Chickens are fantastic creatures, whether for their eggs or for their companionship. When it comes to building a chicken coop, there are many things to consider. One important factor is windows.
But do chicken coops even need windows?
In most cases, chickens don’t need windows in their coop, although they can be beneficial in some cases. Windows provide natural light, which can help keep the chickens healthy, but most backyard chickens get sufficient light from spending time outdoors.
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If Your Chickens Are Spending a Lot of Time Inside
If your chickens are spending most of their time inside the coop, then there should be at least one window of some kind to allow natural light in.
Chickens need both space and activity to stay healthy and happy. One of the ways they stay healthy is by getting exposure to sunlight. Sunlight helps your chickens get vitamin D, which is essential for their skeletal health. It also helps them maintain a proper body temperature and keeps their feathers clean and free of infection.
Open windows also help to circulate air and keep the coop from getting too stuffy. In addition, some chickens do enjoy looking out the coop window and observing their surroundings. It makes the coop feel less crowded and can help keep the chickens entertained.
Hence, if your chickens typically spend a lot of time inside their coop, it is important to provide them with windows so they can get fresh air and light.
If Your Chickens Are Outside Most of the Day
If your chickens are outside most of the day, then windows are generally not necessary. Chickens that spend most of their time outdoors will get sufficient sunlight and do not require windows.
Most chickens will stay out almost all day and only come into the coop to lay eggs or roost at night. In this case, you can opt out of adding windows to your chicken coop.
Windows do provide ventilation and help to regulate temperature, but this can be achieved with just a few vents or an open coop door.
If chickens have access to the outdoors, they will get all the fresh air they need. In addition, windows can be a source of drafts, which can make chickens more susceptible to illness. Therefore, if chickens are able to spend most of their time outdoors, then there is no real need for windows in their coop.
Chicken Coops in Cold Weather
However, if you live in an area with very hard frosts and cold winters, then windows may be beneficial. This is because the sunlight that comes through a window can help keep your chickens warm and comfortable. Windows also let in natural light, which is beneficial if your chickens will spend most of their time inside during the winter.
Furthermore, areas located more north have shorter days and less sunlight which will result in a decrease in egg production. Without light, chickens will produce significantly less of the hormones that stimulate egg laying. Adding windows to the chicken coop can help increase light levels and stimulate egg production.
When You Should Not Put Windows in a Chicken Coop
There is one situation in particular where you would not want to put a window in the chicken coop: if you want to keep roosters from crowing in the early morning.
Roosters crow when they see the sun coming up. In other words, if you don’t want your rooster crowing early in the morning during the long summer days, then don’t put a window in the chicken coop.
However, it is still important to ensure proper ventilation. A closed-off coop without windows or vents can quickly get too humid, which can lead to mold and bacteria growth and make your chickens sick.
I you wish to maintain a dark but well-ventilated chicken coop, make sure to install vents or small openings in the ceiling covered by overhanging roofing. This will provide adequate ventilation without letting too much light in.
Considerations for Chicken Coop Windows
When building a chicken coop window, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Polycarbonate is Preferable
First, use polycarbonate instead of glass. Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is commonly used in place of glass. It is transparent like glass, but it is much less likely to shatter.
In addition, polycarbonate is lighter than glass, making it easier to work with. It is also a decent insulator, so it can help regulate the temperature inside your chicken coop.
Not only does polycarbonate provide the same level of clarity as glass, but it is also more resistant to damage. As a result, polycarbonate windows are less likely to need to be replaced. This is important because it prevents predators and pests from getting in while still letting light in.
Use Wire Mesh
Second, if you prefer an open window without glass or polycarbonate, make sure to cover the entire window with wire mesh – even if it’s just a small window. This will prevent predators and pests from getting in while still allowing airflow and light through the window.
Also, make sure to secure the window so that it cannot be opened easily. Even though you may not think of predators as being able to open windows, come predators are quite clever and can find ways of doing so if given the opportunity.
Finally, you should regularly check the window for holes or gaps and repair any that you find. By taking these simple precautions, you can help to ensure the safety of your chickens and the quality of your eggs.
Remember: Hens Need Darkness
While it might seem like a pleasant idea to build a bright and open chicken coop, you can also provide too many windows and too much light.
First, all laying hens require a concealed and dark place where they can lay their eggs. If there is too much light in the coop, they will feel more exposed, which can lead them to search for alternative hiding places – such as secret locations in your backyard. Searching for eggs can be fun during Easter, but not every day.
So, make sure to place nesting boxes in a dark corner of the coop – away from too much light.
Second, chickens prefer to stay out of sight of predators. Their coop is their “castle” where they feel safe and secure. Adding too much light to their home may make them feel more vulnerable, leading to greater stress and decreased egg production.
A few well-placed windows won’t be a problem. But several large windows would be more for your benefit than for the chickens’.
Ensure Fresh Air but Avoid Draft
It’s important your chicken coop has adequate ventilation for your chickens to breathe fresh air and stay healthy, but it should never be drafty.
Drafts can not only make your chickens cold but can also cause respiratory ailments such as infectious bronchitis and pneumonia. Therefore, if you decide to install windows in the chicken coop, you should make sure there are no drafts.
To avoid this, you should install windows that are well-sealed and weatherproof. Like those made of polycarbonate or sliding windows with rubber seals. Alternatively, you can place them in an area of the coop that is sheltered from the wind. Or place them high up so that any drafts are not directed at your chickens.
Ultimately, whether or not you need a window in your chicken coop depends on several factors, such as your climate and how much time the chickens spend inside.
If they are inside most of the day, then windows are important for their health and comfort; otherwise, they are usually not a necessity. Windows or vents are important for fresh air and light, but chickens that spend most of their time outside do not need the light.
Windows can be beneficial for a chicken coop, as they provide ample light and ventilation. However, there are considerations to keep in mind when deciding if you do want to install windows in the chicken coop or not:
- When building chicken coop windows, use polycarbonate instead of glass or make sure the wire mesh covers the entire window.
- A few well-placed windows can benefit your chickens, but don’t overdo it. Chickens need some darkness to lay eggs and to feel safe from predators.
- Do not put a window in the chicken coop if you want to keep your rooster from crowing, but always ensure proper airflow.
How much venting does a chicken coop need?
Your chicken coop should have approximately one square foot of venting per 5 chickens. This will prevent humidity and humidity buildup inside the coop.
How much ventilation does a chicken coop need in the winter?
Generally, there is no practical difference between the amount of ventilation needed in winter and that needed during other seasons. However, you may want to add extra ventilation if your coop if your chickens stay most of the day indoors as that will increase humidity levels.
Do you have to close the chicken coop door every night?
Unless your chicken run is completely predator-proof, you should always close the coop door at night before going to bed. Additionally, you may want to consider adding an automatic door like this one to ensure your chickens are always safe and secure.