Building my first coop


10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
This is my first attempt at raising chickens. I plan for a coop is to take a 8 by 12 foot space from a feed station in a small pasture close to the house. Do I need to insulate it? We live in Western Oregon. Our winter temps get down maybe as low as 15 degrees in the winter. Also, what kind of floor construction works out the best?
I did not insulate my coop because i ran out of time. But i will be this summer. I just put a 250 watt light in the coop and it stayed warm all winter and it got down to -30 with the wind chill. As for the floor i just used plywood.
I'm taking a 8x12 coop from the end of an old shed. Hope your feed station is squarer than my shed.

My low temperatures are below yours and I don't insulate. However I do ventilate. I'll give you a link to Pat's Ventilation Page, which may help.

Chickens can take pretty cold temperatures as long as the humidity is not too high. Chickens and fresh droppings give off a lot of moisture, so you need to ventilate it out to keep humidity down. The ammonia from the droppings can also cause respiratory problems if it builds up, anothe reason to ventilate.

I'll also include a link to a thread on here about hints in building your coop. You don't have to follow everything here but it might give you some ideas.

Floor construction depends on your poop management plan and your predator protection plan. I'm putting the hardware cloth apron around my coop, so predator protection does not enter into my floor plans. And I'm planning on the deep litter method for poop management. I hauled in some clayey dirt and built up the floor so outside water cannot get in during a frog-strangler and mounded it a bit so it will drain better. That's my floor. I'm packing it down pretty good while I'm building. I'll probably use wood shavings for the litter as I have not found a source for chopped straw, though I may try dried lawn clippings and see how they work out.
Insulation may help but not necessary. Do make sure the chicks can't peck at it and eat it. Heat is not important. It gets -20 here and as long as the birds are dry, out of drafts and well ventilated they will do well. They also must have feed & water 24/7.
Your floor should be easy to clean and predator proof. If what is in there now meets both those criteria, then you are all set. If it isn't, then what to do depends on your budget and how much effort you want to put in. Options range from pouring concrete to using the dirt in place.
Yes I would insulate the coop, and the best floor if you can afford it is concrete, no rats can dig and it is very easy to clean up.

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