A coop with no windows. Does this matter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dinosuarus, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Dinosuarus

    Dinosuarus In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2014
    Hello All. Thank you for this great website and forum. I have been lurking and learning for months. Today I decided to join because, like so many, I need guidance and expertise. I got my first 5 chickens a few days ago. They are free-range birds. The coop is well ventilated, but lets in almost no light (no windows) unless the top is open. I keep it open all day and stay alert for predators. At night, very little light shines through the ventilation holes from my porch when it's closed. Is this OK or should the inside of the coop be pitch black darkness at night? Secondly, when I run errands during the day, is it OK to leave the chickens in their dark coop for a couple of hours?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Pitch dark at night is fine. Light during the day, especially morning from East windows is a good thing. How much ventilation in square footage and how are they getting ventilation if there's no light during the day?
    Any time one says they have no windows, I always worry about ventilation.
    Being dark a couple hours a day isn't a problem either.

    By the way, welcome.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  3. Dinosuarus

    Dinosuarus In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2014
    They are getting ventilation through vents. The vents are near the top. When a coop is vented properly there shouldn't be very much light shining through vents. The vents should ideally be facing down. A window, too, would be great, but this coop does not have one. The entire top can be opened and I keep it that way all day, while staying alert for predators. Of course an open top lets in tons of light. I close and lock it at night.

    Thanks for question, the OK on "being dark a couple hours a day" answer, and for the welcome.
  4. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    I wouldn't worry about incidental light coming in at night. Sounds to me like it's plenty dark at night inside that coop.
    I wonder about putting them in a dark coop in the middle of the day. I mean, what happens to birds during a total eclipse? They think it's night time and they roost down for the night, only to be awakened within an hour. If you put your birds into a dark coop, I'm guessing they'll act like it's nightfall and go do sleep. I would think that doing this repeatedly would mess with their internal seasonal clocks. But I am only speculating.
  5. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    A picture of the coop might bring up some improvement ideas, just a thought [​IMG]

    *Edit* You'll need to rack up a few more posts before you can post pictures though.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    You would not be the first nor only one to keep birds in dark coop, I have seen it done by other keepers. But is it a good idea?

    Well, you might have read that the egg production is related to amount of light that they receive daily. Egg factories even use 24/7 lighting to over stimulate egg production. Many of us actually install lights in winter months for the same reason.

    So consider installing some windows. It would be beneficial in many ways.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  7. Dinosuarus

    Dinosuarus In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2014
    Yes, I think you are right about doing it repeatedly and messing with their internal clock. I put them in for an hour and when I opened the coop they seemed like they just woke up. It took them a while to get into the swing of things even though I had treats.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  8. Dinosuarus

    Dinosuarus In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2014
    I know you are absolutely correct. I'm looking forward to more land, a bigger and better coop, and more chickens in the near future.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I definitely think a pic would be helpful, so post away lol

    Personally i like some sort window or source of natural light into all coops... nothing replaces it nor truly replicate it's benefits.

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