How important are windows?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by we3ernes, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. we3ernes

    we3ernes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Central Texas
    I plan on having lots of ventilation in the coop (lots and lots, I live in Texas) and I plan on having all the ventilation adjustable with shutters, but do the shutters need windows? Do chickens need to see out for some reason? Or do I need to see in? They will be able to see out fine when all the shutters are open, it is just when I "batten down the hatches" for a storm that they won't have a view....
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I wouldn't worry about it. The nest boxes should be kept dark anyways.

    Ventilation is the key.
     
  3. we3ernes

    we3ernes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you ChickensAreSweet, that was my impression from my reading, but I wanted to confirm!
     
  4. bdjh

    bdjh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have one larger window, maybe 18 by 24 inches, in our coop, right next to the roosting bar. The spots next to the window seem to be most in demand, and the girls will sit there and look out all day (when it's too cold to go outside). Theywill always sit facing the window, as opposed to facing away from it, so I'd have to guess that they prefer to look out more than to look in.
     
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    You can see by my profile pic that we've got a lot of windows in our coop. I will say that the girls seem to prefer to hang out in front of the windows on rainy days. They seem to enjoy looking out.

    I personally love the windows for light so I can see what I'm doing in the coop and - right now - to help with warming the coop. The winter sun comes in the back windows and the girls will lay in the sunny spots on the coop floor on cold days.

    The nesting boxes have curtains so no problems with too much light being in there.
     
  6. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    DUPLICATE. SORRY!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    TRIPLICATE - What's going on?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would suggest windows for 2 reasons. 1. Light into the coop. Chickens need sufficient day light to stimulate egg laying. 2. Solar heat in winter. Have the windows face south to maximize the gain.

    One can provide light and heat artificially, but why pay for what is free from nature?
     
  9. we3ernes

    we3ernes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the consensus is windows are important for 1) chicken viewing pleasure ;) 2) lighting and 3) winter warmth? And the times that this would be most necessary would be in the winter or bad weather? What if I made the shutters and windows interchangeable? Sort of like a storm door - a wooden shutter in the summertime that could be replaced with clear shutter in the winter? This is getting complicated, let me make a sketch of what I'm planning to do....

    [​IMG]

    So where it says "T-11 siding" I could switch that out for plexiglass when I need to close up the coop for some reason. Please note this isn't the only ventilation I am planning, even with all the shutters closed down the coop will have enough eave and roof vents to handle the maximum number of chicks.

    My main concern with adding windows is solar gain (i.e. too MUCH warmth) during the summer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in Texas as well. Honestly, I wouldn't worry so much about window or no window as much as I would about making sure the coop can really open up, is shaded, and designed/positioned to take advantage of prevailing winds for the summer. Our winters aren't something where solar heat is necessary. Our summers are what is really hard on them. I toy with making an entire side of the coop open for the summer. Haven't quite figured out how to make it secure.

    My coop has a large hole on the northwest side covered with hardware cloth and is the same level as where they roost. I wanted them to be able to catch what breeze they could in the summer. For the winter, I have it blocked off with a solid door to protect them from winds associated with a cold front. They can see out through a similar sized hole on the other side but don't seem to care too much about it. With that door in, sometimes they roost close to where they can see out, sometimes they prefer to scoot down towards that wall where they can't see as much. When they get up on the roost, they pass by the hole that's always open so perhaps they're getting a sense of how high they are off of the ground then. If they feel safe, they'll be happy.
    You do need enough light coming in so they can see as they tuck themselves in. When I blocked off the northwest section, mine were a bit wary and had to adjust their bedtime. It took me opening the access door to let in a little light while they found the roost. I think I had to do that once or twice then they were fine.

    Also, if you make that shudder out of plywood and then just have the hole covered in hardware cloth, you'll be fine. The plywood would withstand hailstorms. Just make sure you can button it down so it doesn't flap in any storms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013

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