If you are thinking of building a chicken coop or revising the design of your existing coop, deciding what type of windows to put in can be a bit of a challenge. Do you want big windows for lots of natural light? Or to save money would a simple small window work?
Good lighting in a coop is helpful for egg production so having plenty of light getting in the coop is beneficial for maximizing egg production.
We’ll examine a few different ideas for chicken coop windows, where to position your windows (and your coop), and where to buy windows…sometimes you can even get them for FREE!
For more about setting up your chicken coop, see our article here.
Coop Window Placement
Just where to position your coop window is really up to you and your style preference. A general rule of thumb is to have as much light coming in as possible, but to also provide adequate ventilation in both hot and cold climates.
Location – You can position your windows all on one side, one window on each side, or any combination you like. Just keep in mind where you’ll be facing your coop. It’s recommended that you position your windows to get maximum sunshine in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
Honestly, if you have enough ventilation, it shouldn’t matter too much where your coop is positioned.
Our coop has a window on one side, a vent on the other and it works great! Our flock is free ranging so they are only using it to lay eggs in and for roosting at night.
Climate – If you live in an area where it’s warm all year round, you may want to consider adding as many windows or vents as possible. In colder climates, you don’t need as much ventilation, but you still want plenty of windows for maximizing the amount of light coming into your coop.
This isn’t rocket science. If your flock is getting plenty of light and ventilation, they’re all set!
Types Of Windows For The Coop
There are hundreds of window sizes and shapes out there. Choosing which one is best for you and your chickens is really a matter of what you like best. Again, as long as adequate light is coming into the coop, you’ll be set.
Having windows with a built in screen can be a real advantage, especially in colder climates, since you can simply shut the window during the colder seasons, and leave it open when it’s hot. The screen will allow air movement but keep the bugs and debris out.
If your window doesn’t have a screen, you can secure a piece of screen or chicken wire over the opening to keep other birds or animals from entering.
Plexiglass is essentially just a clear polycarbonate plastic sheet. It’s clear so lets in plenty of light. It’s also very affordable, solid, and doesn’t break easily.
The disadvantages of plexiglass is that it doesn’t look as nice as regular glass…not that your chickens will really mind ?but YOU may not like its reduced curb appeal. If you’re putting your coop in a pasture away from where people see it, it may not matter. But if you have it in your backyard, you may want to consider glass – it’s really just a matter of preference.
Plexiglass doesn’t come with a screen so you’ll have to make sure you add plenty of vents for proper air movement. You can buy it at hardware stores or online.
As the name suggest, fixed windows do not open and do not have screens. They are are similar to using plexiglass that way, but are much more appealing to the eye.
They will cost more than plexiglass but are significantly cheaper than double hung or casement windows. Because they don’t open, you’ll have to add some venting to your coop to allow for better air movement. At least one vent should be installed into another wall of your coop, but more are better. Between this vent(s) and your chicken door opening, you should be getting adequate ventilation.
Fixed windows can be bought at box stores or online as well…or you can check Craigslist! When we checked online, we found a few fixed windows that have a nice antique look. Some even come in different shapes, like this circular window.
Double hung windows are high quality windows which are standard in many houses. You may have to pay more for these kinds of windows, but they have many features which are great for your coop.
- They come with a screen positioned on the outside.
- They slide up and down – great for temperature regulation in your coop
- They are more solid and can withstand weather quite well
- They tilt inward, making them easy to remove and clean
Double hung windows can be found in box stores or online.
Casement windows are the type that open to the outside of the home, similar to how a door opens. These are also fairly common in many homes and would work great in your chicken coop.
They are different than double hung windows because they also use a crank to open them, and the screen is on the inside, not the outside like with double hung windows.
We have both double hung and casement windows in our home and, to be honest, I don’t like the casement windows as much. I’ve had to replace the handles a couple of times and they don’t shut as reliably in inclement weather as the double hung windows…again, this is just my opinion. Maybe the brand of our windows is of lower quality or I’m trying to crank the window shut too tightly, which damages the crank component – I don’t know. I just prefer the simplicity and reliability of the double hung style.
Having said this, I’d have no problem installing casement windows in my chicken coop. It’d be better than plexiglass (which is what we have now), because it has a screen and can open/close to better regulate air movement and to help regulate the temperature in the coop.
Casement windows can be found in box stores, hardware stores, or online.
Where To Find Chicken Coop Windows
By now you may be thinking that it could cost a fortune to buy a quality window for your coop…think again!
Unlike when your shopping for house windows, buying a window of any style for your coop can be much cheaper. Unless you’re making a chicken coop the size of a house, you probably don’t need more than a few windows…even one large double hung window with a screen would work fabulous!
For New Windows
- Box Stores – Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware etc.
- Window Stores – See what’s available in your area through a quick check in your favorite search engine. Windows here are likely to be of higher quality and may even have a warranty included.
- Online – Amazon will have hundreds to choose from.
For Used Windows
- Craigslist – Check the FREE section first…this could be a major money saver! Otherwise, there are a few tabs under the “For Sale” category which will have them, like the “general,” “household,” or “garage sale” tabs.
- Other Online Classifieds – If you don’t see any on Craigslist, try Offer Up, Oodle, LetGo, or Sell to name a few.
- Garage Sales
- Used Building Materials Stores – they often sell used lumber and other building supplies as well.
- Second Hand Stores
The above lists are really just a start…but we hope we got your brain churning! For how to install a window, we found a great tutuorial on the DIY network.
So far we’ve looked at a few of the different types of windows that can be used in your chicken coop, but there is another option some people use instead of windows, which is ….no windows!
Some chicken farmers don’t believe an actual window is necessary at all, and simply have a square or rectangular opening in the wall with either mesh or chicken wire secured into it. This will work perfectly fine as it allows for plenty of ventilation.
However, it may allow a lot of rain into your coop which can get the bedding wet and could damage the floor if it stays wet for an extended period of time. To lessen the amount of rain coming into the coop, consider putting an overhang above the window – other than on windy days, that should keep out the majority of the elements.
For many people, this may seem too primitive, but the chickens will be just fine. If you live in cold climates, you may want to consider closing off part of the opening to limit the amount of cold air entering the coop.
We hope you’ve gained a few insights into chicken coop windows here. As you can see, there are many types of windows that will work nicely for your existing coop, or for the one you’re planning to build.
If you have any experience with these windows in your coop, please drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, and love hearing from our readers! For more about setting up your coop, see our free guide here. Thanks for stopping by.