Do I need to cover my coop window?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jiffyrocks, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello
    First time Chicken owner here. I did draw a design for a coop but was a little overwhelmed with the thought of building it so I bought one.
    I built it today and I think it's super cute :)
    My question is- it has a premade window, covered in the chicken wire stuff. But what about in the winter? I know they need ventilation so I don't want to close it all up it I feel it may be to big (and cold) to leave as is. Any tips?
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  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I'm sorry to say this but you're going to hate that thing :( Prefab coops are not designed very well at all and most have awful designs for keeping chickens. That one is probably not big enough to hold more than only one or two hens. And they are made of subpar materials and don't hold up well at all. I bought a prefab rabbit hutch this summer just to house my rabbit until I could build her a nice one. Already this winter just sitting outside the doors are not working well and I'd give it another year at most before it falls apart completely.

    If possible you probably want to return it.

    As to your ventilation question, in the winter you don't want to cover up ventilation because that's the main cause of frostbite. You'd want to leave it open.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Jiffyrocks [​IMG]Welcome!

    Living in Aus, I have no experience with a cold winter.

    However, I did just want to add that sorry, I agree with Pyxis. I struggled with a kit coop which then became two kit coops joined together for 3 years and everything Pyxis has mentioned is true.

    However, in defence of the kit coops also, they are not too bad as a starting point for a beginner but if you find you are serious about keeping chickens, they will soon be a pain point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  4. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I live in the city. I am only getting three hens. I have a back yard they can free range in. I'm hoping it will hold up....but I feel like it's at least a starting point. I have all spring, summer, and fall to work on a new one (or improve this one!)
    Thanks for the tips.
     
  5. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hopefully not too late to send it back or sell on CL as new pre-assembled.....

    I would go back to plan A and build from scratch.

    Good luck

    Gary
     
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Jiffyrocks

    I hope you did not feel that we were being critical and on my part, it was just some warning advice.

    As I mentioned, I have been down the kit coop path and yep, they are an OK starting point.

    Also, they do help you to work out what you and your hens really need when you decide that you might like to build.

    Good luck with your flock .. chickens are so much fun!
     
  7. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to agree with Pyxis. I have basically that same coop. It came with my first three hens. The man had bought it in the spring, and I got him from him that same fall. By the end of its first winter, the roof was shot.

    Mine didn't even have an open window. It has a plexiglas window. I had to drill holes through the tops of the walls to put any ventilation in at all. [​IMG]
    Then when spring came it was WAY too hot inside, so I had to build a screen door which I interchange with the solid door seasonally. And I built a second roof over the top, not only to protect the whole coop from rain, but to provide shade and block the sun from heating it up so much. (I must say, I was very proud of my beginner construction skills to be able to make that roof.)

    Here are some photos of my doctored up coop. The original man built that little run on the side to give them more space.
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    On the closeup photo, you can just barely see the holes I drilled. They aren't really adequate, so I kept making as many as I could fit.

    Oh, and the nest box started sagging down off the side, so I braced that up with shelf brackets. The hens' nails scrape the heck out of the nest box floor. Soon I will have to cut a new piece of plywood to replace that. If the whole thing doesn't fall apart first! (I have had it two years and three months.) oh, and the ladder- those screws stripped and it fell off the first winter.

    I have built better coops as my flock has grown. This one serves pretty well for overflow. I'm often glad I still have it, because sometimes I need to isolate a bird or two, and it works well for that. I also use it to transition chicks when they outgrow the brooder, before they join the main flock. But knowing what I paid the man when I bought it used, I do believe it was not worth the cost!

    I'm sorry. I just realized it sounds like I am trashing your choice of coop! I'm really trashing my own. As you can see, it can be fiddled with and made to work. But I encourage you to keep up with your design ideas. Building a real coop is hard, but it gives you such a feeling of empowerment and confidence! And bigger is always better! Good luck with it!

    ETA: wow- there was only one post by Pyxis when I started my reply. I type too slow!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    You did a great job on making it workable!

    Same! The external nest box started to fall off the kit coop we had also.

    We worked with this set up for years:

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    But when it started to fall apart and we wanted something better, it worked out cheaper and bigger to build and was easier on the knees [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brackets on the nest box does sound like a good idea.
    I'm a little sad about my coop now lol. Oh well. I'll just have to deal with things as they come.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Don't be sad .. you are right, it is cute and it will do you and your gals for a while.

    Please do share some pics of your girls when they arrive, I would love to see them!
     

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