plexiglass window shields?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Moselle, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Moselle

    Moselle Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    I was wondering if plexiglass would be a good material to insert into the windows/vents? The windows will be screened in, of course, but for extra cold weather I might want to close up a vent or two and still let the light in. What do you think? I don't know how I'd attach it yet.

    Oh, one other thing. (Am I starting to sound like Columbo? [​IMG]) It seems that most people cover their windows/vents with 1/2" hardware cloth? Would it be possible or preferable to use regular window screen? Would that help to keep out flies/other bugs?

  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Screen won't keep out preditors.
  3. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Use both.
    Keep out flys and coons/bob cats
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    sure, if you really want light thru the vents when they are closed you can make the covers with plexiglas, no big deal... the difference in insulating value vs plywood is negligable when you consider the coop as a whole.

    You just need to make a wood-framed vent cover to attach the plexiglas onto. Depending on your vent size/shape, your carpentry skills, and your aesthetic preferences, your choices are basically either

    a) make a square wooden frame out of 1x2, and screw the plexiglas to it (be very very careful when cutting or drilling plexiglas, it breaks). This will need at least one good latch, possibly more if the vent is large, because it will not be the strongest structure in the world.


    b) cut a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of plywood to cover the vent opening, then cut a 'picture window' type hole in it (if you are smart, you will actually get it all measured out, then cut the hole out BEFORE you cut the vent cover out of the larger sheet of plywood, it will be easier that way!). Use construction adhesive plus several appropriately-short screws (or nuts and bolts I suppose) to attach the plexiglas to cover the hole.

    However, I have to say it would be a lot *simpler*, plus your vents would be stronger and it'd be easier to make them close relatively airtight, if you do SOLID vent covers and SEPARATE windows (openable, or just holes with plexiglas permanently affixed).

    Have fun,

  5. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    On one of my coops I have a large plexiglass picture window, it has been wonderful. The birds will sit in front of it looking out all the time, they actually fight for a prime seat, lol. The sun coming in wakes them up every morning.

    On a second smaller coop, it is a dog house converted into a chicken house, I put windows in each door but this time I used LEXAN. At first I thought it was the same as plexiglass but found it to be much thicker than p-glass and a couple dollars more. I like the LEXAN much better.

    As far as the regular screen goes, I dont think you will keep flies out with it. Flies will still come in through the door and lay eggs, then you will have tons of flies TRAPPED in there that cannot find their way out. I have seen this happen before!! Also screen will not prevent preditors, you will need to use hardware cloth for protection.

    Back to your original question...YES!! That is a good idea as a vent or window cover. If you are only doing this for cold weather, why not just use hardware cloth for the window and vent openings and when it gets cold, go to Walmart and purchase a clear heavy duty shower curtain. They are very thick, thicker than any plastic you will find, you can get either 5 mil thick or 12 mil thick, and they are CRYSTAL CLEAR!! This is what I use all winter and it keeps the weather out and still allows me to see in and them to see out. This would offer just as much protection from the weather as plexiglass but is much easier to use, easier to store, and much less expensive and still look nice.

    OK, sorry, I'm done now, LOL. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  6. Moselle

    Moselle Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    Thanks for the advice and ideas!
  7. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    I use plexiglass windows in all my coops. Low cost and lasts forever. Inside the plexiglass I use hardware cloth.

    Regular screening will help with flys & mosquitoes but is a wicked dust catcher. Besides, chickens will eat mosquitoes like candy!

    When it warms up in the summer I remove the plexiglass and don't put it back until fall. With those open windows all summer the birds enjoy the extra ventilation.
  8. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    I have 2 windows with screens on the side walls that open from the inside (slide up) and can be locked if needed. We also installed galvanized hardware wire on the outside of the windows for extra protection from predators.

    Charlie Chicken is so right about the screens being a dust catcher, but it does keep the bugs out.

    My chickens do love the breezes in the summer when the windows are open.

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