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

How To Keep A Dog House Warm In Winter

How To Keep A Dog House Warm In Winter

Got a pup that keeps your flock safe, and wondering how to keep a dog house warm in winter?


I know many of you out there use livestock guardian dogs to protect your chickens. Which means you’ll probably need your dog to stay outdoors, lest a predator takes down your entire flock in one evening.


herbs for backyard chickens


While I think dogs should be kept indoors when it’s very cold, if your pooch’s job is to protect your chickens, goats, or sheep from freeloading predators, it’s understandable why you would need to keep a dog house.


Then there’s the breeds that are bred to do well in cold weather. Our dog was a Chow Chow, and he LOVED winter. Summers would make him sweat and pant, but winter is when that dog shined.


He didn’t need a dog house to stay warm, and he loved to lay in the snow and try to eat snowflakes.


However much your pup loves the snow, letting him or her live outside without some sort of shelter is bad news; it’ll decrease their lifespan and make them more prone to illness. So, whether your dog is full time outdoors or just a part time guardian, you’ll want to provide some sort of dog house.


If your livestock guardian dog (LGD) lives outdoors and your worried he’ll freeze, and aren’t sure how to keep a dog house warm in winter, then you can try any of these strategies.


Hopefully one will work for you!

herbs for backyard chickens

How large is the dog house?

While it should be large enough to comfortably house your LGD, if the dog house is big, you’re going to have a tougher time getting it to retain heat.


As air circulates, it’ll chill and the house won’t stay warm. You’ll also have to use more pet-friendly insulation.  Your pup’s body heat will also warm up a smaller space faster than a large dog house.


Keep it out of drafts

If you want the best “how to keep a dog house warm in winter” tip, this is the best place to start. Try to place the dog house in a sheltered part of your yard so it’s not subject to drafts or gusts of Northern wind.


On our farm, if the wind comes from the North, it’s about 20 degrees colder than the wind from the South; as a consequence, the North side of our house is always colder than the South side when the wind blows.


Your pup’s experience won’t be much different, and you can likely increase the temperatures in the dog house by about 10 degrees just by keeping it out of the wind.


Got a LGD and not sure how to keep a doghouse warm in winter? Here's easy to use tips!


Make sure the dog house stays dry inside

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but I’ll mention it anyway.


Wet + cold weather = bad news. You don’t want your pup getting wet without a warm place to dry off.


Make sure you don’t accidentally put your dog house in an area of your yard that gets standing water, it’s just a bad idea all around. It’ll never get warm and your dog probably won’t even use it.


Adequate bedding and insulation

The type of bedding you use will absolutely dictate how warm your dog is inside its house. You don’t want your pet to lie on the chilly ground; he won’t be able to get warm that way.


He/she needs to be kept off the ground and on something that can retain heat and block the wind.


Assuming the dog house is well-constructed and has some sort of insulation, bedding such as straw does wonders for helping retain heat. On top of the bedding, you can also provide a fleece bed or blanket to help seal in even more heat.


It’s also easy to clean; every couple days, pull out the old straw and throw in some new.  Our pigs love their winter-time straw beds and it always helps them stay warm regardless of the temperature.


If your pup happens to mess in their house, then straw makes for easy and sanitary clean up. At $3.50 a bale (at least in our area), it’s also easy to afford.

herbs for backyard chickens

Proper Insulation

For a pet-friendly insulation, you can use bales of straw outside the dog house. If straw isn’t your thing, thick styrofoam also can do the trick, although your dog might chew it and it’s not very sturdy.


Fix any holes or leaks before cold weather starts

It’s particularly important to make sure your dog house don’t have any leaks or cracks that can let in cold air or rain. The best time to figure this out is BEFORE cold weather starts, but should something break mid-season, then you’ll have to go out and patch it.


If you’re not 100% sure your pet can stay dry, then putting a tarp on the home is always an option.


Feeding a warm meal before bedtime

While this tip isn’t really about how to keep a dog HOUSE warm in winter, it’s still a good tip nonetheless. Feeding a warm meal will help raise your pooch’s body temperature and give him or her calories to burn to stay warm.


You can mix dry food with warm water or make a special oatmeal bedtime snack.


These are just some “how to keep a dog house warm in winter” strategies to get you started. Do you have any of your own to add?

herbs for backyard chickens

Wondering Why Chickens Can’t Fly?

Wondering Why Chickens Can’t Fly?

On Facebook, I see people asking why chickens can’t fly, so I thought it would be a good topic for an article.


Can chickens fly? While it seems like chickens can’t fly, our feathered friends DO have the CAPABILITY to get some airlift – they’re just not that good at it. In fact, the longest recorded flight lasted 13 seconds, while the furthest distance recorded was 301.5 ft.


So, it’s not that chickens can’t fly…..they just suck at it. Here’s a deeper explanation.


Wondering why chickens can't fly? Here's what you need to know!


Why Chickens Can’t Fly Very Well

Can chickens fly? While some chickens fly better than others, as a whole, chickens are not good at flying because of ancestry and selective breeding by humans.


Modern chickens are the noble descendants of the grey or red jungle fowl found in the wild in around Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos. Their ancestors did a pretty good job of flying, particularly if there was a predator involved.


However, since modern chickens have become a companion to humans, the need to fly for survival has been largely bred out – mostly for food purposes – and their wings have become vestigial.


The reasons why chickens can’t fly is because chickens adapted to spend time on the ground since their food is located on the ground (doesn’t do them much good to stick to the air if they’ll never catch a meal, right?). Their feet too are adapted for walking as opposed to perching.


Certain species also have been bred to be poor fliers (think Silkies or Frizzles) largely because they’re ornamental breeds – so things like wingspan or other factors that allow a bird to fly were less important breed features than, say, unique feathering.


Silkies have fluffy feathers similar to down, for example, which makes it nearly impossible for them to fly. Read more about the best types of chickens that make great pets.


So, how high can chickens fly? Well, with enough determination, some chickens can fly over an 8 foot fence, although not all will be successful.

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Can Any Chickens Fly? Here’s the Chicken Breeds That Can Fly

Now, there are certain chicken breeds that can fly better than others, such as Wyandottes and Orpingtons. They’re good for at least one foot off the ground for a short while, particularly if the neighbor’s dog has decided to visit. Read more about raising chickens with neighbors.


However, because they’re heavy and not really built to fly, they’ll get some lift off, but their wings cannot give them the lift power needed for them to fly for very long.


Heavier breeds survive a dog attack because they’re fast runners (chickens can run faster than people – about 14 miles per hour. That’s why when we want to catch them, we don’t have a prayer in hell until nightfall). If you’re a beginner at chicken raising, check out this post for the best chicken breeds for beginners.


Lighter breeds such as Leghorns, Ancona, and Araucanas to some extent, are better fliers – you might notice that they’ll roost up in the trees during the night, while heavier breeds struggle to roost even a few feet up.


If they’re safe from predators, you might wonder why chickens fly at all – it’s not needed for survival, and they’ll find all the treats they need on the ground. Read more about how to keep your chickens safe from predators.


Well, as you know, chickens are full of curiosity, and they’ll fly largely to explore their surroundings and to interact with their flock mates. Who doesn’t have a hen loves to discover new things, especially if it’s food related? Ours go nuts when their chicken tractor is moved to new grass!


Can Roosters Fly?

Like hens, it’s not that these chickens can’t fly – in fact, roosters are marginally better at it than hens. However, the need has been largely bred out of them, and roosters no longer need the ability to fly in order to stay safe from predators.


I hope this answered your questions about why chickens can’t fly!

So can chickens fly? Yes and no. I hope this information helped explain why most chickens can’t fly. Feel free to ask me more questions about why chickens can’t fly or any other information you need about raising chickens!

More Chicken Raising Resources:

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    E-books naturally complement each other so you have information at your fingertips.
  • 3 downloadable checklists to save your flock from bad weather & predators, and to keep them healthy while molting.
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13 Heartwarming Stories Of Animals Rescued During Hurricane Harvey

13 Heartwarming Stories Of Animals Rescued During Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey didn’t just impact millions of people – it was also devastating to pets and livestock who lost their families.


Rescuers have spent hundreds of man hours rescuing pets from the rising waters, braving the floods that could have killed them to bring dogs, cats, horses and more to safety.


Shockingly, in many cases, the animals weren’t just abandoned to save themselves – many of them were purposely locked up by their humans to meet whatever fate awaited.


Luckily, rescuers got to these 10 lucky pets before the rising waves ended their lives.


Here’s 10 heartwarming stories of humans who went out of their way to rescue pets and in some cases, reunite them with their owners!


This dog who jumped into a rescuer’s Jeep, and thanks to one man and the power of Twitter, was reunited with his family.


These 120 cats from the Cattery Cat Shelter who were evacuated by the SPCA of Texas before Hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi:



These adorable kittens rescued by a brave woman from underneath a porch in Houston:


These adorable baby squirrels who were taken in by the Wildlife Center of Texas:


These poor dogs thankfully rescued from locked kennel before the water got too high:


If you have animals and can't get them out let me know so I can come get them. To the sick assholes that left these two poor dogs locked in a kennel on your porch to drown, hope God had a special plan for you.

Posted by Jared Carter on Sunday, August 27, 2017


This lucky dog that was rescued from flooding waters by concerned citizens:

These panicking horses locked in a flooded pen and saved by a brave teen before the worst happened:

All animals were saved

Posted by Chance Ward on Monday, August 28, 2017


Frankie & Bear, two stranded dogs lucky to be saved by rescuers:


This unfortunate dog that was tied to a post and saved by a photographer:


This pet pig, whose family refused to leave him behind:

Family Flees The Hurricane With Their Pet Pig

When Hurricane Harvey hit, this family knew they couldn't leave their sweet pet pig behind 🐷💙

Posted by The Dodo on Friday, September 1, 2017


“Harvey the Hurricane Hawk” who took shelter in a man’s vehicle after becoming injured and unable to get to safety:



(Harvey is currently being cared for by the Texas Wildlife Rehab Coalition.)


This VERY vocal pig rescued from high water in Texas.

This herd of cattle who were thankfully moooooved to safety by Texas police:


Bugs Bugging Your Pets? Here’s 3 All Natural Essential Oils You Can Use To Keep Bugs At Bay!

Bugs Bugging Your Pets? Here’s 3 All Natural Essential Oils You Can Use To Keep Bugs At Bay!

Today, I’m going to show you how you can use essential oils to prevent and deter insects that can bother your pets.


With some notable exceptions (which we’ll talk about below), essential oils are safe to use on and around your pets when diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil (on large animals, I’ve been able to put them directly on depending on the situation.)


Naturally, when using oils, you want to remember safety first – when in doubt, dilute. Oils are powerful stuff!


In this article, we’re going to talk about keeping pet-annoying insects at bay, including:


  • Fleas
  • Mites
  • Ticks


We’ll cover using oils with dogs, chickens, and large animals.


A word about cats: Certain oils, when used in large quantities, can harm our feline friends, so we won’t be including cats in our discussion today. Citrus oils, in particular, are known to cause problems with feline livers, preventing them from functioning correctly.


We’ve diffused citrus oils (bergamot, orange) around our two cats a couple times a week, and always give the kitties a chance to leave the room. Our cats have been fine, but I would hesitate to diffuse oils consistently in a closed room with our cats, and I would not personally use citrus oils directly on them either.


I recommend you speak to a knowledgeable vet before using any essential oils on your cats.


Now, on to the bugs we’ll eliminate today!


Get Rid Of Bugs That Bother Your Pets


When it comes to fighting bugs and getting rid of bug itchies, lavender essential oil is your best bet. It counters all the insects we’ll discuss, and it’s soothing enough to use. Lavender also promotes healthy skin, so you can use it topically on your pets (diluted with coconut oil).


To prevent insects like fleas in your home, you can diffuse lavender as well – and as a bonus, it’ll make your house smell nice (and help you destress….or help your kids stop climbing the walls).



When someone asks me about preventing insects on their pets with oils, they’re usually thinking of fleas.


One summer, we had a TERRIBLE flea infestation in our home. I cannot say how it started….but it started.


Lavender was my go to – and after I constantly started diffusing it, lo and behold our infestation stopped. Immediately. What a relief!


Preventative Spray

If you want to an all-natural preventative spray you can use regularly on your pets (particularly dogs), then go grab your favorite spray bottle, and fill it with water.


Add 2-3 drops of your favorite lavender essential oil (keeping purity in mind  – DON’T buy these on Amazon. Go with an established brand so you know you’re putting only lavender oil on your pet).


Shake before using and carefully spray your pet. Avoid eyes, nose, and ears.


You can also use this spray on pet beds and blankets. Allow bedding to air dry so your pet doesn’t get the oils in their eyes or noses.


Homemade Flea Collar

Commercial flea collars are full of chemicals….so you might not be so crazy about using them on your pets. You CAN make your own all-natural flea collars with oils, though!


To make an all-natural flea collar, grab a clean bandana and add 5 drops of oil evenly spread throughout the cloth. Tie the bandana around your dog to prevent fleas. Re-apply the lavender oil every couple of days as needed.


Flea Dip

If things have gotten bad enough, you’ll probably want to give your pet a good old fashioned flea dip.  To make a homemade flea dip, you’ll need:

  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon castile soap
  • 2 drops lavender oil


Fill your tub with water (I go for “just barely warm” water so I don’t accidentally scald my pets). Add in 2 drops of oil, making sure to keep your pet’s face out of the water. If you don’t think this is possible, then leave the oil out, and use the all-natural preventative bandana after your pet is dry.


Rub in the castile soap, making sure to thoroughly coat your pet. Let sit for a couple minutes, if your pet will allow it. You will probably start to see fleas emerging. It’s a slightly-disgusting-but-satisfying feeling.


Hose off the castile soap/lavender water mixture. Dry your pet, and use the all-natural flea collar bandana above to prevent fleas from returning.


You can also use cedarwood essential oil in addition to or instead of lavender.



Mites are no good for any animal. We once were given a rabbit with such a bad mite infestation in his ears, he could not walk properly (the infection was giving him vertigo). Since then, I try to stay up-to-date on preventing mites. On our farm, we’ve used oils to prevent fleas on dogs, rabbits, and chickens.



For dogs, lavender oil is a good option (see fleas above).


Backyard chickens

To prevent mites in your chicken coop, a peppermint oil coop spray is ideal. To make the peppermint oil coop spray, grab your favorite spray bottle and fill it with 8 oz WHITE vinegar.


Add 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil, and spray liberally around the coop (making sure to get all nooks and crannies). Make sure your flock is out of the area (the oils are safe, but better safe than sorry). You can read more about using peppermint oil in your coop here.


For mites ON your chickens, diatomaceous earth is my go-to. You can read about it here. If you want to use oils instead of DE, 1 drop of peppermint diluted in 4 tablespoons coconut oil is my go-to to promote healthy skin. Apply to the area of concern 2-3 times a day, or as needed.



For our rabbits that have mite infestations in their ears, we carefully clean the ears so they’re free of build up. We then follow up with 1 drop of lavender diluted in 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (melt the oil then add the drop of lavender).


Rub it on the flesh inside the ear, but only the upper portion – NOT inside the ear. Keep the ears clean regularly, and reapply the coconut/lavender oil.



Once your pets have ticks, you just have to pull them out. To clean the wound, you can use 1 drop oregano oil mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and apply after washing the wound well.


To make an all-natural repellent spray, mix 3 drops of lavender in 8 oz of water. Spray liberally before your pet goes outside, making sure to avoid the face, eyes, ears, and nose. You can also use cedarwood.


The CDC has even said that these oils are safe essential oils to repel certain insects, ticks included.