Need coop advice asap. New design concept for windows. Will it work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by country, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. country

    country Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lincoln, CA
    We have a contractor friend working on the coop & he wants to start on these tomorrow. Problem: I designed this coop to have very basic windows, mainly for ventilation. The plan has the opening screened & framed on outside for "pretty". Then the piece of wood cut out for the window opening would be hinged on the inside to drop down & close for the winter. Good plan, except...when the windows are closed the coop will be totally dark, even during the day. The chickens won't want to come in at night & won't even be able to see to eat during the day unless I leave the lights on, which DH won't hear of! So, I think I've come up with an alternate window plan & I'd like some opinions. Mostly, do you think it will work! The rough drawing below is from the inside of the coop, with the window opening in the middle. On the left shows a frame with screen covering the opening. It will be hinged to swing to the right & cover the window during the summer. To the right of the window will be a sheet of plexiglass, hinged to swing to the left to cover the window during the winter & still let light in. They won't both cover the window at the same time - one or the other, as needed. There will be a small latch to hold them in place when used & out of the way when not used. The alternative would be to skip the hinges & just use screws to change from screen to plexiglass & back again at the start of each season, but I thought the hinges would be nicer if they work. I showed these to the contractor but his expression was very neutral & he said he guessed we could try one & see if it works. Of course, he's used to working with actual windows & not mickey mousing around with blonde ideas, so I thought I'd come to you BYC'rs for opinions. After all, most of us are used to mickey mousing & playing around with new ideas to keep our chickens happy. So, give me some input please. Oh, also, these can only be the width of the studs, but how tall & how close to the floor would you guess they should be to give enough chicken light?
    Country
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  2. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

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    You're going to lose heat with just hinges. I'd put a layer of weatherstripping around the window hole with cutouts for the hinges and use a slide bolt for the lock. That way, when the plexi compresses the weatherstripping, it'll create a seal. It'll still lose some heat depending on the thickness of the plexi, but if you also put shrink plastic up over the outside, you should have an insulated air layer between them.

    Just my thoughts, but I don't even have a coop yet so YMMV [​IMG]
    -Spooky
     
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    I would discuss the light with him again because with out enough light the pullets wont lay... at least that is what I think....
     
  4. willowcol

    willowcol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Macclesfield NC
    That is how we did the windows in our coop. yes make sure you pu the weather striping on the frame around where the window closes. I didn't hinge my screen, good idea though.
     
  5. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerset, CA
    I did something similar with my large coop doors; living in CA (I'm just outside of Placerville), I like to be able to open the front of the whole coop to let fresh air in on nice days.... like today!

    The front of my coop has two hinged doors, that are wood framed with screen very similar to your drawing. They secure shut in the middle with 3 different hasps. Where my design differs a bit from yours is that I installed a hinged piece of sheet plywood that closes over the screened door and latches shut. The other side of the coop has the same "shutter" that closes over the wire front, only it has a clear plexiglass front rather than the plywood.

    It allows me to let the birds have light and air, but then I can close the shutters to keep drafts, rain and snow out. Right now I open the shutters during the day and close them at night since our temperature has been so mild.

    Good luck with your coop! I'm jealous that you get to build one from scratch.... we simply converted a shed and "made do".
     
  6. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Minnesota USA
  7. Kitchenella

    Kitchenella Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2008
    Beitar Illit, Israel
    Quote:My house should be so nice. LOL

    Peggy
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I'm not quite understanding why the screen is hinged? Why wouldn't you want it to be affixed PERMANENTLY (for predatorproofness, and simplicity) and have the plexiglas part hinge (or slide or hook or whatever) over it for wintertime? That's the usual configuration for chicken coops.

    Pat
     
  9. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Minnesota USA
    Quote:My house should be so nice. LOL

    Peggy

    Thanks for the kind words Peggy
     
  10. country

    country Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lincoln, CA
    You're going to lose heat with just hinges. I'd put a layer of weatherstripping around the window hole with cutouts for the hinges and use a slide bolt for the lock. That way, when the plexi compresses the weatherstripping, it'll create a seal. -Spooky

    Great idea! We're in Calif. so it doesn't get freezing very often, but it does happen. The stripping will also help keep moisture out. Thanks for the suggestion. - C

    That is how we did the windows in our coop. yes make sure you pu the weather striping on the frame around where the window closes. - Willowcol

    Thank you. I can tell the builder that I know someone with the same windows & they work! - C

    I would discuss the light with him again because with out enough light the pullets wont lay... at least that is what I think....AHappychick

    I agree. I think good light is definitely important...even for me. I don't want to feel like I'm in a dungeon when I'm working in there. Artificial light is fine but I also like the real thing! - C​
     

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