Hey all! We're just starting here, no chicks yet and planning the coop/run. We live in the Bloomington area (outside the city) and are trying to figure out the perfect insulation/ventilation ratios but we're not sure how much we need to worry about winter temperatures around here. We're originally from Wisconsin, and my DH kept chickens there is a kid, but had ~100 at a time on a serious farm, so kind of a different situation. And because we come from Wisconsin, to us it just doesn't get cold here. Ever. But what do the local chickens think?
So I figured I'd post to this thread since many of you live in the same area we do. We're planning on using an 8'wx8'dx7't garden shed (wood framing/siding/floor, shingled gabled roof, ventilation through triangular hardware-cloth-screened holes below the gable roof on two sides plus several openable hardware-cloth-screened windows in the walls, maybe a roof vent too) for the coop, and we'll start out with 5-8 cold-tolerant standard size hens in that space (planning to allow for some chicken math as we move forward...). Their nest boxes will be inside the coop, rather than hanging off the side. We could put a heat light or two in it if necessary, but would prefer not to (we're hyper concerned about fire).
What advice would you all give regarding whether to insulate and how much to insulate? And what to use for insulation?
Anything else we should be thinking about regarding ventilation? I think it gets pretty warm around here in the summer (although not as warm as the California Central Valley, where I lived for a while!), while my husband thinks the summers here are relatively mild. But again we don't know what the chickens think.
wow...I didn't think you could start planning for the coop until the chicks were about 8 weeks old and driving you insane....that's how I did it and I am practically back to normal after just a year! Good luck on your building plans. I wouldn't insulate if you have cold hardy birds. My Delaware hens did great this winter with a light bulb in one corner of the coop. I didn't have any frostbite and didn't lose any to the cold and it was a really bad winter.
Welcome to the group and to Indiana.