Coop question for the Illinois region


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 31, 2011
We get hot and cold weather in Illinois. Our Wyandottes and Eggers to arriving soon ( April) and I am handy, but not certain if I am able to build a coop. I was looking at some of them sold online, sites advertised on BYC and ebay, and noticed that none of them are insulated. Here are my questions:

1) Since I have a cold hardy bird, do I need a insulated coop? We do get into the negative degrees here.

2) Can I buy one and insulate it myself? Has anyone done this?

3) Are the ones you can purchase online strong enough to withstand predators? I am not certain of the strength of the pens.

4) I have an old dog pen I was going to use with a chain linked fence. I was going to wire the top with some 2" wire that someone gave me for free. Is the 2 inch on top okay to use to protect my feathered friends from cats, birds, coons etc? Do I need the 1 inch on top? Can I use the 2" as a bib for diggers? I'm thinking I need to wire around the linked fence too.

Thank you all for your time and answers! The more I search, the more I learn! I love this site..and yes it is addictive!!!!
Love the numbered questions lets me answer in order....

1) I cant speak to the insulated coop question directly. I live in the desert and our shelter needs are somewhat different. But I have read others that just simply provide a good weather proof shelter with good ventilation to keep condensation down. I personally would do a foam insulation with an interior wall surface of the kind of panelling they use in bathrooms. It looks like bathroom tile and is washable, cutable drill able.

2) Most definately. The foam insulation comes in sheets an can be cut with either a hot wire or a box knife. A little bit of hot glue to hold it in place while you put up interior panelling (to keep the chickens pecking at it. You can use cardboard to make patterns for your panelling.

3) cant answer that one because I have always built my own. Though I think a nice lawn shed is pretty sturdy and even the tin ones can be insulated if you wanted to go that rout.

4) I use primarily dog kennel panels myself. Id use 1 inch chicken wire around the base up at least three or four feet. You could use the two inch on top but I have heard that isnt enough to keep out a determined predator like a raccoon. Use some welded wire if you can. With the two inch on the inside. Two inch for the diggers? Yeh maybe someone else can give you a more positive answer on that one. My place is on Decomposed Granite which is pretty solid ground with no top soil so a digger here would have to dig for quite some time to get underneath. So far I havent done that.

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