coop building advice- need too insulate or not

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aggiemae, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    I am planning to build an a frame coop based on some pictures I found in the coop section.

    But before I get started I have some questions for the more experienced...which at this point is pretty much anyone who has ever built a coop!

    I live in Oregon so we have mild winters (and summers) but we do occasional get snow in winter and a day or three over 100 degrees in late summer.

    I think I have ventilation figured out and my plan allows enough floor space for my maximun occupancy of five hens. (So far) I am planning to insulate the floor of the coop because the coop will be raised up 2 feet from the ground and the east wind does travel up the hillside in that part of the yard in winter. I am planning to make sure the coop will have good ventilating in warm weather and close up enough to still be vented and draft free in winter. I don't plan on heating (unless its FREEZING COLD) so should I insulating the sides or is making sure the coop draft free enough?

    I have gathered together everything I could reuse or recycle and only need hardware and 2x4's so I plan to starting to build the next time it's not raining and over 50 degrees. Any help during the planning phase would be appreciated.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  2. Markallen

    Markallen Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2012
    Northern AZ
    Mine is insulated and after last night I'm really glad it is. Our temps right now are about 30 degrees at night, I have 8, 3 week old chicks in the coop with a heat lamp, last night the cord got bumped or something and the lamp went out and was likely off for several hours before I discovered it. The chicks were all huddled in a little group but the temp was still 69 degrees inside. So for me it was well worth insulating the coop.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My lowest winter temperature is normally just a little below zero Fahrenheit. I have a lot of ventilation above their heads when they are on the roost sleeping. My coop is not insulated or heated.

    Your danger is not that they will freeze to death in your climate. Frostbite is the risk. Several people have solved frostbite problens by providing more ventilation. Too little ventilation in the winter can cause the humidity to build up, which can lead to frostbite.
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Heat can be extremely hard on the birds. Cold not so much, given adequate ventilation. There is at least one poster in Alaska who does not insulate. Hard to imagine that it would be much colder than that.

    I understand that the key is ventilation without drafts.

  5. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010
    I am in Washington and the coldest temperature in my area is around 10. I don't insulate the coop and the chicken doing just fine. If you are going to hatch some chicks, do it in spring-summer.
  6. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    Thanks everyone! The coop will be in the shade by 2 pm. It will be well vented. I am getting my chicks on 4/7.
  7. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    I'm going to build a coop and have a ventilation question. with openings at the eaves or at the peak, does the coop need openings anyplace else to properly vent the coop? Anyplace else like down near the floor to create a draft. My coop will be 4x4 with a slanted steel roof going from 5.5ft to 5ft. Thanks
  8. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    3forfree - in general, more ventillation is better. If you have good sized, screened openings at the eaves and an opening along the peak, it may be enough but it is easier to install extra ventillation during the building phase than to have to go back and redo it later. A window (or two) or a vent that can be opened in the summer and mostly or completely closed in the winter would be good. Love your avatar and your signature lines on breed discrimination and bullys. :)
  9. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    The whole insulation thing is a matter of choice. I did it because New England weather well is New England weather which means fickle. The classic Nor'easter can bring nasty stuff. The coop is insulated with R13 but not to say is doesn't get cold it does. Got to keep the water heated so it doesn't freeze. But it is really cozy and draft free but ample ventilation. I also insulated the roof joists which reduces the cold but more importantly the summer heat. The asphalt shingles really suck up the thermal radiation. Before I did that it was quite hot in there but after I did it reduced temps. by 15-20 degrees inside. Really significant. The third reason not thinking about it at the time but realized after the fact that insulation works as a sound barrier. Being that I had not planned on getting a rooster let alone 4 of them( but that's a different thread) Now my rooster can be heard but barely when he is inside. Which at 4 AM could be troublesome. Note that he is close to 10 lb White Rock and can really belt it out.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  10. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    My first coop was a smaller one with a metal shed roof and insulating that roof made a huge difference in temperature swings and in condensation. I wish I had done it sooner as it reduced the summer temps inside and stopped the condensation in winter which meant no more frostbite.

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