When it comes to creating a comfortable and healthy environment for your chickens, there are various factors to consider. One question that often arises is “Do Chicken Coops Need Windows?”.
We will discuss the conditions under which windows may be necessary, the implications of not having windows, considerations for chicken coop windows, and the process of installing them.
By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not you should include windows in your chicken coop design.
Should you put windows in a chicken coop?
When it comes to designing a chicken coop, there are various factors to consider, and one of them is whether or not to include windows.
Windows can serve multiple purposes in a chicken coop, such as providing ventilation, natural light, and even a view for the chickens. Before going into why you should or should not put windows in a chicken coop let’s look at their pros and cons.
Windows prevent the chicken coop from getting too hot
Windows let light into the coop, which is important for the health of chickens
Windows can provide ventilation and fresh air.
Chickens don’t necessarily need windows in their coop
Windows can be a security risk if they are not properly secured
Windows can be an additional expense if you need to purchase them
Pro Tip: If you have already finished making the chicken coop and don’t have a window for it, you can get the necessary ventilation for the chicken coop and install a fan if deemed necessary.
When Should You Need A Window In Your Chicken Coop?
Chickens Are Spending a Lot of Time Inside
The decision to include a chicken coop window depends on several factors. Firstly, check whether your flocks spend a significant amount of time inside the chicken coop.
If they do, windows can provide natural light and adequate ventilation, preventing the room from being stuffy. Thus creating a more pleasant environment for the birds.
Getting natural sunlight can help your birds to get Vitamin D which plays a crucial role in their skeletal health. You could install artificial light to override the chickens’ natural cycle but it may not be worth it.
If you live in an area with very cold winters, then windows can be a lot beneficial.
Chickens Are Outside Most of the Day
On the other hand, if your chickens are free-ranging outside most of the day and only use the coop for nesting and sleeping, the need for windows may be less pronounced.
The chickens that roam outside most of the day can get the required amount of Vitamin D in the early morning which is far better than an artificial light.
This reduces the cost of not buying a large window for your feathered friends.
Tip: If there is a lack of airflow in the coop then you can install a vent.
Chicken Coops in a Cold Weather
Proper ventilation is crucial for the health and comfort of chickens in a coop, and basically every other animal especially during cold weather.
Ventilation holes should be positioned high up and protected from the elements, and there should be windows and/or vents on all four sides of the coop.
Drafts should be avoided, but fresh air inside the coop is critical to chickens’ health. Chickens generate a lot of moisture, ammonia, and heat, so it’s important to ventilate well to remove the excess amount.
A chicken coop needs about 3-4 square feet of ventilation (including the pop door) in cold weather, and as much additional ventilation as possible.
While windows can provide natural light, they are not necessary for chickens in a coop, but good ventilation is essential.
Implications of not having windows
Not having windows in a chicken coop can lead to several implications. Lack of natural light can affect the overall well-being of your chickens, potentially causing stress and reducing egg production.
Adequate ventilation is also essential to prevent the buildup of ammonia and moisture, which can lead to respiratory issues and mold growth.
Windows play a crucial role in maintaining proper airflow and ensuring a healthy environment for your flock.
Considerations for a Chicken Coop Window
Ensure Fresh Air but Avoid Draft
When considering windows for your chicken cage, it’s important to strike a balance between fresh air and draft prevention.
Chickens need good air circulation, but excessive drafts can cause health problems. Placing windows strategically to facilitate cross-ventilation and using window coverings or mesh screens can help regulate airflow while preventing drafts.
Do not have too many windows
If you have too many windows, birds may have difficulty settling down to sleep. They may spend a long time getting on and off the perches, rather than resting.
This can be a problem because birds may fly into windows, mistaking them for open spaces.
You can attach a window screen or light net at least 2-3 inches from the window, or attach strips of chart tape on the outside of the window.
These measures will help deter birds from hitting the glass without obstructing your view.
Having at least one large window that faces the early morning sun can be a great idea too.
What Do Chicken Coops Need?
Apart from windows, there are several other essential features that every chicken coop needs to ensure the well-being of the flock:
Size and General Structure
Adequate space is crucial to allow chickens to move around comfortably. The coop should be large enough to accommodate the number of birds you have, with sufficient space for nesting boxes, roosting perches, and feeders.
Insulating your chicken coop is important, especially in regions with extreme temperatures. Proper insulation helps maintain a stable temperature inside the coop and protects the birds from harsh weather conditions.
A raised floor helps prevent moisture buildup and protects the chickens from pests and predators that might dig underneath the coop.
Chickens naturally roost at night, and providing a roosting perch inside the coop gives them a safe and comfortable place to sleep.
Nesting boxes provide a designated area for hens to lay eggs. Each nesting box should be spacious, clean, and easily accessible for egg collection.
Feeders and Waterers
Adequate feeders and waterers should be provided to ensure a constant supply of food and water for the chickens.
Litter trays help manage waste and make cleaning the cage easier. They also prevent chickens from scratching in their droppings, reducing the risk of disease transmission.
Does Hen Need Darkness?
Chickens require periods of darkness to rest and recharge. While windows can provide natural light during the day, it’s essential to have a way to block out light at night.
This can be achieved through the use of curtains or blinds to create a dark and comfortable sleeping environment for the chickens.
Types of Materials Used in Chicken Coops
Several materials are commonly used for chicken coop windows, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of the most popular options:
Glass windows are a traditional choice for chicken coops. They provide excellent clarity, allowing maximum natural light into the coop. Glass is also durable and provides good insulation. However, it can be fragile and prone to breakage, which may pose safety concerns.
Plexiglass or Acrylic Windows
Plexiglass or acrylic windows are lightweight, shatter-resistant, and provide good insulation. They offer similar transparency to glass and are more durable, making them a safer option for chicken coops. However, over time, plexiglass may become cloudy or yellowed due to UV exposure.
Wire Mesh Windows
Wire mesh windows are a popular choice for ventilation purposes. They allow for maximum airflow while keeping predators out. Wire mesh windows are relatively inexpensive and low maintenance. However, they may not provide sufficient insulation, especially in colder climates.
Polycarbonate windows are known for their strength, durability, and high impact resistance. They are transparent and provide good insulation properties.
Polycarbonate is also lightweight and UV resistant, making it suitable for outdoor applications. However, it can be more expensive compared to other materials.
How to Install Chicken Coop Windows
Tools and Materials Needed
Before installing chicken coop windows, gather the following tools and materials:
Window frames or panels
Window sealing material
Hardware cloth or mesh (for predator-proofing)
Step-by-Step Installation Process
Follow these steps to install windows in your chicken coop:
Measure and mark the desired window openings on the coop walls.
Cut the openings using a saw or appropriate cutting tool.
Attach the window frames or panels to the coop walls using screws.
Apply sealing material around the edges of the windows to prevent drafts and water infiltration.
Install hardware cloth or mesh over the windows to prevent predators from entering.
Maintaining and Caring for Chicken Coop Windows
Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and functionality of your chicken coop windows. Follow these tips to keep them in good condition:
Regularly clean the windows to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Use a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe the surfaces. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that could scratch or damage the windows.
Checking for Damage and Repairs
Inspect the windows periodically for any signs of damage or wear. Look for cracks, loose frames, or damaged screens. Replace or repair any damaged components to maintain the integrity of the windows.
During colder months, consider insulating the windows with removable insulation panels or bubble wrap to provide extra warmth and prevent drafts. Remove the insulation during warmer seasons to allow for better airflow.
Windows or vents?
In addition to windows, vents are also important for maintaining proper airflow in a chicken coop. Vents are typically smaller openings strategically placed higher up on the walls or roof of the coop.
They work in conjunction with windows to ensure good ventilation without creating drafts. The ideal coop design incorporates a combination of windows and vents to provide optimal airflow for the chickens.
Windows in a birdcage can significantly enhance the well-being and comfort of your feathered friends.
By providing natural light and proper ventilation, windows contribute to a healthier and happier flock.
However, the decision to include windows should be based on the specific needs of your chickens and the conditions they are kept in.
Try to provide adequate ventilation without letting too much light in.
Consider factors such as the amount of time your chickens spend inside the coop, the implications of not having windows, and the overall design and functionality of your chicken coop.
How many hours of sunlight do chickens need to lay eggs?
Chickens typically need about 14-16 hours of light per day to maintain consistent egg-laying. This can be achieved by natural daylight or supplemented with artificial lighting in the coop during shorter daylight periods.
How big should a window be in a chicken coop?
The size of the window depends on the size of your chicken coop and the number of birds you have. A good rule of thumb is to have a window that is at least 10% of the coop’s total floor area to ensure adequate light and good ventilation.
Do chickens need a light in their coop at night?
Chickens do not require light in their coop at night. They need periods of darkness to rest and recharge. It’s important to provide a dark and quiet environment for them to sleep comfortably.
Where do you put the windows in the coop?
Windows should be placed on the walls of the coop, preferably at a height that allows natural light to enter without obstructing the chickens’ movement or nesting areas. Placing windows opposite each other can facilitate cross-ventilation.
Where should windows be placed inside a chicken coop?
Windows should be strategically placed to provide even lighting and good airflow throughout the coop. Consider placing them higher up on the walls to prevent drafts and to ensure that they are out of reach from curious chickens.
Windows in a chicken coop can provide good ventilation and provide natural light, enhancing the well-being of the flock.
The decision to include windows should be based on the specific conditions and needs of your chickens.
Proper ventilation, insulation, and other features are essential in creating a comfortable and healthy environment in a chicken coop.
Consider the size, material, and placement of windows to ensure optimal airflow and lighting.
Balancing fresh air and draft prevention is crucial to maintain a healthy coop environment.
Chickens require periods of darkness for rest, so consider methods to block out light at night.
Combining windows with vents can provide the best ventilation for your chicken coop.