coop insulation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by davidr, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. davidr

    davidr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Mokena, IL
    Hi,

    Working on my coop design. I need some suggestions.

    Should I install insulation in the walls and ceiling? I was thinking of standard roll type fiberglass insulation for 2x4 construction and vapor barrier.

    The coop is 4'x10'x 7' tall and plan on having than 10-12 layers.

    I live in the Chicago area this winter its been down to -18 so it can get pretty cold.

    Thanx,

    David
     
  2. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Definitely...better to overkill a little now than have to find out you want to do it later...like me:>) Now I have to tear all the inside walls off to do it right. I thought I'd be okay with simple double wall construction, because the venting is huge, but I am finding out that on really really cold days I get frost on the walls at times. Not good. I need to redo it insulation and definitely vapour barrier ths spring
     
  3. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Search the site under "insulation" and you'll see endless discussions on the topic. Many believe you should not insulate regardless of where you live. They say the chickens adapt as long as THERE ARE NO DRAFTS. Everyone agrees that is the priority.

    I tried to strike a happy (ok affordable) medium. The white styrofoam insulation is much cheaper than the better, pink extruded stuff. I used 1 1/2 in thick styrofoam in the walls, covered that with plastic visqueen and then covered both with shower board (the slick white stuff that comes in 4 x 8 ft sheets.)

    Just make sure the chickens can not get to any of the insulation as they will eat it ravenously.
     
  4. tomcio

    tomcio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2008
    David,
    I just build an 8x12 by 7ft coop up in Ottawa (Ontario). We get our temperatures a bit more chilly than Chicago. So here are my observations:

    1. Do insulate, it will help keep the very cold days a bit warmer inside.
    2. Insulation for a coup that size with a dozen chickens will not make it above freezing inside without extra heat.
    3. You will see about 10-15 degree difference between inside and outside.
    4. Do put a 60W incandescent light in there, it's nicer to change things out with lights, and it will help with laying.
    5. Do not overspend on insulation. It won't matter how thick the insulation is, the heat produced by the chickens will not offset the cold outside enough to warrant the extra costs.
    6. Build yourself a couple of warming plates for waterers (25W light bulb in a cookie tin can does wonders).
    7. Make roosts out of 2x4's, short side down, that & draft free (think no wind inside) coup will make the chickens happy.

    Oh, and have fun.

    PM me if you want some ideas. I have a set of plans for a 8x12 coup in Sketchup I can share with you. The water heaters are great way to save money (cost of materials was < $6 and you get cookies out of it) vs $40+ for a heated water bowl commercially.

    Tom
     
  5. Quote:Be careful with the pink/fiberglass insulation. Ever gone into an attic and crawled around one that had this stuff. You come out coughing and your lungs hurting. I just think one should avoid the stuff.

    I would use the extruded insulation like Styrofoam and that tyvek stuff that comes in 4x8 sheets.

    Personally I would ONLY insulate the top off the coop and leave the walls alone. Most of the heat goes out the ceiling and the birds can not generally get to it.

    Just make sure you have no drafts, this is the most important issue in a coop.
     
  6. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2008
    wausau,wisconsin
    You asked for opinions.. this will be mine..

    Yes chickens will adapt to the cold.
    and so would you, if you had to.
    warm chickens in the winter will lay more eggs than chickens who have to convert feed to body heat.

    I have 55 hens in a 12 x 16 coop with light bulbs for extra heat..
    my water never freezes.. that is my heat indicator..

    Insulate, and use the fiberglass between studs and in the ceiling.

    do not worry about the "fine dust" because you are going to cover the walls and ceiling with plywood or the like.. use something that can be hosed down for cleaning once a year...

    humidity is going to be a problem..
    add some sort of venting, a window, a hole near the ceiling that can be closed or opened or a vent fan, like a bathroom fan..

    I put a suspended ceiling in mine..
    the humidity swelled the 2x2 ft ceiling tiles terribly.. I am going to cut 2x2 ft squares out of plywood to replace them..

    If you have the room, make your coop wider than 4 feet.. You are going to feel clausterphobic with only 4 feet to swing your arms..

    You should have room for a couple of rodent proof feed storage bins..

    make the floor out of concrete like a slab and set the walls on it..

    raise the slab higher than the surrounding ground so that you do not get snow bound ..

    good luck

    jiminwisc
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We created a photo essay in the link below. We used fibreglass, vapor seal tuck tape and sheathing. Keep in mind we have many barn cats to keep rodents down- always a consideration during an insulation project.

    We're pleased with the results, we have some through the 'Siberian Express' that hit North American recently and we had no frostbite or losses.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-Coop_Insulation
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Unless you are in a super sever very very northern climate, or have inappropriately chosen breeds, you do not "need" to insulate. However, ANYone's life will be easier and more pleasant (yours and the chickens' both) if you do insulate. I would class it as optional but desirable.

    By all means insulate the ceiling as well as the walls, if that's possible.

    Make sure you maintain lots of ventilation capacity though -- you can insulate your vent covers but don't close up your vents iwth insulation, you know? I wouldn't rely on a bathroom fan, btw -- there are innumerable sad mechanical fates (a few involving propensity for fire) that can befall them in sometimes-frosty very-dusty coops and then you're stuck. Just make lots of manually openable vents, mostly high up atop the walls, on all sides of the coop, with good-fitting covers so you can choose how much is open at any one time... and you'll be fine.

    The more insulation you have, the more ventilation you can leave open without the coop getting excessively cold however [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    David, the temps have also been down to -18°F here this Winter and heading back in that direction.

    If you have a wood floor, you may want to insulate that during construction. I had trouble with "retro" insulating.

    I'd thought that heavy straw would do a good job - it did but the mice loved it. Under the nestbox, I placed a sheet of styrofoam with 1/4" plywood on top of it. I can't be out there every hour and wanted the eggs to stay above freezing - they do but the mice burrowed into that syrofoam.

    The coop walls and ceiling have 1/4" plywood over 4" fiberglass. I just wish that floor did also. Wood shavings are doing okay as an alternative and the chickens won't let the mice nest in it. Once again, however, the mice traps saw lots of action during the Fall.

    Steve
     
  10. Catalina

    Catalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2007
    Minnesota
    David [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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