Cooling and Heating a non-electric coop & ? about insulation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Iowa Roo Mom, May 8, 2009.

  1. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    Are there any good ideas out there to cool/heat a non-electric coop? Anyone with experience or similar issue? Any help would be appreciated, it's spring here in IA so it's about 60-70 degrees now, but summers can get hot winters are cold [​IMG]
    I know I best case scenario I should have electricity to the coop, but that is just not an option at this point, so please, no scolding... It is going to be insullated, so I hope this will help! Also, does it matter what insulation I use if it will be behind plywood so no one can get to it? [​IMG] Thanks for all your help!

    Edited: It is an 8' x 8' coop that will have 4 windows (one on each wall) that can all be closed.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  2. mygor

    mygor Out Of The Brooder

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  3. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    Thanks mygor, for the site! I think I will def. build this, or something very similar. Now if I could just figure out the cooling part [​IMG] Also, anyone know if fiberglass insulation will work if it is behind plywood so the chooks can't reach it? Thanks again for your help!
     
  4. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Murray Kentucky
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Cooling: make sure there is quite a big lot of ventilation, and provide shade (preferably in a LARGE contiguous area, not a little spot here and a little spot there) outdoors in the run. Some emergency heat-management measures are also possible during unusual heatwaves, like frozen jugs of ice that chickens can hang out with.

    Warmth: excellent insulation (including ceiling), well-designed ventilation (see below), and good choice of breeds. You can add a solar (greenhouse- or popcan-style) heating feature if you want, but it is optional. Chickens can stand really quite a lot of cold in still air with good supply of feed and well-chosen breeds.

    Also, does it matter what insulation I use if it will be behind plywood so no one can get to it?

    Not for a given R-value. But obviously a higher R-value's worth of insulation will slow heat loss from the coop more than thinner/poorer insulation will.

    It is an 8' x 8' coop that will have 4 windows (one on each wall) that can all be closed.

    I'd strongly suggest planning additional winter ventilation. You DO need ventilation open in the winter, realio trulio, and you will get maximal 'bang for your buck' and minimal draft on the chickens if you have some vent slots high on all (or just the downwind) walls, preferably tucked up under the roof overhang, with closeable flaps or sliders so you can adjust your ventilation according to the weather.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, back in circulation after a week of houseguests​
     
  6. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    Check out my BYC pages (below). I built a very successful coop last year. I live in central Minnesota and winters here are severe. Mine is 6" insulated walls with hay in the loft. I have a wood stove for the very cold nights. I do not have electricity to the coop and do not plan on installing it.

    After one full Minnesota winter I am pleased to say my coop is a complete success. One thing I am finding out is how tough chickens are. I started out having a fire for them when it got to 10 degrees. I kept lowering the threshold and finally set the lower limit to starting a fire at -20 degrees F. I believe that if all the conditions are right no heat is needed. Ventilation is VERY important. I have one 16 x 24 inch vent on the east gable plus openings under the roofing tin where it hangs over the bottom purlin. There are 3/8" openings between the boards of the loft deck that allows for air circulation up through the ceiling and into the loft. My coop is always dry as a popcorn fart with no drafts. The two dozen chickens I keep over the winter produce enough of their own heat to keep warm except on the coldest nights.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=14471-Chainsaw_Coop
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  7. Im4dabirds

    Im4dabirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    Central Alabama
    Quote:I love this idea. Simple but effective. We don't get extremely cold here often, but I think I'll be trying this in the fall.
     
  8. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Murray Kentucky
    Im4dabirds: Once (when, if, etc) I get the greenhouse done I'll have a bank of those as supplemental winter heating to get the temps higher.. Then for a thermal load I'm going to have 3 50 gallon water barrels..

    My understanding is that the output temp on them can get up to 140 degrees.

    The ONLY issue with that though is that it only heats during the day. It's half a thought to set up some thermal loading in a coop though, such as the barrels I stated above.
     
  9. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for all your help! I can't stress enough how much I [​IMG] this site! BYC'ers ROCK!!!! [​IMG]
     
  10. spottedtail

    spottedtail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2007
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    I'm up here in Minn.
    Our coop just has an inside wall and an outside wall, with no insulation in between. It's not necessary.
    Adequate ventilation is much more important than temperature.
    Your 4 windows are good to keep the air moving through in summer.
    In winter (even when very cold) it's important to have some air movement passing through the coop up high near the ceiling.
    Adult chickens are very hardy, especially to cold. Artificial heat can compromise that hardiness.

    spot
     

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