Do I need to insulate my coop in southern ontario?

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by jonnychicken, May 21, 2016.

  1. jonnychicken

    jonnychicken New Egg

    May 20, 2016
    Hello everyone!

    I don't even have chickens yet but I just ordered an 8' x 8' garden shed which I'm planning on turning into a coop. I live in Brantford Ontario and i'm really curious if I should insulate the coop before getting my birds. I've read a lot of different things on BYC and I'm a little torn. We do get temperatures as low as -20C in the winter. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm also curious if anyone can recommend a good supplier of chickens in southern ontario. I'd like various breeds, not sure exactly what yet tho. All tips are welcomed!

    Thanks everyone!
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    So many factors in when deciding to insulate or not...

    What breeds will you keep? I'm presuming "big girl" breeds that are known for being winter hardy?

    Does the shed have windows? I'm only in Indiana, but we do get fairly cold winters (although this past winter was MILD). Because my coop has windows, one benefit I've found with insulation is that the heat coming in the windows is retained better (and into the evening).

    Will you ever be adding any kind of heat source in the shed/coop? If so, then of course it would be much more efficient to have insulation...especially in the ceiling.

    If no windows/no heating device, then I'm not sure whether insulation would be beneficial or not....probably it'd help hold in body generated heat a bit better???

    Other than the expense and extra work, I don't know of any downsides to insulating...
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  3. jonnychicken

    jonnychicken New Egg

    May 20, 2016
    Thanks for your reply! The only thing I heard was that the chickens can get too used to the heat and not develop a good coat of feathers on there own.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Personally, I'm skeptical of that. My retriever has an undercoat, and is a housedog (for the most part). Based on that theory, her undercoat should not have developed well. And trust me, her undercoat is extremely thick/full (she overheats easily).

    Yeah, if you were actually HEATING your coops...making them 40, 50, 60 degrees warmer than outside temps., your birds would probably be stressed between the extreme changes in temps. But if their coop is 20 degrees warmer than outside temps., (due to heat through windows or whatever)...that's an easy, more natural change.
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    If you've got adequate ventilation, insulation will be pointless. And ventilation is far more important.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    x2!!! We tend to equate a battened up coop with a warm coop. In reality ventilation is critical, even here in Northern Wyoming near Yellowstone Park. You don't want winds blowing directly on the birds, but you do want good air flow so ammonia and humidity don't build up. I have windows all around and keep the ones downwind closed, but open all the ones that aren't getting direct wind and snow blown in. I also have a mobile home exhaust fan that remains open year round. It's wired in such a way that I can have the flap open without running the fan, or flip the switch in summer to run it. There are operable vents up high on the north and west walls, a gable vent, and a long, skinny vent on the north side that we cover in winter. Ken teases me and says he could have saved a ton of money if he'd known our coop would be more holes than walls. I partially cover my run in winter, and even raise chicks out there when temps are in the teens and twenties. Insulation would be pointless, and with many kinds of insulation you need to build an inner wall so they don't eat the insulation. That makes a cozy place for rodent runways.

    It is, of course, totally up to you what you chose to do and what's right for your situation. If you decide to insulate, that's absolutely fine.
  7. jonnychicken

    jonnychicken New Egg

    May 20, 2016
    Thanks everyone for you comments! I think I am going to pass on the insulation.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by