coop widow question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by debp, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am brand new to the forum, hoping to get our first chickens next spring. We are about to have a pole barn built for us, half of which will be a medium-sized chicken coop, with a small open, but covered area adjoining it. The enclosed coop area will be about 13 ft. X 11 ft inside dimensions. I plant to put two windows in the outer walls and I would like to use a couple of nice windows from a salvage yard, if they will work. The are Hurd casement windows, about 21" X 40". They are much better built windows than the vinyl sliders I was planning to get, for a little less cost, but they do have wood interiors (and aluminum clad exteriors). Is wood a really bad idea? We are in an arid climate, and I will have additional venting in the coop up high, but wasn't sure about the wood. Also, I'm not sure, if there is a way to put hardware cloth on this type of window, since it has to open out, unlike a slider. and you have to be able to reach the handle and lock from the inside. Finally, if I bought new windows instead, I was planning on 48"X24" up fairly high on the wall. I was wondering if I dared mount a casement window as an awning type, assuming I can work out predator protection. Any thoughts on this window choice?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    People have been using wood for thousands of years. Not sure what your issue with wood is?

    I cannot come up with a good way to predator proof that window unless you go with some type of bay window configuration. I think it would be easier to build ventilation elsewhere, maybe down low. Make a cut-out and cover that with hardware cloth. Have a flap you can close in the winter.

    Where are my manners? Welcome to the forum!
     
  3. FrozenWings

    FrozenWings Out Of The Brooder

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    Welcome. Remember the chickens don't care what it looks like. I would suggest using the material that meets your budget and is the easiest to maintain. Rather it be refinishing the material or replacing the material after it becomes worn, I would suggest using the easiest to maintain while remaining cost effective. Also casings can become slippery when wet or frozen, think of the birds safety as well.

    Unprotected wood can mold and rot if you are in a damp climate, or if it is subject to the elements. However we use a deep litter method, meaning the waste stays on the ground for most of the year, and there is no moisture that is present in the coop. As long as you have a ventilated but enclosed coop, you should not have to worry about moisture build up in the coop. If you use a flashing or window wrap, the wood should last longer than you.

    -Frozen WIngs
     
  4. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    after you install the windows, add 1/4" hardware cloth over the outside frame with screws and washers.
     
  5. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to hear that most think wood would be fine. I think I can't have hardware cloth put on the outside of the window frame as Brickwall suggests, because I could not open a casement type window. I believe that is what Ridgerunner is saying. So, it sounds like either sliders or double-hung (where I could put the hardware cloth on the outside frame) or non-operable windows (with non window ventilation) would be what I want. Must my ventilation be low on at least one wall? I worry about winter drafts, if down too low.
     
  6. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see Ridgerunner recommended a flap. Wouldn't it be better to have it higher, so I can keep it open except on the very cold, stormy days?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You said you had ventilation higher up. That would stay open year around. What I’m recommending is an opening or two low down for summer, not winter. That’s why the flap. It’s hard to have too much ventilation down low in the summer.

    You can add more higher up too. It’s hard to have too much ventilation up high any time.

    You can’t put hardware cloth on the outside because the window opens out. You can’t put it on the inside because the handle and lock are inside.
     
  8. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay that makes sense. Thanks for the help and explanation. I'll talk to my builder about something like that down lower, and skip the casement windows.
     
  9. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would add whatever is most economical for you. Windows are great for natural lighting but they don't necessarily need to even open if you have lots of other ventilation. I only rarely open mine since I prefer no breezes or drafts at mid coop height where the roost bars are located. These double hung units were only 25 bucks at home depot and also have sliding screens. High up openings in the cold months and large open areas protected from strong winds work good for me in the warm months. I do need to protect the windows from our goats so I add a nailed fencing around the windows on the outside. Casement windows would work fine with hardware cloth inside. You may need a small hole to latch or unlatch the window and open/close the window from the outside through.

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  10. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions and reply. I wish I could find used double-hung or sliders. I guess the only one of the predators we would have that could get through the holes in the hardware cloth (if we used the casements) would be weasels (don't think we have rats, and I suspect mice could get in somewhere anyhow). Not sure weasels would climb up metal siding to get to the window, though? Racoons would find a way, but neighbors electrify to keep racoons and bears out. I have to electrify for bears anyway. We have several bear hang out around our yards all summer and fall. This is an old orchard area near wild country. I was hoping not to have to have electricity on when the bears are hibernating, though - so a tight coop predator-wise is my goal.
     

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