Do I need insulation?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kerjack, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Kerjack

    Kerjack Songster

    Nov 5, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm starting to build a new 4x4 coop today. I'm curious about insulation. I live in Ontario so we have really cold winters, I plan on having 2 windows on adjacent walls and a vent near the top of the coop. I will also have a heat lamp in there as well. Do I need insulation?

  2. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    It might cut down on your electric bill if you do. I found the insulation helped keep the coop cool in the summer actually but I haven't been through a winter yet. Our coop is on my byc page.
  3. We insulated and were glad of it. Keeps the coop cooler in summer as well as more comfortable in winter. Though not strictly 'necessary', insulation creates a pleasant ambiance and give you better control of your ventilation.

    Be sure you know how to install properly after you choose your type of insulation, and that you seal it properly. It is also important to make it rodent proof, the last thing you need is rats and mice nesting by the hundreds in the walls! Also be sure your roof and walls are sealed, leaks can ruin any insulation attempt and promote mould.

  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are going to run a heat lamp, by all means insulate heavily. Your hydro bill will thank you.

    Even if you are not going to run a heat lamp (and unless you are in Northern ON, you probably don't need to, at least most of the time, and should think this through *carefully*) you will be better off with insulation.

    Technically you may not "need" to but it would be an awfully good idea.

    BTW do not get sucked into this thing that is so prevalent in Canada about 'let's shut the coop up real tight for the winter to hold in the heat'. People get frostbit chickens that way BECAUSE OF the resultant high humidity, and then feel validated in their decision, "just imagine how much worse frostbite they'd have had if I'd left vents open!" whereas in reality most breeds do fine with COLD, to a considerable degree, it is the HUMIDITY (from insufficient ventilation) that gets ya.

    So "a" vent may not be enough. Make it BIIIIIIIIG, and adjustable, and preferably have them on several sides of the coop so that no matter what quarter the wind is from you can still keep some open.

    To give you some idea what can be done with insulation (although, thermal mass is also a big contributor here), my chickens are in a 15x40 building that used to be a breeding/boarding kennel. It has a slab floor, superinsulated 2x6 walls and a heavily insulated ceiling. I use no heat except a mild boost from a solarized lean-to in front sometimes, and even *without* the solar heat and *with* popdoors open on both sides of the building for part of the day (which is a baaaaad idea in a windy site!), although our coldest winter nights are typically in the -25 C range and we've been down to -35 C, inside the building has never been below about -10 C. Neener neener. Thermal mass plus copious insulation.)

    Good luck, have fun,


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