Woods Style Open air coop - Operating Instructions??

Rob Reintjes

In the Brooder
Apr 20, 2017
2
1
22
Massachussetts
HI folks,

I finally finished my 8' x12' ft Woods Style Open air coop and will post construction photos FYI soon. In the meanwhile, I am looking for guidelines from other owners of Woods Coops regarding when to open / close various combinations of windows.

I have a pair of "hand crank" monitor windows, a large window on back side and smaller window on front side next to door. The birds have a pair of roosts the width of the coop (8') with drop board underneath that is cleaned daily. I am located in Massachusetts, and we are expecting a pretty cold winter. (It's 33 F now)

Under what conditions - temperatures and wind do I:
  • Leave all windows open
  • Close side windows and leave monitor windows open
  • Close side windows and just crack the monitor windows open a little
  • Close all windows including monitor window
Please note - above (-20 F) I do intend to leave the open air end open as the coop is very tight and will hopefully follow Dr.Woods description of the house acting as a bottle with the roosts at the bottom end of the bottle. Also - this is only for nighttime - they go into a covered greenhouse style hoophouse run or fenced orchard run or free range if we are out in yard with them from dawn to dusk. They do not have access to coop during the day time - their nesting boxes are in their runs.

The other factor is that I have a mix of 11 birds:
They are supposed to be Winter hardy:
Buff Orpingtons
Black Australorps
Isa Browns (they tend to snuggle between the bigger birds)

Any suggestions from woods house - or similar design open air coops would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Rob
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,924
296
Missouri
As you have described how you intend to manage this house and birds, if yours is like mine, you can close all the windows now and leave them that way until early April. That is with the open side facing south, and assuming open side is left open.

I would ask why you are closing it off during the day and not allowing them to nest in it?

I manage my Woods house by placing food and water in it and the nest boxes in it. Birds are yarded.......allowed to roam around within a confined yard area most days....which means they trade back and forth between the house and yard all day long. But if for some reason I won't be around to lock them up, I can just leave them in for the day with no changes in their routine.....except for the yard time. They can still eat and drink, can lay eggs and go to roost when it gets dark with no action on my part for any of that.
 

cholland

Songster
Jan 17, 2017
282
472
152
California
Same as Howard. I keep food and water in the coop. Hanging from the monitor beam. And the nest boxes.
When it started to dip below 50 at night I closed the side windows. When it started to get into the 30s, I've mostly closed the monitor windows, leaving them open a couple of inches. When we actually start to get some winter weather I will close the monitor windows to keep the wind out. My climate is pretty mild though. It rarely gets below 30 other than overnight.

I don't have a thermometer in the coop but others have said it's about 10 degrees warmer inside with the windows closed in winter.

My Woods coop has a solar powered auto door. Birds have access to a large fenced yard, with electric outside the perimeter, including the coop. That way I can leave for the day, or be gone overnight and don't really need to worry about the chickens.
 

LeslieS

Songster
Nov 20, 2018
37
152
109
Southern Colorado, Zone 6A
HI folks,

I finally finished my 8' x12' ft Woods Style Open air coop and will post construction photos FYI soon. In the meanwhile, I am looking for guidelines from other owners of Woods Coops regarding when to open / close various combinations of windows.

I have a pair of "hand crank" monitor windows, a large window on back side and smaller window on front side next to door. The birds have a pair of roosts the width of the coop (8') with drop board underneath that is cleaned daily. I am located in Massachusetts, and we are expecting a pretty cold winter. (It's 33 F now)

Under what conditions - temperatures and wind do I:
  • Leave all windows open
  • Close side windows and leave monitor windows open
  • Close side windows and just crack the monitor windows open a little
  • Close all windows including monitor window
Please note - above (-20 F) I do intend to leave the open air end open as the coop is very tight and will hopefully follow Dr.Woods description of the house acting as a bottle with the roosts at the bottom end of the bottle. Also - this is only for nighttime - they go into a covered greenhouse style hoophouse run or fenced orchard run or free range if we are out in yard with them from dawn to dusk. They do not have access to coop during the day time - their nesting boxes are in their runs.

The other factor is that I have a mix of 11 birds:
They are supposed to be Winter hardy:
Buff Orpingtons
Black Australorps
Isa Browns (they tend to snuggle between the bigger birds)

Any suggestions from woods house - or similar design open air coops would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Rob

Hope I'm not too late to the party! If you have the book, look on pg. 41 under "Side Elevation and Ground Plan." If you don't have the book, it's available online, and it's in the public domain. Should be able to find it easily. Good luck!
 

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