Insulating Your Chicken Coop

By cluckcluckgirl · Nov 8, 2012 · Updated Nov 27, 2012 · ·
  1. cluckcluckgirl
    For those chicken owners who live in cold or windy regions, the thought of insulating your chicken coop has probably crossed your mind. You also may have asked yourself, "Why should I put time and labor into it when I have chickens that are capable of surviving extreme weather conditions?" or "How do I insulate it and how much would it cost?" It may be easier than you think.

    First of all, you may want to measure the dimensions of your coop that way you know how much insulation to buy. You may also want to buy a little extra, just in case you find you don't have enough or you wish to have extra on hand. Insulation is sold at most hardware stores, at a reasonable price. The insulation I bought for my chicken coop was around one dollar per 1'x 23'' section, and it came in a roll of 39 feet long by 23 inches wide.

    Next, cut the appropriate size that you need in one part of your coop. Tip- if your coop ceiling is at slant, it is best if you cut at a slant. Some insulation is "faced", meaning that there is a layer of plastic wrapping or thick paper on the exterior. Faced insulation is best for chicken coops, because chickens tend to eat it if it is directly exposed.

    Now it's time to put the insulation into the desired area(s) of your coop. You may want to use a staple gun to staple the sides to the coop or you can use nails to connect the insulation to your coop. Faced insulation commonly will have about a 3/4 inch paper or plastic strip running along the side of the insulation, which you can nail to a plank of wood or hard surface. Unfaced insulation will not have that strip, so to make installing the insulation easier, you could lay a thin layer of plastic sheeting on the exterior of the insulation once you have laid it in the desired area. Then you just nail or staple the layer of plastic sheeting to a plank of wood in your coop or another hard surface. Be sure to hammer in any staples that are sticking out a little. Tip- since insulation consists of fiberglass, a material that feels like needles stabbing you if it comes in contact with any part of your body except the palms of your hand, you may want to wear long sleeves and jeans.

    If you keep ducks as well, a thin sheet of metal about 16''-20'' high nailed to the wall over the insulation would be helpful. You can nail it towards the floor, that way the ducks are unable to eat insulation.

    So why put all that time and labor into insulating a chicken coop? You never know what the weather may do, especially if you live in the mountains or a region that is prone to cold weather. Up where I live, near mountains, we can get 1 foot of snow in early October and it rarely gets above 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months. The suggested temperature for a chicken coop is 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit ( 10- 32.2 degrees Celsius). Insulating is a good idea if you live in a place where the wind blows most of the time. If not properly insulated, the wind can cause drafts and cool down the coop.

    Even though some breeds of chickens are suited for cold weather, some aren't. Some ideal breeds for cold climates are Andalusian, Australorp, Barnevelder, Brahma, Buckeye, Chantecler, Cochin, Delaware, Dominique, Easter Egger, Faverolle, Hamburg, Jersey Giant, Maran, New Hampshire Red, Orpington, Plymouth Rock, Red Star, Rhode Island Red, Welsummer, and Wyandotte.
    Even if you do have breeds that fair well in extreme weather, insulation is recommended to be present in your chicken coop, that way their coop is a warm resort when it's cold or windy outside.

    Picture from and credited to- picture from HorseFeathers

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  1. Elflady
    I love in Arkansas, and it can get pretty hot during the summer. Winters are fairly mild. Should I insulate my coop.
  2. jakenhyde
    Thanks Mountain Peeps. Zeke, my Bouviers des Flandres gets along just great with my girls. But Zeke gets along well with anything and everyone.
  3. Mountain Peeps
    Great info! Love that pic!!!!!
  4. jakenhyde
    I live in SW Montana. I used to work for an insulation company years ago. So insulating my coop was a no-brainer for me. When I built my coop, I put R-30 in the lid and R-19 in the walls. I have 35 hens and I keep them cooped up at night because I have a large problem with foxes, racoons, and the occasional coyote here. Even when the temp is below zero, my girls keep the coop pretty warm until I let them out in the morning.
    For most coops, the cost of insulation is well worth it. And, if one builds the coop with 16 or 24 on center studing, all home improvement stores carry insulation that will fit perfectly in between said studs. I used osb sheeting on the inside walls. Gypsum wall board is not a good idea because the chickens have a tendency to peck at it and the chemicals in it are probably not good for the birds.
    My girls are golden sex link hens and they're quite resilient in colder weather anyway. Winter or summer, I let them out onto my 5.3 acre yard around noon. That's because if I let them out earlier, they tend to lay eggs under my front deck where I can't get at them. ;o) It's surprising how they'll manage to dig down into the snow for something to eat. I usually throw some scratch out into fresh snow to encourage them to forage through the surface.

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