Doors, Windows and Ventilation

I had read in the Building Chicken Coops For Dummies book that it’s much easier to frame the windows and doors, then skin the whole wall, then cut out the windows after the wall was in place. Much easier than trying to measure the cutouts in advance and line them up perfectly during the installation. It worked reasonably well for the window and the little vent in the front door, but not so well for the egg hatch. It was pretty much of a PITA to get all the trim lined up and the hinges installed properly for a smooth swinging hatch. There are still some sticky edges which are especially noticeable in times of high-humidity. It might have been better to put the trim on first leaving space for the kerf, make the top cut, install the hinges and then finish the rest of the cuts. Live and learn…

Urban Coop Door and HatchThe main front door of the hen house – the whole side swings open for easy clean out – was made as a single unit and then mounted with some very study hinges. I got these years ago. I used to work at Embassy Suites, and back in the early nineties, they changed logos. The eight foot tall, oak with etched glass panels, front doors were removed and trashed to be replaced with new doors with the new logos. I salvaged the doors, complete with all their brass kick plates and heavy-duty hinges. After removing the glass and hardware and, rough-cutting the frames down to planks, it was all stashed away waiting for their next use. The hinges have finally found a new home.

Ventilation – is it possible to have too much? I suppose it is, but not many coops do. I may decide the coop needs more, but for now there is a 3ft x 1ft vent in the ceiling of the hen house and the small window vent in the front door. The pop door is open all day, so that’s another 1 x 2 opening. We have quite a good cross breeze back there where the coop is, and so far I’ve not noticed the tell-tale ammonia odors of insufficient ventilation. We’ll see how that one goes over the next year.

Next: Enclosing the Run

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