Do we need to insulate our coop?


5 Years
Aug 26, 2015
Casper Wyo
we are building our first coop plan on making it so we can use the deep litter method. Live in Wy it gets cold in winter. Don't plan on heating the coop. Do we need to insulate it?
Maybe not, but it's a tough decision. If it were me, I'd go with double-walls, no insulation. I'm believing now that chickens, outside of some breeds that just aren't built for cold weather, can handle about any temps we throw at them. Frostbite is an issue if they're exposed to drafts and it's humid enough. Eggs freezing before you can collect them is definitely an issue, but grown chickens are rather good at keeping themselves warm.
Chickens can handle a lot of cold, but once you get down into the range of -5F and below, frostbite becomes an issue. You can get away with a lot of mistakes down to -10F, but after that, what happens will depend a lot on what you do and insulation is one of those factors.

Issue is insulation helps retain the radiant heat generated by the birds themselves. But you have to balance it with enough ventilation to vent the moisture created by the birds themselves. From their breath and droppings and maybe even their water if you don't use nipples. Get it right and you can spike the temp inside the house by as much as 10F to 20F over outside temps, with no heat at all other than what the birds give off.

So to your questions, maybe yes. I would use a rigid insulation, and it will probably need a liner to keep the birds from pecking it.
We are looking at building a decent sized chicken coop to house broiler chickens. We live in the pacific northwest and get a lot of rain and colder days, and milder winters(except for this past winter). We are wondering how to insulate this coop. Should we use spray foam? My biggest concern is mites! We had a HUGE infestation last year in a different barn and I never ever want to deal with that again! I don't want to put up spray foam insulation only to have the mites burry inside and I've got to pick it all out just to get rid of the suckers! Our plan is to do a concrete floor with 2 ft tall walls with a wooden framed structure. Our walls and roof would be made of corrugated sheet metal. As we will have chicks in there at all times of the year we need to make sure that we are keeping some of the heat inside the coop over the winter. Thank you for your expertise!
Sp Man:

When you say "colder days", put some temps to that. As in how cold, exactly? Cold to someone in the deep south is +40F. That is balmy to someone in the upper temperate zones of Zone 5 and lower. Cold to them is -20F. Unless your temps are consistently below 0F, you don't need any insulation at all. Better for you to have wide open ventilation, except it needs to be draft free.
Insulation, in a coop is a total waste of time, and money. What good does insulation do, if you have a well ventilated coop (As you should, even through winter). Answer, absolutely none. I have an open-air Wood's coop. The whole front wall, is wide open year round. There is no insulation, and no added heat, of any kind, outside of what the birds generate themselves. And the temp of the coop is usually 10 to 15 degrees higher, than the outside. That's with NO insulation. So that blows the myth, that you need insulation to achieve higher temps in the coop.

When you insulate a coop, you have to install interior walls. Otherwise the chickens will shred, and probably eat the insulation. No good. And when you add interior walls, you give rodents, insects, including mites, and really, who knows what else, a nice hidden place to set up house for themselves. From where they can come out and harass the chickens. Bottom line, unless we are talking about some kind of thinly feathered, exotic breed, they are more than capable of handling cold temps. And they really don't need any "help" from us. Give them a well ventilated coop. Not a wind tunnel where they'll be blown all over the place. Ventilated, for max air exchange, and they will be good to go.
Hi sorry i should have included our local temps. Very cold for us is around -5F and thats usually only sustained for a couple of days. Our mild winter is typically around 17F through the winter. Im not worried about the full size chickens during the winter. We have layers and they wintered amazingly well even with our "crazy" snow (for us its crazy) 3 ft of snow. My concern is the chicks when they are little and unable to be in cold temperatures. We will provide a heat lamp for them for sure but it'll do little to help if its -5F outside. Our layer coop is not insulated, but draft free and it would get down to the same temperature inside as it was outside, even with having 65 chickens huddled up inside. I did not see an increase in temperature with the body heat of the chickens alone.
There's a lady that posts on this forum from Wyoming. She gets serious cold weather. Her coop is uninsulated, and unheated. Her birds has raised chicks in her coop, with no problems. I'm pretty sure she's posted pictures of that.

I've had winter temps down to -10F here, not including any windchill. I don't know what's going on with your coop, but like I said, my coop in the winter, always runs 10-15 degrees higher. And that can be with the birds out in the yard, with nobody in the coop. Must be the upper windows that warms it up. Wood's coop, the BEST coop your birds can have.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom