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Windows in coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cshewitt, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Cshewitt

    Cshewitt Hatching

    Sep 22, 2016
    Wellington County, Ontario
    Hey everyone....
    I have been searching and looking at different models of chicken coops. Some are very basic, while others go all out and really build elaborate structures.
    I am wondering about the placement of a window behind the roost. Do the chickens face the wall, or face out at the interior of the coop. Would they feel 'threatened' with their backs exposed to the window, if there were to be another animal, or predator, lurking around outside. It seems the idea of them inside the coop at night is to sleep and they would perhaps prefer no windows at all. Are these windows in the coops for our own aesthetics..???
    Haven't built my coop yet as I don't have my flock as yet.....just want to do the right thing for them....right from the start..!!
    Hope this doesn't make it to the dumbest question on BYC....lol
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Windows can serve two purposes in a coop, ventilation and letting in light. Chickens have terrible night vision, so predators lurking outside windows don't really bother them. Windows do need to be secure and covered with hardware cloth to keep out chicken eaters. And they should be placed so that if open, the birds are not getting wind blowing on them.
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    Only dumb questions I'm aware of are the ones that are not asked.

    In your climate, placing windows on the south side facing the winter sun is the most important factor. So putting them on the north side, in addition to not benefiting from the winter sun, they would be exposed to the north winds and any drafts that might get past them. Put the roosts back there but keep the windows and most other ventilation openings on the south side.

    Winter sun for any heat gain you might get (which will help drive moisture out of the coop), and also to maximize the amount of natural light to extend the day so the birds are active longer. You want them in a bright happy place, vs. cold, dark and damp. In days of old, winter eggs were scarce and thus a valuable commodity, so everything possible was done to make it happen. One of the best things they found was lots of natural light from the warm winter sun.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I have a window at one end of my main roosts. It’s open in the summer for ventilation and closed in the winter to stop cold breezes. The area near the window is prime roosting space, that’s where the most dominant birds sleep. They like that window, even in the winter.

    You and the chickens need enough light in there during the day to see how to get around. They don’t need a lot of light but pitch black is going too far.

    Here is a shot from a few years back of mine on the roost. They were looking at me but if you look at their feet you can see that some are facing the wall, some away from it.

  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello and welcome to BYC!

    The birds will always appreciate a nice breeze in the summer time, but I do like to keep my windows a bit higher than any predator might be able to reach in case they do come sniffing around at night which might scare the birds. I have two windows in my coop and will shut one or both depending the season or any other condition I think warrants closing them. And I do shut both of them at night during the spring, fall and winter. Only during the summer heat will I keep one or more of them open.

    You can always put plastic over your windows in the winter time. I don't want to keep the light out of my coop, but those cold winter winds here up at 7,000 feet are quite cold. So I staple plastic to the outside of my windows, the windows open from the inside, light still enters and the coop stays warmer and bright. My roost bars are not high as my heavy breeds are too large to jump down, so my bars are about 15 inches off the floor. I have a window just above their head height covered with 1/4 inch hardware cloth, and another window on the wall next to the roost bar. Ventilation is very important for warmth in the wintertime, you want all moisture from the pooping and the breathing to be whisked away. I like to go with slanted roofs with venting all the way across in the eves, along the low side and the high side. This helps to create a natural gentle path for the air..it moves in the lower side of the roof and out the high side. The moisture my birds create low to the floor rises and is picked up by this gentle movement of air, the birds stay warm, nothing falls back down as frost. You can control the moving air by blocking off some or most of the lower vents, but never close them all off. You need air to keep moving at all times, no matter how cold it is outside, of course slower on cold or windy nights. As long as they are sleeping in a quiet bubble of warm air, the moist air is rising out of the roof, the birds have enough natural insulation in their feathers to stay warm.

    Good luck with your coop build and poultry adventures! :)

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