1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Does ANYBODY out there insulate their duck house?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Fawn and Fam, May 18, 2013.

  1. Fawn and Fam

    Fawn and Fam Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    7
    93
    Apr 2, 2013
    I can't find anyone who insulates their duck house (mine will be for Muscovy only). I live in lower Michigan and get very cold winters. If it is recommended to insulate your chicken coop, then why not the duck house? Believe me, I 'd rather not (more work & $) but want to do what is necessary, but hate to do it if it's totally unnecessary. Please tell me your opinion [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  2. duckins

    duckins Chillin' With My Peeps

    378
    26
    113
    Dec 29, 2012
    Gladys, Va
    I've heard of people packing straw bails around there duck house for wind protection. Ducks are very cold hardy mine want to swim and play in snow but need a dry warm area to. Personally even though some say its not necessary I provide a low wattage light for mine on bitter cold nights I'm in va and our temps are setting records if it colder than 15 f I believe you all get way colder than that. My ducks do use their warm house on those really cold nights plus it makes me feel better knowing they have the option. I thought I read somewhere Muscovies are not as cold hardy as some of the other breeds.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    22,863
    1,825
    468
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I built a double-walled shelter and filled the gap with vermiculite and perlite. I used those because they are minerals and do not burn, and do not mold, and do not gas off. I also put in a three panel clear plastic drop ceiling to further insulate, because there are large gaps covered with metal half inch hardware cloth at the top, so that there is good ventilation. The panels can be moved to either close the ceiling entirely, or open it up for more air in warmer months.

    The shelter does stay a bit warmer than the outside (I also fitted it with an indoor-outdoor thermometer). And it would have been fine if my runners had read the books that say ducks are cold-hardy. But they did not.

    I want my ducks to thrive, not just survive in winter, and they were not thrivin'.

    So I had to choose between trying to heat their shelter, or making them a new one in the walkout basement. It was much less expensive to do the latter.

    They can still use the original shelter in the spring summer and fall if I want to. And it stays 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside, but when my runners (who do not huddle together no matter how cold it gets) are below 35 degrees F overnight, their health suffers.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    7,531
    338
    293
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    No, and neither is my chicken coop. I probably have natural forms of insulation based upon the materials used but otherwise, no. Again, i get cold, i'm in Canada.
     
  5. HouseMouseHens

    HouseMouseHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    245
    19
    91
    Jul 31, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    I am not insuluating my duck house, and my chicken coop isn't either, though the way it's built it's probably self insulating. I would say that unless you get in the negatives, you are probably fine not insulating.
     
  6. Fawn and Fam

    Fawn and Fam Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    7
    93
    Apr 2, 2013
    Thanks everyone.

    @Amiga: I was planning on using regular rolled insulation for my new chicken coop. Is that bad and could you tell me why exactly? I too want my Muscovy to thrive winter, not just survive. I just didn't want to do something unnecessary. Do you have pics you could post, I can't quite picture the drop ceiling panels. I KNOW my hubby would not be willing to share part of our home w/ them, lol! Besides our basement is a finished basement and not a walk out [​IMG]
     
  7. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,818
    218
    218
    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    I totally insulate all of my birds buildings. Maine Winters can be miserable like yours and I would much rather be safe than sorry. The buildings for my ducks and geese is insulated with the fiberglass insulation and then covered over with OSB, caulked and painted. They have a 2' x 4' area in the front building that is covered with rubberized hardware cloth and their feed and water is available for them inside during the bad months. This 'water porch' area needs to be expanded to better accommodate the water issues, but I'll get that done this summer. Since my buildings are up off the ground I also went around the bottom of these with plastic to form a wind break. All winter, even when it was -20 to -30, I didn't have frozen water in any of my houses. When it was in the minus range I would run a single heat lamp in the goose/duck house. It kept 168 sq. ft. between 33 and 38 degrees, depending on how hard the wind was blowing. Chicken house, 288 sq. ft., one heat lamp in the front corner room, and a 100 watt bulb in the back. their building stayed between 34 and 42 degrees even when it was minus 30 with the winds screaming. With talking with other people in my area, I found I used about half the feed they did to keep twice as many birds alive and well during last winter's cold. I would never not insulate, the Winters here can just be too brutal to think about my birds trying to tough it out and survive.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    22,863
    1,825
    468
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I won't say rolled insulation is bad. But I saw what rolled insulation can get like after a few years, and . . . well . . . it was yucky. Some slid down the wall so it was only in 2/3 of the wall, some got mousy and kinda moldy. I have seen people use sheets of foam for insulation, but if that gets hot (from a burning plywood wall, for example) it gases off deadly fumes. So. It was more expensive but I don't worry about mold or fumes and the R value seemed pretty good.

    Lest you think that I think that what I used is perfect, [​IMG] last summer I had to execute some yellow jackets that had found a way to get between the walls, so there was enough room for them probably in the top inch or three after the vermiculite settled to make a nest. I hate killing things, but they had to go. My lessons were, consider caulking (I thought things were tight enough not to need to), and accept that the unexpected happens and must be dealt with.
     
  9. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,818
    218
    218
    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    Wow, I've never had those problems with the rolled insulation. Since I'm always changing something here, lol, I had many an oppurtunity through the years to take out walls and see the stuff and the only time I ever saw any type of damage to the fiberglass was when there was a water leak because of a roofing screw being missing. I don't doubt you Amiga, just never seen it but the one time.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    22,863
    1,825
    468
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Oh, it is true that some of us run into the least likely scenarios. With me, it's fiberglass insulation. As I wrote, nothing bad about it, I just have seen too much of what can go wrong.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by