Do Walk-in Coops Need to be Insulated?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicken Little-er, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Chicken Little-er

    Chicken Little-er In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2011
    We live in the North East -- pretty harsh winters. We are thinking of converting a shed into a walk-in coop - it is not insulated. Will that give the ladies enough protection in the winter? I can probably hook up a heat lamp on the really cold days if necessary. Thank you!

  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I just finished building my walk in coop, and I did insulate the walls with r-19 insulation between the studs. I realize some people in cold climates don't insulate, but I am not adding any supplemental heat, and if I was going through the effort to build this, I wanted to do it right. It is up to you.
  3. Hegatha

    Hegatha Songster

    Mar 13, 2011
    I converted my shed into a coop but im just using a heat lamp works great. [​IMG]
  4. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    What is the shed made from? I'm in the process of converting a shed also and this is a good question.

  5. Chicken Little-er

    Chicken Little-er In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2011
    It's a sturdy wooden shed -- 6 x 8. We bought a 10 x 10 from these people last year as a garden shed and love it -- it came through a harsh winter very well -- tight and dry and everything in great shape. They don't do chicken houses but said they could do a chicken door for us and we'll either buy or make the roosts and nest boxes. We have just 7 chicks but I want them to have a nice home![​IMG]
  6. Noymira

    Noymira Songster

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    I think you'll get a lot of different answers from different people. Some do and some don't in cold climates.

    We plan on insulating ours, but we will not be running electricity out there, so no option for a heat lamp.
  7. white01

    white01 Brady Brook Poultry

    May 11, 2010
    West Enfield,Maine
    we are going to insulate ours and use heat lamps when necessary . it does get pretty cold up here in Maine and i lost 5 chickens this winter [​IMG]

  8. buffs only

    buffs only In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2011
    Conyers Georgia
    I didn't insulate my coop but cold was not near the concern as the heat in summers. I live in metro Atlanta and winters are mild for the most part, summers you can fry a egg on concrete. I think if I were you I would insulate and then even on the coldest nights you probably won't need a heat lamp.

    Buffs only- Conyers GA
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:It depends.

    Insulation is not generally *necessary* but in many cases it is *useful* (if your coop is built such that it "wants to" hold some amount of heat going into the evening; and/or if you have any thought of running electric heating at any point).

    How chickens tolerate cold has a lot to do with breed choice and good ventilation. If you have large-single-combed chickens sealed up in a humid (because insufficiently ventilated) coop they can get frostbite at 30 F; if you have wisely chosen breeds for your situation, and/or if you have plenty of draft-free ventilation keeping the coop fairly dry inside, chickens are often perfectly fine down to 0 F or even lower without any heat. It just depends. It is never a bad idea to have the *ability* to add heat if unforseen circumstances should arise, but good planning and good management will usually suffice [​IMG]

    If you haven't seen them you might wish tot ake a look at my 'cold coop' and ventilation pages, links in .sig below, for more on the subject.

    Good luck, have fun,


  10. Chicken Little-er

    Chicken Little-er In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2011
    Thank you Pat -- my chicks are: 2 Araucanas, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Buff Orpintons and 1 Light Brahma - one of the reasons I picked them is because I read they were all pretty cold tolerant -- is that right?

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