Importance of Insulating a Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hydestone, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. hydestone

    hydestone In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2010
    Is it really necessary to insulate a coop? I have 6 chickens and live in MA where we have some really cold winters. The coop is made of 2x4 framing with plywood sheathing, 30# felt and clapboards. Do I really need to insulate it? I put some hay in there figuring they can nestle down in that to keep warm if needed. The floor is elevated and is plywood.

    I thought about adding some plywood to the bottom few feet on the interior side of the walls and figured I could pack the cavity with hay. Any problems with using hay for insualtion?
  2. Eastins Eggs

    Eastins Eggs Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    Ceresco Nebraska
    Hay would be a fire hazard as well as a place for mice and rats to hide. As long as your coop is free of drafts and has good ventilation your chickens should do just fine.
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    My coop is not insulated, and it gets below zero here in the winter. Never had a problem. Just like the previous poster said, no drafts and good ventilation is important.
  4. hydestone

    hydestone In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2010
    How do you eliminate drafts and maintain good ventilation at the same time? When you say ventilation, are you referring to internal ventilation or do you mean air changes?
  5. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    I live in Virginia and We have fairly cold winter's too.The bird's should be ok since they have a floor.I have 3 concrete floor coops and one wooden one.The wall's are not insulated.I have raised serama's, OEGB,Silkie's and frizzles.I keep a good little bed of hay in pen's or nest boxes winter and they have always done fine.People with off ground runs with air circulating usualy have more problem's.Some bird's can withstand cold better than other's.My serama pair would be out in snow foraging around [​IMG]. I was told they were not cold weather hardy.I had that pair almost 6 years.My OEGB's etc. will roost anyway in rafter's and I have a couple of Dummy Gold sebright's still now roosting in tree at night.I figure they will eventualy figure out it's warmer inside.They are this year's bird's too so..You can surely put up something on wall's, underneath etc. if you want.Will make the bird's a little more comfy for sure.Depend's on your budget but as long as they are out of the element's they should do just fine.
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:Air changes. You have to remove moisture from the coop. You want it to be naturally ventilated, but without strong drafts on the birds. Generally a few small vents up high in the coop does the job.
  7. old geezer

    old geezer Songster

    Sep 2, 2010
    cambridge , ny
    [​IMG]--i myself have not insulated , but allowed good venting with min-draft area ,pine shavings on floor of an elevated coop with an area just right to keep the birds comfy-- and all my hens are suposed to be winter hardy ------and if they do get cold , {{{{{ and i hope not}}}}-- as this is my first experience with my own birds and structure designs ----i keep wondering---back in the old days that i remember , when winters were much more sevre than now , i am talking with sub-zero temp for days on end , big winds and snow drift s up to a second story window , hens ran free , lived in somewhat desirable barns ,ramshackles coops etc. ---somewhere's down the line---did our hens go soft like us ?----but i will say this ---i love me birds--first sign they are having trouble with the cold and i'am stringing an electrical line to the coop for some heat
  8. hydestone

    hydestone In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2010
    I think I will leave it uninsulated.

    My coop has a sloped roof wth no ridge. The roof is constructed of 2x4 rafters, plywood, 30# felt and asphalt shingles. On the fascias of the low end and upper end of the slope, I attached hardware cloth. I figured air would enter from the low end and draft along the bottom side of the sheathing and go out the high part. The rest of the coop is pretty tight. Basically, I have 3.5" x 4' of free area for ventilation. Is this too much?
  9. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
  10. hydestone

    hydestone In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2010
    Great site Elmo, thanks. My coop has hardware cloth ventilation on 2 sides and operable windows on the other 2 sides. Each ventilated side has only 1.16 sf of free area x 2 = 2.32 SF of total ventialtion for 6 chickens...I probably need a little more.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: