Coop insulation ideas

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bridgertrot, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Bridgertrot

    Bridgertrot Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2012
    So winter is quickly approaching and I'm a first time duck owner who needs to insulate the coop. I have two Rouens in a coop about the size of a horse stall (they have lots of space LOL). It's made of a single layer of wood and a concrete floor. I have a wire dog crate and some nest boxes that I put shavings in for them to lay on so they can get off the concrete, also so I don't spend a fortune covering the entire coop. I did take some foam filler in the can and filled some of the larger gaps but that's not enough I think.

    Over the windows I'm thinking I'll put up some clear plastic sheets to close them off. I'm thinking though, to save money and time, about making just their crate (or some other small box) insulated. Then they can go in and out as they please. Does anyone have some ideas for what I could do? I'd love to see what other people have done for the winter.

    Also how important is ventilation? I know it's important but since my coop is horse stall size and about 6.5 feet tall would that be enough to offset everything? If that makes sense.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Lazarus718

    Lazarus718 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2012
    New Mexico
    I don't know where you live but I really don't think your ducks are going to need insulation. They have it built in. Ventilation is important however and you want to look at the means in which your stale air is able to be exchanged with fresh air. Just because you have a larger space with a larger volume of air does not mean that it is "good" air. I have always felt that it is counter-intuitive to let the cold air in but it is probably the most necessary thing for your birds health in the coop. Try your best to force this exchange to happen towards the eaves just like in your own house. So I guess to answer your questions....insulation probably not, a 6.5 feet tall stall...still needs ventilation.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would build a house within a house. And I would not cover the windows with plastic. I would cover them with metal half inch hardware cloth if they are not already. Also the gaps . . . if they are larger than half an inch some predators could chew through the foamy stuff (unless it is foamcrete) and get in.

    So, I would start with your wire crate, or just start fresh. Rouens do have their own insulation, but with just two of them, if it gets below 35F or so, I would expect hypothermia, and at least a failure to thrive. Surviving as you know is different from doing well.

    Since the smaller area would be under roof, you could drape quilts over most of their crate or little hut. A little hut could be made from two pieces of plywood fastened securely (don't want to crush the ducks) at the top to make an A-frame. I would place the hut/crate on top of a wooden platform made from 2"x4"s or slight larger, to get them up off the concrete, then put at least 8" of bedding in the hut. A foot and a half would be better, and if the hut is about 3'x3', that won't take much bedding to have it nice and deep. If you pick the damp spots up each day and fluff the bedding, especially if you sprinkle Sweet PDZ into the bedding when you set it up (thanks, Miss Lydia), I would expect the bedding will be fine the whole cold season. That means the hut itself needs to be 2.5' tall. Ducks can dig a little depression into shavings, which adds to their ability to stay warm.

    To save money, you might use a clean used wooden pallet (check for nails, jagged edges, get rid of those first) as the platform. You would need to put something across the top to prevent broken ankles. Plywood, hardware cloth or plastic poultry fence fastened securely at the edges should work. Many people have plywood scraps lying around, maybe a friend or neighbor could help you out, perhaps an exchange for fertilizer (really . . . I have gardener friends and neighbors who love the old duck bedding).

    A ramp into the hut could be made with another piece of scrap plywood, or some 2"x4"s fastened across the bottom with a 2"x4" cross piece. I covered a ramp with plastic poultry fence for grippiness. The ducks added bits of bedding, and it is rather cushy.
  4. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Port Orchard, Wa
    OP, what part of the country do you live in? You may not need to insulate at all.
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I don't insulate and i live in Canada. I would create a house within a house as Amiga suggested, a smaller wooden box, like a doghouse would be nice, you can put straw in it so they can cuddle in the cooler days.

    You can always add a heat lamp, i found i had to in the really bitter days but on the whole my birds do just fine, it's the wet you have to watch for more.. they must get dry before the wicked dark, cold night comes in.
  6. new2ducks

    new2ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2012
    I found a huge igloo dog house on craigs list for $20.00 and it's in the kennel that is covered with fencing and a tarp. I just want to put some of that styrofoam insulation under the house to keep the dampness away from under it. I'm also going to put some more rock around the house itself to keep the mud out. We've had a couple cooler nights out here and I've looked out the window and they are swimming in the pool and enjoying it.
    Someone had said on here once about the down ducks have and how WE use it to keep warm so they should be fine.

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