When I first started looking at building my chicken coop, the first thing I did was go out on the net and look for pictures. There are all kinds of examples out there, but I needed to go cheap. Cheap as in building the window out of scrap material. I see no reason to buy a window, when one can be made from left over scraps from building the coop.
Besides ventilation, the screened in vent windows allow the chickens to be viewed without opening the doors. At ni time, if you want to check on the chickens, walk up to the coop, look in through the screened in windows to check on the chickens.
In the following article I will try to describe how to install a screened in window for a chicken coop. If some steps are left out, I apologize. But hopefully this article can give you the general idea.
- Saw – skilsaw or crosscut saw
- Tape Measure
- 2 inch long exterior wood screws
- 1 inch long exterior wood screws
- 1/8 drill bit for pilot holes
- 2 c-clamps
- Hardware cloth
- Framing square
- Barrel bolt
- Wire cutters
The laying boxes of my chicken coop are made out of 1x12s. After building the coop I had a piece of 1×12 that was 44 inches long. The left over piece for the laying boxes was cut in half, that was there was no waste.
Cut the hole in the side of the coop about 1/8 higher then what the doors measure and about 3/8 wider then what the doors measure.
How wide is the window? Add 7 inches to the width and cut a 1×4 to length. Lets say the window is 11 inches wide (2 1x6s), cut a single 1×4 18 inches long.
Insert the 1×4 into the coop, align the bottom of the 1×4 with the top edge of the the hole for the window, clamp in place. This is called a backer. 3/8 plywood is too weak to hold a screw. so you add a backer for the screws to run into.
Run a couple of 1 inch long screws through the 3/8 plywood and into the 1×4 backer.
Do the same thing for the side backers.
Time to cut the hardware cloth
Whatever size you cut the hole for the window, add 5 inches and cut your hardware cloth. The 5 inches is for 2 1/2 inches of overlap on each side of the window.
From the edge of the window, measure over 2 1/2 inches for the overlap. Hold the hardware cloth in place, secure with a few 3/4 galvanized staples.
The second half of this video talks about how to make a window for a chicken coop
Its time to install the outside window frame
Cut 1 1×4 the width of the window.
Cut 2 1x4s the height of the window plus 3 1/2 inches.
I like to start on the right hand side of the window. Install the outside frame, secure with some 2 inch long exterior screws.
To start with, install only a couple of screws, as the screws for the hinges will add extra strength.
Install the hinges on the boards that will cover the window. I tried to space the hinges equally on the door. If the door is 21 inches long, the hinges were spaced 7 inches apart.
Install the doors on the window.
When the windows were installed on the frame, I used 2 inch long screws on the frame side, and the screws that came with the hinges on the window covers. 2 inch long screws are long enough to go through the hinge – 1×4 frame – hardware cloth – 3/8 plywood – 1×4 backer. This ensures that all the pieces of the window are sandwiched together.
With the 2 inch long screws going through the hardware cloth, this ensures that nothing can push the hardware cloth loose and get inside the coop.
Install the barrel bolt in the middle of the windows to keep them closed during bad or cold weather. I usually close the doors of the chicken coop when harsh weather is on the way.
Chickens for term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival
If there is one farm animal that is capable of taking care of itself, it has to either be the pig of the chicken. Since this article is talking about chickens, lets talk about chickens.
Todays domesticated chicken is a descendant of the jungle fowl and grey jungle fowl.. Its estimated that the chickens were first domesticated in china at around 6,000 BC. That means humans have been raising chicken for close to 8,000 years.
Think about that for a few minutes. Humans have been keeping chickens before written language, before the rise and fall of the Egyptian and Roman empires, and before life as we know it ever existed.
Chickens, like pigs, are omnivores, meaning they eat just about anything.
One of the reasons why humans first domesticated chickens is because the jungle fowl came close to human encampments to eat the scraps. People soon realized that its easier to catch the jungle fowl and keep it in cages then to hunt it.
From a SHTF / teotwawki survival situation, is it better to have your food close at hand, or have to go hunt your food. That is where chickens come into play.
While animals like goats and cows produce milk, chickens produce eggs. Eggs are a whole lot easier to collect then to milk a cow or goat.
Eggs store better then milk.
Milk needs to be pasteurized to be safe to drink, eggs need to be cooked. Cooking eggs is a lot easier to do then pasteurization of milk.
Eggs are easier to handle and transport then milk.
Eggs contain more protein then milk.
Eggs contain a wider range of trace nutrients then milk.
While cattle and goats need certain things in their diet, chickens eat just about anything.
In my opinion, goats are a close second to chickens. But if you want a well rounded farm animal, its going to be difficult to beat chickens.