting box so I assumed they were either cold or in a draft (I think that’s the wrong soelling lol).

interesting what you say about the mk2, perhaps I will follow my instinct and go for a second hand mk1.

cheers

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I think your sleeping bags are causing the problem.  When I first got mine, I made the mistake of thinking they felt the cold like we do.  So I covered mine with similar things.  They absorbed moisture and never dried out.   And so I ended  up with one with a chest infection!  Now I know more, I’m sure it’s because I tampered with the ventilation.   So, my advice is forget the sleeping bags, don’t waste your money on a cover, and rely on the chickens to regulate their own temperature.   Mine are bantams and sleep on a perch in the run until it’s either very windy or the temperature falls into minus double figures.  

They really are hardy beasts.  I even adopted near naked rescue hens in one frosty December and at least one went on for another 5 years! 

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Hi Patricia W,

Many, many thanks for your advice. I will remove the sleeping bags in the morning and carry on monitoring the situation.

Very helpful advice, I will keep the forum up to date.

  • Thanks 1

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I agree with the advice above, the Cube is pretty well designed and doesn't really need sleeping bags etc on top. I've never given the humidity much thought but as long as you don't have condensation then I wouldn't worry too much.

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