All of our chicken coop designs have an open-air ceiling in the henhouse, so there’s typically no need to add windows for ventilation. But if you’re in a really warm climate, want to look in on your flock from time to time, or just like the look of a window, there are a few easy ways to add one to your chicken coop.
Adding a real window to your chicken coop
By “real” window I mean one that is made of glass, has a frame, and may or may not open and close — like a window meant for a house or shed. This could be a single- or double hung, slider, casement, hopper, awning, or even a bay or garden window. You can buy these types of windows new or salvaged. If you do find an older one with a painted frame, make sure it’s not lead paint and that it’s not flaking or chipping.
To install a real window on your coop. . .
- Get the window you want, measure it, and position two studs on your coop the width of your window apart. You could use two-by-twos or two-by-fours for the studs, depending on the thickness of your window and the walls of your coop.
- Cut another board to sit horizontally beneath the window, and another board to sit above it. Keep in mind, you might not need four new boards to frame the window, since you can use any of the existing studs or horizontal boards on the coop frame.
- Attach your window to these studs/boards, then add siding and trim to the front as desired.
The pictures below are from customers who installed a couple of old windows on their Garden Coop. You’ll see they used corner braces to support the horizontal two-by-fours beneath the windows. That’s a preference thing. If you toe-screw those boards in (drive screws in at a 45º angle), that will hold strong enough.
Installing a Plexiglas viewing window to your chicken coop
A Plexiglas or acrylic window (like the ones called for on The Garden Coop) can attach directly to the back of your coop’s siding.
Remove the siding first if it helps. Draw the window opening on the back of the siding, then cut it out with a circular saw or jigsaw. Feel free to think outside the box (shaped window) on this!
If your coop siding is comprised of individual boards rather than sheet siding, you’ll need something to attach those boards to around your window opening. This could be a thin piece of plywood or additional short studs. You just want to make sure that those boards aren’t either loose or connected to each other solely by the window itself.
Once you have your opening cut out, attach a sheet of Plexiglas larger than the opening to the back of the plywood (inside the coop) using small screws — short enough that they don’t stick out the other side. Make sure to pre-drill the holes through the Plexiglas so that it doesn’t split when you drive the screws.
Optionally, you could secure the back of the opening with hardware cloth (use 1″ washers and small screws), then either leave the window open-air OR create removable inserts or hinged, framed panels using Plexiglas or the siding pieces you cut out.
For more ideas and to see what others are doing to add windows to their chicken coops, browse all our blog posts tagged “Windows.”
Questions? Ideas to share? Let us know in the comments below!