Coop under construction, do I need to insulate walls?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 13Acres, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. 13Acres

    13Acres Hatching

    Jul 8, 2014
    SE Michigan
    First time chicken owner building a new coop. I plan on insulating the roof to prevent solar heat gain in the summer. The walls will be shaded by trees during the summer. I question the need to insulate the walls in view of the amount of venting that is required even in winter. I plan on starting out with 10 chickens in 80 sq ft in a 120 sq ft building. There won't be any drafts in the roost and nest box area. Located in SE Michigan where winter temps can hit -10 to -15 a few nights a year.
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hello & welcome! As long as there aren't any draughts to chill the birds and vents are placed appropriately, you should not need to insulate. Our Canadian friends get much colder temps and most don't insulate. Our winter temps hit -17F this past winter and the girls were fine.
  3. Kylling

    Kylling In the Brooder

    May 8, 2012
    New England
    Insulation really isn't a necessity unless there are drafts for wind to blow through. Our barn has never been insulated, and the chickens have been fine. But, the one winter we let an open window stay open because we didn't have the material to fix it, we lost a record number of chickens that year to frostbite and hypothermia.
    1 person likes this.
  4. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Songster

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    I agree with kylling. No insulation is necessary. As long as your coop isn't super big for the number of chickens you have.
  5. 13Acres

    13Acres Hatching

    Jul 8, 2014
    SE Michigan
    Thanks everyone for the replies! The walls will not be insulated, I hate working with that stuff.
  6. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I come bearing opinions from the other camp. I decided to insulate our coop when building it, I saw no downside to doing that. How it fares through the winter is something I've yet to see, but for summer conditions, here are a few of my observations.

    The coop is constantly 5-10 degrees C cooler than the outside air.

    A rooster inside an insulated coop located 5 meters from your open bedroom window will not wake you. Forgetting to lock them up though, will make it impossible to sleep after 4 am when the sun has risen.

    If you don't get extremely hot weather, you don't need to care about the first one, and judging by your handle, neighbors with noise complaints won't be an issue, but I thought I'd add my two cents to this.
    1 person likes this.
  7. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I enjoy an inside wall, usually painted white and as such I insulate when I cover the wall studs. I like the coops I have done this with, more so than the ones I have not. I like the lessened sound levels as well as the temp delta. It is not so much in keeping the birds warm, I believe it is true in as they can survive a winters cold, it is in slowing the temp swings and maintaining a more constant comfortable temp both summer and winter. So I am in the insulate camp as well. Perhaps I enjoy it as much or more than the birds.

    Best to you and your birds,

    1 person likes this.
  8. Ankhdad

    Ankhdad Chirping

    Jun 28, 2014
    Thunder Bay, ON
    Being one of the "Canadian friends" out there, ;) and currently in the design process of my first coop, I am going to be adding insulation to me design.
    My design is going to be a 10x10 ft shed style with 2x4 walls for 10 chicks. From what I've read on BYC and the people I've talked to, it seems to be an even sided debate. The winters (-35 C) and summers (+30 C) here (NW Ontario) can get a little on the nutty side! Don't get me started on humidity!
    Knowing what I know now and how my brain thinks the extra cost of the horribly scratchy pink stuff and a few 3/8" OSB panels are worth it to maintain the gals comfort level and MY piece of mind.

    Good luck to you either way!


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