Woods Design Question


In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
I'm in the process of building a Woods coop (8x12), mostly because of the results I have seen posted here. I do have one design question though. In the book it appears that the east side has a window in the front section and the west side has a window in the back section (possibly two windows in the back depending on size). Sections being forward and backward of the monitor wall. However, it seems that all of the examples on here have both of the windows across from each other in the front section. Am I missing something in either the book or the coops on here?

Not having built a woods, I can only speculate that placement of extra windows is entirely based on your choice. the important features of the Woods are the wide open front and the clerestory windows above.
From what I have seen, a Woods coop has 2 windows in the front and some in the back. The front has a large open window at the bottom, then one up high, this encourages the air to come in at the bottom in the front and go out the top on the same wall, this keeps drafts way down while providing a ton of ventilation. The windows in the back need to be either nonexistent or able to be sealed tightly. The reason for this is that in the summer you can open the window in the back for cross breezes, but in the winter when you don't want a lot of air blowing through, you can seal them up and just use the large ones in the front.
I have one of the 8' x 12' Woods houses. I moved the west window forward and put the nest box in the back in it's place. With both side windows open, it vents really well as is. And moved back, the nest boxes are sheltered from any weather and drafts that might exist if they were moved forward. Another reason why I moved the windows forward was to use my framing method to allow both windows to open by sliding sideways on the horizontal framing I used on the front scratch shed, which differs from the method I used on the back part. BTW, you could use the horizontal framing method on both parts if you wanted.

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I believe the intent of the west window was to have light and direct ventilation to the back part of the house. The back window was nearly opposite the door on the east side, for which there was an option of having a solid exterior door and screen type interior door. All this was to open the building up in the heat of summer to vent the thing.

I've not had any heat/venting trouble with mine having both windows up front, and I've not bothered to build a screen door either.

But if I'm around, I normally open the pop door and let the birds out most days, although it is no hotter inside than out on any given day in the summer.
Thanks Howard, that makes sense to me. Was just making sure I wasn't missing something in the book that everyone else was seeing. I may have borrowed some of my measurements from your drawings...
I will be using the Woods Coop theory on my pigeon loft (flightless pigeon, more like a tiny chicken coup) where the door and a vent are on the same side opening into the run area. Then a openable window in the back of the loft for light and air in winter. I don't mind it getting cold, but I DO want to shelter him from being blown around by wind when he's in the indoor part of his loft.

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The framed in opening of the door is 66" high and 34" wide. I made the jambs from 5/4" deck boards (which are a full 1" thick) so that reduces the width of the actual door to 64" tall and 32" wide. I then framed in door stops over the jambs so the door has something solid to close against. I do like the heavy sliding latch. It could be locked if one wanted to, but is way up off the ground and out of reach of any predators where it is. Left edge of the door buts up against the vertical framing used for the monitor.

Since I used T1-11 siding, door itself was made from the cutout of the siding, with wood framing installed on the interior to stiffen it up even more and to provide backing for hinges, latches, etc. A good alternative would be tongue and groove lumber (aka, car siding, drop siding, etc), but also with the proper support framing inside.

The opening I step over is about 6" or so above the skid framing....and about 12" above ground level, which leaves an abundance of room for deep litter over the dirt floor. Also elevates the bottom a bit to get it above eye level of most varmints that might be prowling around.

I wondered about the door 32" door width (same as many 2-8 doors used in home interiors.....closets, bedrooms and such), but feel it was best to do it that wide to make it easier to get new litter in and soiled litter out. I would not want it to be narrower.

Windows are 20" W x 25" high. These windows exactly:


I chose these as frames are vinyl and won't need to be painted. Glass has held up so far.......no glass has been broken to date. I worried the birds might fly into them, but none ever do.

Menards sells something similar (dimensions may vary). All sold and described as "barn sash", which are cheap, single pane glass windows. Perfect for this use.


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Also put a hook and loop latch or similar on the inside so you can close and latch the door from the inside while you are in there working when you want to keep the birds in.

Whatever door latch you use, make sure it will not close behind you to lock you in!


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