Building a coop - Window suggestions?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by squeakyballs, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    We are converting an old play-house into a chicken house.

    The current "windows" are just slats... I was thinking of just lining them with chicken wire, and when it starts getting cold next year I could add wooden shutters.

    In the meantime, is it okay to just have chicken wire over them? If it is windy will the birds stay down lower and be out of the wind?

    Keep in mind, I'm in Tucson, Arizona. It was 85 out today... it will be 90 next week. Is hot wind as bad as cold wind?

    Also, my husband and his dad (who used to have chickens) are building the chicken pen out of wooden pallets (you can see one in the picture)... do you think the chickens will hop over them? I figure if they escape that I'll get my way and they will be free-ranging (we are on a fenced-in acre and there are no predators, unless roadrunners are dangerous).

    Here's a pic of the coop in progress - the pile of junk in the background was all INSIDE the playhouse. The structure to the left of the playhouse is the bunny cage - with a big tarp to keep the sun out!

  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!!

    You could leave the openings covered with wire. However, I would use hardware cloth (wire), not chicken wire. Then you will be sure to keep out all possible predators (including mice and rats).

    Good luck!
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi, welcome to byc [​IMG]

    Definitely use hardwarecloth (or if the roost is not nearby, you could go with 1x1" welded wire mesh).

    Having the vents high up like that will give them good protection from the wind and rain as long as it is not too cold. And it sounds like you have plans to cover them up as needed for wintertime, so I think you'll be good there. You might want to use clear plastic on at least some of the covers, so as to preserve decent lighting in there.

    A draft on the chickens in hot air is more usually called a 'breeze' and is generally a GOOD thing [​IMG]

    Have fun,

  4. jkg

    jkg Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2009
    I grew up in Tucson. One, you don't have to worry about changing anything for winter. As long as there is some shelter from wind, it never gets cold enough to bother the chickens. Two, don't fool yourself that there are no predators there. From the pics, it looks like you are in the outskirts of Tucson. You have many coyotes plus bobcats, hawks, owls, and maybe house cats (if you have neighbors).
  5. fpscabs

    fpscabs Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 29, 2009
    Glendora, CA
    I was walking through Pic-a-part salvage the other day with my youngest son and saw some camper windows that might be a way to have a closing window with an added screen of hardware cloth. Just put it in backwards. Smaller size looks really good and there is glass already in place. You might get a larger size window. Plus, you could have it set up to install them next fall and just have them able to be accessed for bad weather.

    For my windows (I am in Southern Cal.), I am going to put some grooved slots for plexiglass or lexin to slide over the hardware cloth when needed.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  6. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

    May 17, 2007
    Hmmmm! That cabinet back there on the junk pile looks like it would make a nice nest box.

    The chickens will do fine, if you just make sure they are fenced in securely. Beware of dogs and coyotes.

    The mesquite trees will provide lots of shade in the summer. And be sure and have two or three sources of water out for them.

    And for what it is worth, the chickens will clean up the scorpins.

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  7. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    Chickens are predator magnet. Even though you don't see them now they will come. Good start on coop and run. Good Luck
  8. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Hah, I was eyeing the cabinet and thinking the same thing! I'm surprised you can tell what it is from the picture, haha!

    I was thinking that predators weren't too big of a worry because my neighbors have chickens and don't seem to have problems... we do occasionally see a cat, though. Would that be a problem during the day time?

    Are they generally safe when they are out and about during daylight hours, or should I worry about putting a MUCH higher fence around the chicken house?

    During the night I plan to have them locked up safely inside the house.
  9. BigBen

    BigBen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2008
    I work for a building supply company and got window samples for free.
    They are a regular windows,tilt and clean with screen and they were free.
    Every year the window companies change there products and the old samples become obsolete.
    You should stop by a building supply place or even Lowe's or Home Depot. I bet they will give them to you for free.
  10. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    I might have to try doing that, I have a really hard time asking for things like that... but that sounds like it would be worth trying!


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