Coop insulation, light, and ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Marcymom3, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello from Maryland! [​IMG]

    So, we are off on the great chicken adventure for the first time. We bought our chicks at a local feed store at the beginning of May. What a great party! [​IMG]

    Last night the temperature dropped to about 63 degrees where I live. Before I close the door to the coop I always do a head count (really I'm just saying good night to the girls. [​IMG] and the eight of them were all bunched up. Normally there is at least a little space between them. Seems like they already know how to cuddle up when it gets cooler. The coldest month in Maryland is January when the average temperature is 25 degrees. Our coop is made of T111 and is not insulated. Do you think we should add some of that foam board between the studs? The coop is raised about 18" from the ground and we are using deep litter on the linoleum floor.

    My pullets are 18 weeks old now and I think one of them may be just about ready to start laying eggs. Her comb is large and bright red. That's her in the profile picture. [​IMG] Now that the days are getting shorter, I am tempted to add some light in the early morning hours. Does anyone have any ideas about this? Under normal circumstances I would just let Nature take her course, but I am really anxious for that first egg!

    And last but not least, I understand that ventilation is very important. But how do you know how much is enough? This is an Amish built 4' x 4' chicken coop with one window about 12" x 18" (directly across from the perches) and a vent (oddly right above the highest perch) that is about 7" x 36". If you aren't supposed to have them in drafts when it is cold, will that long vent have to be closed and the window maybe lowered at the top? What do you think about drilling 1" holes every 4-5" along the top of the walls?

    Many thanks for your help!
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There are endless threads discussing coop construction and whether insulation is needed, added light is needed, and whether added heat is necessary.

    Perhaps it will be some assurance how tough chickens are to note that most of our popular large fowl breeds were developed in cold New England a century ago, before the use of heating, insulation, etc. We keep cold hardy breeds here in northern Michigan, with night time lows that normally are below zero and occasionally -25 below zero. We provide a stout barn, with no insulation and no added heat. The chickens do just fine and are happy. Hope that boosts your confidence and lessens the stress.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
  4. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you both for the replies! I will read the ventilation page and see if I can figure out what to do from there. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by