Coop window question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MyShunshyn, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. MyShunshyn

    MyShunshyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    Sperrassoville, OK
    [​IMG] just wondering about windows in a coop. We are almost finished with our coop/run but we need to add some vents and a window to the coop. Does the window need to open if we have plenty of vents? The space we have is very narrow and I doubt we could find a real window that will fit, can we just mount a piece of plexiglass for a window to let some light into the coop? Or do we not even need a window? It will be on the front of the coop on the opposite corner from the nesting boxes. I think that if there is no window it will be awfully dark in the coop but I am not sure what we should do. Any suggestions?

  2. 5 spoiled hens

    5 spoiled hens Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 25, 2009
    I have framed chicken wire windows in my coup with plexi-glass on the outside that I can open and close for venting. I have put dark window covering on the inside to darken the coup. I have heard that chickens like it dark when they lay and mine do lay their eggs the darkest spot in the coop (even though it is not a nest box). I think a little natural light is good, so the chickens will know when to wake up - ha ha. Good Luck! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Please, don't rely on chicken wire over your coop windows to keep out predators, because it won't. Replace the chicken wire with welded wire, sometimes referred to as hardware cloth. Browse over on the Predators and Pest section to read post after post from people who have lost chickens because chicken wire failed.

    As to the question about the window, it depends. Are you really sure you already have enough ventilation, even for summer? Figure 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken for winter (meaning vents are all above roost level, where leaving them open won't let cold drafts blow on the birds). For summer, if you live someplace where it gets hot, it's not unreasonable to build an additional 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken lower down where the chickens might be able to catch a cooler breeze as they roost. Windows are good for summer ventilation because you can shut them down in winter, and they do provide light year round.

    Have you considered scrounging around for an old fashioned wood sash window? That's the kind we have on our coop. We hinged them at the top, awning style, and they work great. They're propped open (except in winter) with sticks attached to the frame, and like awnings block rain from entering the coop.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You really *should* have a window, for a variety of reasons.

    In theory, no it does not have to open if you have totally sufficient ventilation elsewhere.

    In reality, though, virtually everyone seems to greatly underestimate how much ventilation is "sufficient", especially when it is March and therefore hard to remember exactly what July and August are going to be like in detail [​IMG] And if you are saying it will be awfully dark in there without a window, it is almost certain that you do NOT have enough ventilation for summertime without it.

    You don't need a fancy house-type window though. Just attach your piece o' plexiglass into a wood frame and hinge it at the top, with hooks or whatever (somewhere reasonable) to hold it open and closed. That is fine [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Since you spoke of getting plexiglass anyhow, I'd nail hardware cloth over the "window" opening for warm months. Once cold sets in for the season, I'd screw a piece of plexiglass over the opening. No - you don't need windows. But they sure make a difference in warm weather airflow and light. A coop with no windows just seems dark and depressing to me... [​IMG]
  6. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    I am in the process of designing our first coop and yesterday shopped for the supplies. We went to Home Depot and I approached the manager and asked about windows that were damaged or seconds and he brought me out back where I was able to pick through the ones they had back there. I picked up two house quality insulated windows (36 x 24) for $80. Each window was priced at $120 new and they had nothing wrong with them except somebody took the plastic wrapping off of them and then they cannot sell them on the floor. We are going to make a hinged frame with hardware cloth on it to cover the windows so they won't get broken but we will be able to lift up to open or close the windows for ventilation and then put the hinged frame back over them.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I was looking to see if you had a picture of your coop and found you had a thread with pictures, which helps a lot. It looks like you've made a lot of progress!

    Since you live in Oklahoma and it's a metal shed, I would put as much ventilation as possible in and have the window open, too. Otherwise, I think it will get really hot in there, in the summer. You only need one nest for every 4-5 hens, so you may not need all those nest boxes on the side wall. That could free up some space on the top of that side wall for ventilation, too. The roost area is on the back wall, right? If you don't put any ventilation above their heads back there, you can add a lot on either side and the front, at the top of the walls, without them having to roost in a draft. I would tend to not have the ventilation openings within a couple of feet of the roosts along the side walls. That should keep the back section cozy enough in winter, I think.

    I have hinged windows on my coop, too. I have a large roof overhang on my coop, so I can get away with having my windows hang down when open. The big pair open to the side like shutters and latch open with hooks and eyes. I would put 1/2" hardware cloth over all the coop openings, like vents or windows that open.

    If you can add a roll of welded wire over the run wall that has chicken wire over it, your chickens will be a lot safer from wandering dog attacks. The fencing with 2x4 openings would be enough to give them a lot of added protection and isn't as expensive as hardware cloth.

    How many chickens are you getting?
  8. MyShunshyn

    MyShunshyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    Sperrassoville, OK
    Ok... Here is a pic of our coop building

    THe front faces East and we are thinking of putting the window to the right of the door(as you look at the pic) which doesn't leave alot of room for a window
    THe nesting boxes are on the south side which in the summer is shades by the trees, we are going to open some vents along this side at the top,

    The roost will be on the North side and possibly one at the West end.....where the shelf is in this pic is the west end.

    The North and West sides are protected from the winter wind and hot afternoon summer sun by a solid vinyl fence which you can see in this pic[​IMG]

    ANy Window Ideas? I really doubt I can find a ready made window that will fit so I am not sure what to do.

    THanks for everything so far!
  9. floyd242

    floyd242 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2011
    Decatur, GA
    Maybe you could make another door that has hardware cloth on it to use as a screen door. Then put a window in your outside door. Or maybe make a dutch door or something.
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I think you could just use a piece of acrylic, an old storm window or any window that's just in a glass frame. Some of mine were sold as basement windows. It just has to let light through and either come with a frame or be able to have a frame added to it. Then just add hinges and a latch to it. Although if you don't care, I think you could just bolt hinges onto a piece of acrylic, after drilling holes in it. Radical, I know! [​IMG]

    A lot of windows that don't open are just glass in a frame and many are rectangular or other odd shapes. The manufacturer may have designed them to be used horizontally, but there's no reason you can't use them vertically, between your wall studs. Acrylic panels come in different sizes or you can cut it, too. Some home stores will cut it for you, too. Heck, you could cut any piece of glass from some old window to the size you want, too. You just need to score it, first. Wear safety glass and gloves, though. You might even be able to get scrap at a glass place that's a good size for you.

    If you want to have the "window" be a framed opening with hardware cloth over it and nothing else, you could do that, too. Especially if you have any kind of over hang, so rain doesn't blow in. You could add a little overhang above it, if you wanted to. In the winter, you could just tape clear plastic over the opening. Or maybe even leave it open.

    Maybe measure the space between the studs and go look around at different places. You might find something. If you don't mind, maybe mention it to people you know that might be interested. They might know of something available somewhere or have something you could use.

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