If you look at the design of the chicken coop, you may or may not face the problem of adding windows. It is surprising how little is known about the role of windows in the health, happiness and care of the henhouse. So there must be windows in the chicken coop? How big do the windows have to be?
Many myths about how windows do or do not affect egg laying confuse this problem. So let’s start by clearing up some misunderstandings about light, windows and egg-laying behaviour:
Myth: Chickens lay eggs at night
In fact, chickens usually lay eggs in the morning 6 hours after sunrise. They lay their eggs at intervals of about 28 hours, so that the time of laying is of course postponed until a later day. At some point it will be too late and miss the next day. The next morning the cycle starts again.
Myth: Kuram needs darkness to lay eggs
In fact, chickens need daylight to lay eggs. Egg production is delayed or stopped when the clear day lasts less than 14 hours. It usually increases again in the next spring as the days get longer.
16 hours of daylight per day is optimal for egg production. We see a difference in the winters of the Pacific Northwest, where daylight lasts only about 8 hours a day. Egg production is almost half as high as in summer, when we have about 18 hours of daylight.
Myth: Chicks sleeping in nests
Chickens only lay their eggs in nests and sleep in baskets. Normally they don’t sleep in their nest unless they’re thoughtful. In fact, the roots have to be placed higher than in the nesting boxes to prevent the hens from sleeping in the nesting boxes. Sleeping in a nest box increases the chance of hens accidentally breaking their eggs, which can contribute to the survival of their offspring.
Myth: Chickens only lay eggs in dark litters
That’s partly true. Chicks have an instinct to protect their eggs, so they prefer to lay them in more private and isolated places. They do not necessarily seek darkness, but prefer to lay their eggs in nest boxes, which are somewhat unsuitable and better protected.
Some people think that the windows should not be placed in the henhouse because they think it is better to keep the chickens in a dark environment, and that is not true. For the chickens to be happy and healthy, there must be windows in the henhouse. Windows play an important role in the natural needs and behaviour of chicks.
Provide the necessary ventilation
Ventilation is important for your poultry house.
Chicken poop releases moisture and ammonia to the air. Over time, ammonia can accumulate to toxic levels – it is just as harmful to chickens’ respiratory tracts as it is to humans. Ventilation is necessary to maintain the right balance between fresh air and temperature control. Too much or too little ventilation can jeopardize their purpose. Fortunately, it’s not difficult. The ventilation and the temperature can be regulated quite easily without special equipment. Ammonia is easy to recognize by its smell, and any simple thermometer is easy to do.
Bird respiration, spilled water in the barn and moisture from manure – all this can accumulate in the fenced area. Excess moisture can be unhealthy for the birds and can damage the structure of the house itself.
Chickens tolerate the cold better than the heat. Their springs provide natural insulation against the cold, but they cannot effectively sweat or cool down in hot weather. The windows prevent the chicken coop from overheating.
The windows let the light into the chicken coop. Natural light is important for the health of hens and the amount of light is integrated into many of their bodily functions, such as skinning and laying eggs.
Windows or vents?
Many people prefer to use vents rather than windows. If the vent allows air to circulate and natural light to pass through, they are essentially the same. Make sure that – whether you use windows or air vents – a square meter of air circulation in the poultry house per house is guaranteed.
What should the windows of the henhouse be made of?
Window openings should always be fully secured with galvanised fittings, with mesh openings of ½ inch or less.
For example, windows or ventilation openings can provide ventilation and protect the poultry house from predators and parasites.
In an ideal design, the windows of a chicken coop can have the same characteristics and possibilities as the windows in your house:
- You can display them to prevent malfunctions.
- Their glass or plexiglass coating lets the light in, but prevents cold or rain from entering the room in bad weather.
- They have the ability to open for ventilation and air circulation in good weather.
- You have a way to darken them to eliminate unwanted light. Many people prefer to close the windows of the chicken coop, especially on long summer days, so that the chickens don’t wake up too early in the morning and have to fall asleep in the evening.
When you think of windows in the house, they usually have a glass window, screen, curtain or blinds, so they can do all that.
It is essential to close the windows with a suitable grid. The ability to open or close them is highly desirable if you live in a climate with extreme weather conditions, so many people add shutters or sliding windows. Use a normal house window, hang it outside the henhouse and usually leave it open. It is a great way to meet all the needs of your chickens and a very common solution.
Where should I put the windows in the henhouse?
Although the position of the windows will vary greatly depending on the barn structure, it is preferable that ventilation takes place at a height above and outside the barn. So the windows let in light and air, but the chicks don’t sleep in the cold and draught. Windows should be placed on opposite walls to stimulate airflow and not along the same wall of the henhouse. In warm climates it is also advisable to install ventilation along the wall. This stimulates air circulation and prevents the poultry house from overheating.
Chickens need windows because chickens need light and fresh air. But their size and location depend on the size of your herd, the location of the barn and the climate in which you live. Ensure good ventilation and air circulation and your chickens will do well.
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