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Insulating the coop. - Page 2

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Egghead_Jr View Post

I used a 14x14 piece of plexiglass over a 12x12 cut opening. Predrill holes to screw on the plexi, drill slow so it doesn't crack. I also put a piece of tape over where I was drilling. Cost was about $5 for plexi cut to size at local hardware store.

We've considered doing just that.  Hubby would however prefer to be able to slide the plexi aside to expose a screen.  But I may just do the plexi till next spring just to get some sunlight in the coop during the winter.  I figure since I'm the one that cares for the hens and usually does the modifications I will probably have the final say.

Edited by Raggedyroad - 11/9/15 at 6:04pm
post #12 of 23
I winterized my run with plastic held down by lathe. The plastic seems to collect water in the rain in a couple of spots. Run has a drop off to opposite end, but the lathe prevents it from running completly off. It does let sunlight in and the girls love sitting on perches in the sunshine.
I had thought about plexiglass for run, but just too costly. I may still get some clear corragated roofing panels to put on roof of run. That would allow the water to run off the roof and past side walls
Edited by grandma7 - 11/9/15 at 6:34pm
post #13 of 23

Inside temp was a cozy 50 degrees on a 30 degree day with the sun shining in.
Edited by grandma7 - 11/9/15 at 6:38pm
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

The plastic seems like a great idea.  My run is a 5' wide x 6' tall x 15' long chain link dog run.  Not sure what would be an easy and inexpensive application.  I looked into tarps and was amazed at the price they want for them.  It would cost all most as much for tarps as it would to buy the wood to enclose part of it.


My hubby is insistent on insulating the roof no matter how much I tell him I think it's the wrong area to worry about.

post #15 of 23
I found kiln dried 1x2 at local home improvement center for .49 and .69 each for lengths from 2ft up to 8ft.
Perfect for holding down the plastic.
But with your kind of fencing, a plastic tarp over the top, held down by bungy cords and a 2x4 on top to keep air from going under. You might be able to build wuick frame for the sides and attach it with zip ties.
post #16 of 23
Bales of straw plied around and on top of small coops make great natural insulation.
The Ladies - 5 white leghorn, 5 red sexlink, 5 black sexlink, 5 Sagitta pullets, 1 Sagitta roo.

Quail - 6 Texas A&M, 7 Jumbo, 4 Tibetan, 5 golden, 3 tuxedo

Turkeys - 5 broad breasted brown, 3 commercial white
The Ladies - 5 white leghorn, 5 red sexlink, 5 black sexlink, 5 Sagitta pullets, 1 Sagitta roo.

Quail - 6 Texas A&M, 7 Jumbo, 4 Tibetan, 5 golden, 3 tuxedo

Turkeys - 5 broad breasted brown, 3 commercial white
post #17 of 23

our first snowfall of the season(fall that is)
Gave my girls an option to come out and play in the snow. No way was their answer.
post #18 of 23
Originally Posted by Raggedyroad View Post.  Nothing is insulated or sealed.  The walls are old 3/4" particle board and the floor is 2" x 6" pine.  We added a nesting box made from 1/2" plywood.  The particle board walls get wet every time it rains. The rain eventually will cause the particle board to swell and decompose if it has not already I would suggest at least painting it to prolong it's life or covering with tar paper or some kind of vapour barrier.  The floor has small spaces between each board.  Should we put a solid piece of wood over the floor to keep out insects and cold drafts?  That sounds good you also could use a piece of cushion floor, plastic, or even cardboard cut to fit and covered with pine shavings. I would suggest  cutting the flooring maybe eight  inches to long and wide and cutting four inch squares out of the corners to let the flooring run up the walls. (will make cleaning the coop a bit easier as well.)The roof we added is just corrugated plastic.


I installed 2 vents at the top back wall and one at the top of the front wall.  They face E and W. You may want to have a way to close off those ventilation ports especially the one facing west if you are subject to high winds during blizzards in your area.  There are 2 doors on the coop, one on the back facing west and one on the south side.  I keep the doors open during the day for further ventilation.  They are of course secured each night and heads are counted. 


This will be the first winter for our six full sized hens and three 8 week old pullets.  We've had 2 mornings in the past week in which their water has been frozen.  We had planned to insulate the coop but haven't had the money or time till now. Insulating a coop will help but in my opinion is best used to protect your hens from the heat of the summer especially if it is a metal coop like mine I have none in my wooden baby barn that I converted into a pigeon loft..  We are kind of at a loss as to how to go about adding insulation without having to nearly re-build the coop.  We are new to chickens and even though I have read a lot of articles and searched for information on BYC we still feel out of our element at times.  I need suggestions for insulation and advice on how much ventilation is needed.  We figure we should insulate the roof at the very least since it's only corrugated plastic attached to a wooden frame.  Also is it a good or bad idea to leave both doors open during the day when the temperatures are below freezing? If there is a severe wind chill or temperatures approaching 0º F I would close up the loft.



Edited by Hokum Coco - 11/29/15 at 8:24pm

Hope this helps,

Check out this link leads to a Video interview on me and my grand daughter done by a local TV Station on our WHITE HOMING PIGEON loft:

If you are not living for something;

You are dying for nothing.


Hope this helps,

Check out this link leads to a Video interview on me and my grand daughter done by a local TV Station on our WHITE HOMING PIGEON loft:

If you are not living for something;

You are dying for nothing.

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Hokum Coco View Post







I am subject to -40º weather l live in Canada think North Pole. I  have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.


Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.


       Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".


Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.

This is done by feeding them whole corn if available or cracked corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.


The extra nourishment  is more then adequate to bring them through the                          

                      "COLDEST" winter.


Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.


That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .


I do not add any extra heat or lighting.

Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).


Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.


I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.


You really do





have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for


                         "MAJOR" problems.


When it comes to lighting if you find you are short on eggs it does apparently help. I personally do not bother in my operation eggs are sold only to neighbours when they are available (if the sign is out I have eggs). Eggs in my operation have a tendency to crack and freeze during the winter months (we do not discard them and are fine  but use them in house not for sale) the more eggs you produce during these months the more eggs will fall into this category.


 I have roughly 24 Golden Comet hens the longest I ever been out of eggs can be measured in hours >12<24. You will find that the egg supply in any hen is a finite resource the quicker you milk the eggs out of a hen the faster it will be spent and end up in your stew pot.


On average one hen produces somewhere between 600 to 700 eggs in its life time. Lighting only effect the speed of delivery of the eggs which at the end of the day would amount to less than a year in the hens life is my guess


If you do decide extra lighting is necessary have your light on a timer to lengthen the day "MAKE SURE IT IS SECURED BY 2 MEANS OF SUPPORT" one being a "SAFETY CHAIN" in case one fails especially if it is an incandescent bulb or heat lamp.


I personally raise hens as a hobby; and for their manure to enrich my vegetable garden any thing else the hens provide is merely a bonus.


Here is one BONUS NOW not many people can enjoy seeing in their back yard on a regular basis.


My back yard visitor. He likes yellow &amp; green beans apparently.


Nest boxes

In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.

Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.


I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.


Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.




Thank you for the pictures. It's always fun to see how others house their birds.  


We have decided to fix up a larger hen house that is on the property that we are currently renting.  We weren't going to do that since we were planing to buy our own place withing the next year and knew there would be some expense to make it acceptable to use for our hens.  We really didn't want to spend the money on something we can't take with us when we move.  However we decided we would be here longer than just one winter.  I will post pictures as we do the work.


Thanks again for the advice and sharing your own experience.  

post #20 of 23
When doing the deep litter merthod don't use diatomaceous earth (DE) or any other chemical insecticide in the coop bedding! This will kill off the beneficial microbes and nematodes.

Take s look at this article

Originally Posted by Raggedyroad View Post

The vents are approximately 3" x 15".  One at the east roof line and two at the west roof line.  

There is another concern that I didn't think of until reading the reply from grandma7.  I have been trying to do the deep bed method and my concern is the moisture from the droppings.  I use diatomateous earth to help with moisture and I stir up their bedding a couple times a week.  I just measured my coop and it is actually 4' x 5'.  Since I have 6 full size hens and three 8 week old pullets that will be full size before spring, is the moisture level going to be too high?  That's about 3/4 square ft short per hen.  My hens are completely free to a large area during the day but of course secured in their coop at night.  I do realize now that they will also spend more time in the coop during the day through the winter and I didn't even think about the longer nights.
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