Coop winterization

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by birdfreak1831, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. birdfreak1831

    birdfreak1831 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2013
    There is probably information about this here, but I have considerable challenges navigating these forums, using an almost extinct dial-up connection.
    So, pardon me if I am repeating something that has already been discussed.

    With certain physical limitations and being a horrible handy person, I mail ordered a coop instead of building one. Unfortunately, it is flimsy and of poor quality, although attractive looking. The poor quality was not detectable in the catalog I ordered it from.
    There will be 2-4 adult chickens roosting in it, but the coop needs some kind of winterization/insulation.
    I have read a lot here and learned a lot but sometimes contradicting info confuses me.
    For example, there are people who use heat lamps to warm coops and other people who claim that heat lamps pose a fire risk. I don`t know which it is, but I am spooked now and decided not to use a heat lamp.
    Many folks here think that chickens do just fine even in cold winters [like where I live] as long as they have plenty of bedding and are shielded from cold winter winds.
    Seems common sense to me.
    My coop is covered with a heavy tarp on three sides and the roof, because I do not trust it to be water proof.
    Snowfalls here are normally heavy as well as frequent and the walls and floor of my coop are so thin! The roof is better, a bit thicker.

    My question is :
    Which kinds of materials do you think are best for winterizing/insulating a coop?

    I heard of small rectangle-shaped hay bales placed around a coop and on top of it.
    My chicken-raising neighbors, however, cautioned me against that, saying that there is a problem with mold growing in hay bales. Mold causes respiratory infection in birds.

    I have some house batt [sp?] insulation I could stuff in between the tarp and the coop.
    Or I could get some of that styrofoam type board insulation and cut it down to size.
    Are the above two ideas practical, warming and safe for the birds??

    I would appreciate any suggestions.

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Where are you located? It's not cold temperatures that most people need to worry about, but ventilation. Sealing everything up is bad. Really bad. They need air and lots of it. That's one of the main reasons most people here say stay away from prefab coops. There is never enough ventilation, and it can be difficult to add enough.
    If your coop isn't ventilated enough your birds are at serious risk of frostbite. Moisture from their droppings and breath can't escape and condensation will form on their combs and legs causing severe frostbite.
    If the coop is dry and well ventilated, your birds will be fine without any extra insulating.
  3. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2015
    The Golden State
    I agree with Junebuggena. Chickens NEED ventilation. What kind of breeds do you have? Some do better in the winter than others.

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