Chickens eating blue insulation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kcallis, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. kcallis

    kcallis Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Florida
    I live in a warm climate, however it does dip into the low 30s at night a few days a year. My coop has lots of windows covered in chicken wire, since my biggest problem is the coop getting too hot in the summer. However, I wanted to cover most of the open windows this winter to help keep the chickens warm (this is my first winter with chickens). I cut pieces of blue foam insulation to fit in the window frames. It works great, however the last few weeks, my 12 wk old RIR have taken to pecking at and eating the blue foam. I've removed a few pieces that were in easy reach, but now they have gotten crafty and try to fly up to perch on the hard to reach windows so they can eat the foam. They are outside all day, but they still spend quite a bit of time trying to eat the foam (they seem to prefer that to grass and scratch!). Besides getting rid of all the insulation, does anyone have a suggestion of how to get them to stop? Also, they don't seem to be getting sick from it, it seems to just pass through the gut and out in their poop, but I'm a little worried that if they continue at it ,it may have long term consequences - any ideas?
     
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    The blue color may be attracting them. Maybe you could make a sort of screen that keeps them from getting to the foam panels (or put the foam on the outside of the window rather than the inside?).
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    I think you can't allow them any access to it at all or they will peck. Maybe cover it? It will surely cause them problems if they keep eating it. My hen pecked a "bowl-shape" out of a piece of blue insulation lying flat on the floor and then laid 2 eggs in it before I discovered what she had done. Kind of ingenious actually.
     
  4. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Quote:[​IMG] Chicken's of modern times..."who needs straw these days?"

    Perhaps you could get some plexiglass and cover the insulation?
     
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Bethel MN
    We insulated our coop with white foam panels, on the ceiling as well and covered it with cardboard except for the ceiling which i thought they couldn't reach, i was dead wrong!!! We have since covered the ceiling in cardboard as well.
     
  6. Sylvie

    Sylvie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ohio
    They love anything they can peck holes in and have no color preference.
    I made the blue foam board insulation mistake, too. It took them 2 hours to make 12" wide holes in the insulation. I covered the blue insulation with thick clear 6 mil plastic sheeting and it has been intact for months now. They can still see the blue behind it but can't do any damage.
     
  7. lichick28

    lichick28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2008
    LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
    I HAVE TWO GLASS WINDOWS THAT CAN OPEN/CLOSE & LOCK. I LIKE TO REUSE ANTIQUES IN MY YARD SO I HAVE 3 VENT WINDOWS MADE FROM IRON-METAL HEATER VENTS FROM THE 1920'S HEATER SYSTEMS. ONE EVEN HAS SLATS THE CAN OPEN & CLOSE. I LEAVE THEM UNCOVERED BECAUSE THE GIRLS STILL NEED FRESH VENTED AIR IN THE COOP. IF IT DOES GO DOWN TO 15* I STAPLE CLEAR PLASTIC OVER TO STOP THE WIND
     
  8. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    I have 3 windows about 2x4'. During the summer they are covered with hardware cloth. Come winter I have 3 2x4x1/8' thick plexiglass that I bought at Home Depot. They wer about 12 dollars each but I've used them for 6 years so far. I just drilled holes evry 8 inches around edge and used sheet metal screws with flat washers to dissipate the force and avoid cracks. Keeps the cold out and they still have light so they will lay. I also have a little flourescent under counter light on a timer that turns on till 10pm to make them think the day is longer. Still getting 10-12 eggs a day from 17 chickens. I think 4 aren't laying yet.
     

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