6 Automatic Chicken Waterers That Are Pure Genius

6 Automatic Chicken Waterers That Are Pure Genius

It’s really important to make sure your backyard chickens have constant access to clean water – and it’s easy to do with an automatic waterer.

 

You can buy one, or make one yourself. It takes just a few minutes!

 

(I have a full tutorial here. It cost me $12 to make this waterer, but a reader recently told me she did it all for free. Better than spending $50 on Amazon for essentially the same thing!)

 

 

Here’s a collection of DIY chicken waterers we found on Instagram – they look pretty easy to make, too!

 

Automatic waterer out of an old barrel

This one looks pretty easy to make. Some nipples, a drill with the right bit, and you’re good to go. Just make sure if you buy a used barrel, it only contained food and is food-safe.

 

We use barrels in this DIY horse feeder tutorial – they previously had coffee in them.

 

Use PVC for easy install

This waterer uses PVC. You can’t see the rig outside the coop, but if you had a rain barrel outside the coop, then the waterer could stay full by gravity.

 

The set up below should only cost a few dollars to make – PVC is pretty cheap. Something else to consider is keeping it unfrozen during the winter. It will either have to be insulated or you can try PEX.

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Hey Laura @thechickenfountain! Our girl Etta wanted to know why Frank hasn't invented a mealworm flavoring system for the Chicken Fountain yet! 😂 We all love our automatic waterer from @thechickenfountain – I love it because I don't have to lug buckets of water out to the coop every day (it is hooked up to a rain barrel that collects water off the roof of the coop!). And the birds love it because it's easy to use & they get a supply of fresh, clean water! 👍 #WinWin #chickenfountain #chickenwaterer #mealworms #freshwater #farmlife #farmanimals #farmproblems #farmchores #homesteader #automatic #homesteading #iamcountryside #backyardpoultrymag #backyardchickens #birdsofinstagram #thepopahomestead

A post shared by Emily Popa (@wildershomestead) on

 

Add nipples to a 5 gallon bucket

My tutorial up there uses a dish as the bottom of the waterer, but you can also try hanging the bucket. This one looks easy to build – you would just need the nipples and a drill, and a sturdy place to hang the waterer.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkDkS4QlBWp/?tagged=chickenwaterer

DIY Pumpkin Vase Chicken Coop Decoration For Fall

DIY Pumpkin Vase Chicken Coop Decoration For Fall

Fall is here, y’all. And that makes it a perfect time to decorate your chicken coop with a cute fall display of pumpkins and mums.

 

Why decorate your coop? Well, certainly you don’t HAVE to. But it looks kind of cool, and if you do it right, you can recycle your fall decorations as healthy treats for your chickens.

 

DIY Fall Pumpkin Flower Pot For Chicken Coops

Want an uber cute idea to decorate your chicken coop? Try making a pumpkin flower pot this fall! (Psst….it's also a great chicken treat!)

Posted by I Love Backyard Chickens on Friday, October 13, 2017

 

Here on the farm, I like things to multitask. And that includes decorations.

 

So that’s why I love making flower pots out of pumpkins. It looks good – and when you’re tired of the display, your hens can eat the pumpkins AND the mums.

 

(Wondering why pumpkin is so healthy for hens? Click here for more information.)

 

We’ve done the whole “a coop is just a coop” thing here on the farm, and while that’s fine, things just look better when they’ve been given a bit of color. It’ll cheer you up, and enhance your flock’s surroundings and give them some environmental stimulation.

 

So in this article, I’m going to show you how you can make a living flower pot out of a pumpkin and options for flowers that are edible for you and your flock.

 

Step 1: Carve the pumpkin

So, this is pretty simple, and if you’ve ever make a jack o’ lantern, you can carve out the pumpkin without much instruction.

 

Something to note is in the video, I used a kitchen knife. Someone on Facebook pointed out a jigsaw would have been a better choice – and they’re right.

 

Avoid the mistake I made and use something electric. That being said, it didn’t take very long nor was it very hard to carve the pumpkin using a knife, so if that’s all you got, then it’ll still work great.

 

It goes without saying that you should use a pumpkin that’s big enough to house the flowers you plan to pot in it.

 

Step 2: Scoop out the insides

While this seems pretty obvious, I point it out because the pumpkin innards are GREAT chicken treats. (Find out why pumpkin is so healthy for chickens right here).

 

You’ll hear scuttlebutt that pumpkin seeds are natural dewormers. While there’s really no evidence that they’ll keep your flock parasite-free, they’re healthy for your flock.

 

So they might not do much for parasites, but they’ll DEFINITELY do something to help your flock be healthier – and happier, because hens love treats.

 

Feed the pumpkin and the seeds raw – don’t roast and definitely don’t salt the pumpkin seeds.

 

Step 3: Select flowers that are healthy for chickens

Chrysanthemums are the traditional fall flowers used in displays, and luckily, they’re healthy for chickens to peck at. Just be sure you source organically grown flowers, or at least those not exposed to pesticides.

 

Other options are calendula or even herbs that have started to flower. It’s up to you. For this project, I used chrysanthemums because they’re readily available.

 

Step 4: Stick the flowers in the pumpkin, and you’re done!

This isn’t a hard project, but it’s one you and your hens will both appreciate. Once you’re done with the display, as long as the pumpkin isn’t rotting or moldy, you can pass it on to your hens – who will love you for it!

 

Looking for a cute fall decoration for your chicken coop? Make a vase out of pumpkins! (Hint: It's also super nutritious for your hens!)

 

DIY Rustic Wall Decor Using Scrap Wood!

DIY Rustic Wall Decor Using Scrap Wood!

Hi I’m Jenn! Last month I shared a rustic welcome sign and I’m back this month to share another rustic home decor project for you to build and enjoy in your home.

When you build furniture and work with wood, one of the side effects is scrap wood.  I end up with odd shapes and sized pieces of wood. These pieces of wood were cluttering up my work area so I knew it was time to create some chevron pieces using scrap wood.

I recently updated an area of my family room and I felt like it needed something small to hang on the wall.  These chevron wood pieces were going to fit perfectly.

We’ve lived in our home for 15 years and it’s taken me that many years to figure out what to do with our home.  

Now that I know exactly what I want, I want to change everything at once which is hard on the pocketbook.

I don’t have an open budget so sometimes I really need to think outside the box and make sure that I’m not wasting anything.  Which allows me to really get creative with things.

Since I have so many pieces of wood that are less than 12” long, I need to find creative ways to use them because furniture and shelves usually use pieces longer than that.

I had a bunch of leftover 1×3 pieces so I thought they’d be perfect to use.  So if you’re like me with leftover wood, then here’s a project made for you.

Scrap wood

The supplies you’ll need for this project are:

  • Scrap 1×3’s at least 6” long
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Angle square
  • Miter saw or hand saw
  • Wood glue
  • Straight bracket
  • Stain
  • Craft paint
  • Wall mount hardware
  • Ear and eye protection

Once you have all of your supplies ready it is time to measure.  The pieces are going to be cut at a 45-degree angle so you’ll need a little extra wiggle room for that.

I made 3 chevron pieces so you’ll need 6 pieces total for this project.

I started off by measuring the pieces. The chevron pieces are 4.5” each. I used an angle square to make sure I was getting a precise angle as you can see below.

Measure for the wall decor

45 degree angle measurements

Once the measurements are made it’s time to make the necessary cuts.  If you’re using a miter saw, set it to 45 degrees. If you are using a hand saw, cut along the line you made.

Make necessary cuts

Now that you’ve made all necessary cuts it’s time to sand each piece so it’s smooth and ready to take stain.

Sand the wood

It’s time to stain each piece.  I didn’t stain the back because no one will see it, so I stained the top and each side.  One thing to consider before you start staining is to remember to put the pieces together, so you are staining the correct sides.  I didn’t do that so I had to cut more pieces…

Stain the wood

Allow the pieces to dry for about 2 hours.

Once your pieces are dry it’s time to attach them.  I used straight brackets and wood glue to attach the pieces together.  

Add the glue and then add the brackets to the back.  You can see in the photos below.

Add wood glue

Attach back brakets

Allow the pieces to dry overnight so the glue has time to set.

The next step is to add craft paint.  I wanted to add a little color to the corner so I decided to paint them 3 different colors.  

  • White
  • Dark blue
  • Light blue

I added a coat of paint to each piece and allow to dry for about 2 hours.  I wanted the pieces nice and dry.

Apply craft paint

Once the pieces were dry I wanted to give them an aged and rustic look so I sanded them down.  The original dark stain was able to come through after I did a little sanding.  Each piece looks a little different as you can see.

Add an aged look

Once they were done I added some picture hanging hardware to the back and attached them to the wall and here’s the final product.

chevron wall decor

chevron wall decor

Now I feel like this corner is complete.  I have my blankets on display, some extra storage for my family room in my console table and I feel like these chevron pieces really helped give it a rustic feel.

wall decor

If you wanted to try a woodworking project then this is a perfect place to start.  You don’t need to purchase new equipment for this project and if you don’t have extra lumber laying around, no problem, you can pick up a 1×3 for about $2 or $3, so this project will not break the bank.  You can also customize this to your liking. You can use larger pieces and you can use different colors allowing you to make this your own.

I’d love to know if this is something you’ll be trying soon!?

Jenn is a mother of 2 daughters and a wife of a very patient man.  She loves to build furniture, create home decor, and develop creative ways to organize different areas of her house.  When she isn’t crafting up her new blog post at Home by Jenn she is enjoying the outdoors with her family and training for the next marathon.  You can learn more about her at HomebyJenn.com.

Adorable Recycled Bicycle Garden Planter Tutorial!

Adorable Recycled Bicycle Garden Planter Tutorial!

Ever have old stuff lying around your home, and you know it can be upcycled into something useful and beautiful, but you’re not sure what? That’s why I’ve invited my friend Adrienne to show you how to make a recycled bicycle planter!

 

This project is easy and super cute – and would make a great addition to any coop! (and your chickens would love to hop on the bike as a toy!)

 

This recycled bicycle planter is made from an old bike that was rescued from the junk pile, and with a little paint and wooden crates filled with summer flowers, an old rusty bike can be recycled bicycle planter that makes a great, colorful addition to your garden!

 

Recycled Bicycle Garden Planter

Time: 2 days

Cost: $30

Level: Easy

Using recycled objects in the garden has been a trend for many years. Homeowners can decorate their garden areas inexpensively while giving new life to old objects such as glass bottles, old chinaware, and discarded metal items like this old bike.

We have an old metal scrap pile on our property where items have been discarded for many, many years by my husband’s family.

 

My in laws found this old bike in a dumpster about 30 years ago and my husband used it to learn to ride a bicycle.

 

After he was finished with it, it sat in the junk pile until I rescued it last week and turned it into a bright, colorful flower planter for my garden.

Supplies for recycled bicycle garden planter

  • Old bicycle
  • Spray paint and primer
  • Two wooden crates
  • Twine
  • Potted plants
  • Metal post ( I used an old curtain rod)
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Knife

 

Directions for recycled bicycled garden planter

Step one: Clean

Begin by cleaning of the bike the best you can. Since this bike was from the junk pile and had been sitting outdoors for many years there was lots of mud, moss, and pine needles stuck to it.

 

I used a green scouring pad and dish soap to scrub as much as the gunk off as I could and rinsed it down with the garden hose

 

Step two: Remove the tires

If the tires on your bike are in decent shape you can leave them on. The tires on my bike were starting to fall off so I decided to completely remove them.

 

I used a knife and scissors to cut the tires off of the rim. The older the rubber is, the easier it will be to cut through and remove so if your tires are nice you may want to keep them on.

Step three: Prime

After the bike is completely dried, spray paint the bike with white primer. Look for a formulation that will cover rust and is suitable for use on metal. Coat the bike throroughly and let the primer dry.

 

Tips for spray painting:

  • Paint outdoors on a hot day but paint in the shade. Painting in direct sun will cause the wet paint to get to hot and may not cure properly.
  • Use the right type of paint for the material you are painting. The paint can should tell you what materials it is safe to use on.
  • Spray in a smooth and steady motion going with the grain of the object you are spraying.
  • Start by moving your hand before you press the trigger to avoid blotches.
  • It’s better to do several thin coats of paint and let the paint completely dry between coats. If you try to do one thick coat the paint may not dry properly.

 

Step four: Paint

Once the primer is completely dry coat it with two coats of spray paint in the color of your choice, letting It dry between coats.

 

Step five: Attach the crates

After the bike is completely dry it’s time to attach the crates. Use twine or rope to tie the crates to the front and back of the bike.

 

At the front of the bike I attached the crate to the handle bars and at the back of the crate I placed it onto the tire rim and tied it to the metal.

 

Step six: Stake it to the ground

Depending on the bike you have chosen, there may be a kickstand and that may be all that is required to keep the bike upright on it’s own. I needed extra reinforcement so I used an old curtain rod and slipped it down through the middle of the bike and into the soil.

 

Then I used a hammer to drive it into the ground as far as I could. This makes the bike steady.

 

Remember: When the bike is full of flowers it will be heavier and more prone to tip. You may also want to lean it against a tree or fence.

 

Step seven: Add potted plants and flowers

Purchase some potted plants of your liking and insert them into the crates. For the most visually appealing look use flowers that are in a contrasting color to the bike.

 

Take a look at the color wheel and choose a color that is opposite of the bike color you chose. for instance I used orange-red flowers with a blue bike.

 

Remember to water your flowers several times per week, or as the soil gets dry. Keep your plants healthy and happy, and your bike planter will have your garden looking great for years to come.

 

Adrienne is a DIY blogger and jewelry artist located in Washington State. She teaches people on a budget the skills they need to complete creative projects around the home and garden. You can find her online at Crafty Little Gnome teaching readers projects like how to cut a glass bottle and make homemade bleach.

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop?

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop?

Deciding what chicken wire you’ll put on your coop is a pretty important part of backyard chicken ownership.

 

While we see our fluffy butts as cute feathered pets, the sad truth is the rest of the animal kingdom sees your chickens as dinner.

 

So, we have to take steps to protect our hens, and that means choosing chicken wire that’ll keep predators OUT and your flock IN.

 

There are lots of different types of chicken wire, and in this article, we’ll discuss:

  • ½ inch & 1 inch chicken wire
  • ½ inch hardware cloth for backyard chickens
  • ¼ inch hardware cloth
  • Screens

 

And the advantages and disadvantages of each. We’ll also talk about poultry netting versus wire, and plastic versus metal and coated metal.

 

The type of chicken wire you’ll use on your coop depends on a few factors, including:

 

  • Your budget
  • Predators in your area
  • The age of your chickens
  • Aesthetics (yes, this is important!)

 

So, get ready for an in depth look at each type of chicken wire out there!

 

What length and width chicken wire should you buy?

The answer to this question will vary from situation to situation. We discuss specific hole sizes below, but it’s also important to consider the length and width of the chicken wire you buy.

 

For example, we’re redoing the fencing on my coop right now. The posts are 4 feet away from each other.

 

We’ve purchased 1-inch chicken wire that’s 48” wide and 150’ long to ensure we have enough to make panels for the entire run. If your fence posts are closer together,  or wider apart, then you’ll have to consider that spacing before deciding on which chicken wire will work for your coop.

 

While we usually install fencing horizontally, in the case of chicken wire and chicken coops, it’s best to install the wire itself vertically.

 

You want your chicken run to be tall enough to keep your flock in, and you don’t want any gaps between the wire that predators can get through.

 

When installed horizontally, a 48” tall fence will require a second layer so the fence is tall enough. Avoid this scenario!

 

Chicken wire ½ inch – 1 inch

When you think of chicken wire, you probably think of the wire fencing with hexagonal openings. This is traditional chicken wire, and it has advantages and disadvantages.

 

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop

 

While it comes in various sizes, for chickens, the ½ inch or 1 inch variety are best. Chickens, especially young ones or smaller bantam varieties, such as cochins, silkies, ameraucana bantams, or brahma chicks, might be able to fit through larger holes, or predators might be able to get through.

 

Also, pests such as rats might fit through larger holes.

 

Half and one inch chicken wire is easy to cut (an important consideration) and install – you can use staples or screws with washers to attach it to fence posts.

 

However, you should remember that this type of chicken wire is thin and easily pulled apart by predators. In our area, we don’t have a lot of carnivores trying to kill our hens, so it works well for us.

 

But for readers who live near bears, or have very aggressive neighborhood dogs, or who have wily raccoons, this type of wire can lead to some sad situations.

 

Another consideration, especially if you have chicks, is they can become tangled in chicken wire, and get a wing caught.

 

I’ve dealt with this situations a few times – we’ve had to unwind the chick from the wire to set it free. Don’t ask me how they manage to get stuck – chickens be chickens!

 

But yes, this can happen – so it’s something to think about.

 

That being said, this type of chicken wire is relatively inexpensive, and is easily found in longer rolls at big box stores.

 

Hardware cloth ½ & ¼ inch

Hardware cloth is usually what experienced backyard chicken owners use when building their coops.

 

It’s very sturdy and, when installed correctly, is harder for predators and neighborhood dogs to rip through. It also doesn’t stretch out of shape like chicken wire, so predators can’t maneuver through it as easily.

 

You can buy hardware cloth with larger openings, but typically, the half and ¼ inch sizes are best.

 

These sizes are impossible for backyard chickens to fit through – so they’ll remain in your coop – and most predators can’t fit their fingers/paws through the holes.

 

Raccoons in particular like reaching through chicken wire to grab a free meal. Hardware cloth makes it harder for them to grab a pullet’s leg and rip her apart.

 

It’s also harder for predators to get a grip on the wire and rip it off.

 

Hardware cloth also looks better aesthetically than the other options on this list, although it can be pretty expensive, especially if you need wider pieces or you have a large run for your backyard chickens.

 

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop

Metal – Coated vs. Uncoated

You might notice that chicken wire comes in 2 different varieties (other than size) – coated and uncoated.

 

Coated chicken wire just contains an extra layer of plastic on the outside. It’s typically green, but I’ve seen it in other colors as well.

 

While coated chicken wire certainly isn’t necessary, it can look better and, if your chicks get stuck between holes, it can make it easier to free them and less painful for the chicken.

 

It’s also a little easier to install because you won’t have to grab thin wire for the entire installation.

 

It tends to be a bit more expensive, so your budget will dictate whether coated or uncoated chicken wire is for you.

 

Screens

Another unconventional option are screens – yep, the same screens you probably have on the windows in your house!

 

This is a great option if BUGS are a big issue in your area. Nothing is worse than a fly or gnat infestation – and they CAN harm your flock!

 

Screens are typically made of wire, and they’re pretty easy to install, although fixing them (should they get torn) is a bit of a pain in the butt.

 

If your chickens are active and like to bicker, or if you have other pets such as cats, you might find screens don’t last very long and you’ll be replacing them pretty frequently.

 

They also won’t stand up to most predators – so if your neighbors dogs like to make a meal out of your flock, then screens are best avoided.

 

They also tend to be a bit expensive, so it’s important to compare the costs to the other chicken wire options in this article.

 

Poultry netting

Another option available is poultry netting, which is plastic fencing that looks like hardware cloth, but is made of plastic.

 

This type of chicken wire is good for keeping your hens out of your garden, but provides little protection against a predator, since its easily ripped off.

 

It can also look pretty ugly – especially if you get orange poultry netting! It’s best to stick to traditional chicken wire or hardware cloth.

 

Hopefully this article gives you some ideas about which chicken wire is best for a coop. There’s plenty of options, and your choice will be specific to your own situation!




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Hot Chicken Coop? Add Windows With This DIY Tutorial!

Hot Chicken Coop? Add Windows With This DIY Tutorial!

Adding a window to your chicken coop is easy – as long as you have a plan.

 

While the coop we bought for our hens is largely perfect, when the summer time heat hit, it got just a little bit too stuffy in there for my comfort.

 

Backyard chickens don’t sweat like humans do – so they feel heat more and chickens have a hard time cooling down.

 

It’s very important your coop has great ventilation and air flow so your hens don’t develop respiratory issues and suffer heat stroke – so we decided to add a few windows to our chicken coop to reduce the heat inside AND increase the airflow.

 

Before we get started, know that there’s a LOT of decisions to make before you start cutting a hole in the wall of your coop…..practical AND style decisions.

 

And since you’ll be looking at your coop for a LONG time, both of these types of decisions are equally important.

 

For those who can’t wait to discover what window we chose, we opted for a $30, pre-fab, single hung windows with screens. You’ll learn why as you read the article.

 

Backyard chicken coop window tutorial

 

You should choose the type of window that works best for your own situation, however.

 

Here’s how we did it, and how you can add a window to your chicken coop yourself.

 

Tools needed:

  • Sawzaw or other way to cut a hole in your coop wall
  • Window & manufacturer’s window installation kit
  • Molding or wood to frame the window
  • Broom to sweep up wood shavings and dust
  • Measuring tape
  • Ear plugs (yes, these are important – you don’t want ringing ears!)
  • 1-inch drill bit & drill
  • Electric screwdriver
  • A carpenter’s pencil or a marker

 

Step 1: Decide Where To Put The Window

This is critical – once you cut a hole in your coop wall, it’s permanent, so keep the following questions in mind before adding the window.

 

Where does the wind blow?

The goal is to create air flow – so you want to make sure you stand a good chance by putting the window where there tends to be a lot of airflow already.

 

Don’t make this decision lightly – you need to keep airflow from all seasons in mind.

 

On our farm, we have a lot of wind from the North, so it seems it would be best to place the window on the North side of the coop.

 

But in the winter, the North wind come from Canada, and it’s cold and bitter. So, the North side isn’t the best place.

 

The coop already has a window to the South, so we decided on an East/West location for the windows. We get a good West wind, and during the winter, it’s not as bitter as the North wind.

 

Are you adding more than one window?

Not every coop needs multiple windows. Ours does, so we decided to add 2 windows.

 

But going back to airflow….

 

You might need more than one window if your coop is very hot and stuffy over the summer, or if you want a lot of light in your coop and live in a cooler area, so make this decision before deciding on the final placement of your chicken coop window.

 

Is there a spot that tends to get super wet with rain (avoid this spot)?

An open window is an invitation for wet weather to seep into your coop. If you have a particular spot that’s more likely to bring water into the coop, this might not be the best place to add a window.

 

For example, we rarely have East winds – so we know we’re less likely to have our coop soaked during a sudden rainstorm with a window that faces the East.

 

This is key to reduce moisture in your coop and keep your chickens healthy.

 

What height should you put it at to avoid predators?

If chicken predators plague your area, you want the window to be high enough that they can’t just jump into your coop or rip open any screens.

 

In our area, we don’t have much trouble with predators. However, we still make sure the window is several feet off the ground.

 

Backyard chicken coop window

The goat had to inspect our work

Where does the window look the most attractive?

Really, this IS important, so don’t gloss over this because it seems frivolous.

 

You’ll be looking at this new window for a long time – choose a spot on the chicken coop wall that looks “right” and not funky.

 

The last thing you want is to regret the placing decision and spend the next 20 years kicking yourself.

 

Do you need to move any structural beams or add bracing?

Go inside your chicken coop and look at the overall structure. To install the window, will you need to move any beams and will you need to brace the walls around the window?

 

For our coop, the interior 2×4 beams were largely for looks – they didn’t really support the walls at all. So, we were free to remove them as needed.

 

However, your coop might not be structured the same way, and you might need to brace a wall in order to keep your flock’s home structurally sound.

 

Adding bracing is pretty easy. We had to do it in our farm house when we installed French doors, but it’s important to know whether you have to do it – so you don’t walk out one morning to a crumpled heap of wood.

 

So, take these decisions into consideration when deciding where to place the window in your chicken coop.

 

Do you plan to buy a pre-fab window or build one yourself (or simply cut a hole in the wall??)

Ask yourself whether you plan to DIY the window (which brings up another host of questions) or if you’ll buy a window and kit and just install it yourself.

 

We opted to buy windows – they cost about $30 each and look better than just a hole in the wall.

 

Step 2: Will the window close?

Ask yourself whether you plan to close the window at any point. This is also an important decision.

 

In the past, we simply cut holes in the wall, slapped some hardware cloth in it, and left it at that.

 

Then winter rolled around, and we regretted being so cavalier – because we then had to cover the chicken coop window with really ugly tin.

 

In some areas (such as areas with little rainfall and high temperatures), a window that closes isn’t as important.

 

So, you need to consider your local climate.

 

But if you plan to close the window during bad weather, you’ll need to buy or make a window that has the ability to close.

 

Do you plan to use hardware cloth or a screen?

The purpose of a window is to create airflow, but you also don’t want your flock to escape through the window.

 

So, you’ll need some sort of covering for the big gaping hole you’re about to create. We wanted to keep bugs out of the coop as much as possible, so we opted for a prefab window that had a screen.

 

If you live in an area with a lot of predators, a screen might not be the best option. In fact, if you live in an area with bears, you might want to consider safety bars.

 

If raccoons or opossums are an issue in your area, then ¼ inch hardware cloth might be a better option. For areas with aggressive neighborhood dogs, ½ inch hardware cloth will work well.

 

We don’t have a lot of predators, and certainly no bears, but we do have a LOT of flies in our chicken coop……so we went with a screen that gave us a bit of bug control.

 

Before cutting, ask yourself whether you’ll use hardware cloth or a screen.

 

Single hung or double hung?

This is kind of a minor decision, but ask yourself whether you want a single or double hung window to grace the wall of your chicken coop.

 

Single hung windows are cheaper, so we went with that.

 

Step 3: Cut A Hole In The Wall The Size Of The Window

Now it’s time to actually install the window. First, keep your chickens out of the coop if possible – they will be disturbed by the loud noise and wood particles in the air.

 

Let your hens free range and enjoy some time outside hunting bugs while you improve their home.

 

Next, make sure you don’t need to move any structural beams.

 

Measure the size of your window, and measure the wall – if any beams are in the way, they’ll need to be moved or you’ll need to find a new spot. Don’t start cutting until you’ve figured this out.

 

Backyard chicken coop window measuring

 

If you’re using a prefab window, consult the window installation kit and instructions before cutting.

 

Remember, you can’t do this twice, so measure twice, cut once!

 

To cut the hole in the wall, we started by tracing an outline of the window on the wall, and then used a drill to create a hole large enough for the sawsaw to fit through.

 

Using the tracing as a guide, we cut a hole the length and width of the window. Easy!

 

Backyard chicken coop window opening

Step 4: Following The Instruction With Your Window Kit, Install The Window

Installing the window was easy – most of the work is making all those pre-installation decisions!

 

Using the manufacturer screws, we easily affixed the window to the chicken coop wall.

 

If you’re using hardware cloth, add it inside the coop. You can use small hardware staples or screws with washers to keep it in place.

 

For extra security from predators, you can also add a wood frame over the hardware cloth to make it even harder to remove.

Backyard chicken coop window installation complete

Step 5: Finish Off The Installation By Framing Your New Chicken Coop Window

You can leave the window as is, or frame it to complete the look. I highly recommend framing it – it’ll keep the window looking nicer for longer, and cover up any mistakes (and we made plenty!).

 

You can also add shutters or a window box for an additional cute finishing touch to your new chicken coop window, like we did with this window:

 

Backyard chicken coop window installation tutorial