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Insulating a coop, necessary or busy work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tororider, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    As you all know the winters in MI can get a bit cold. I am wondering if it is necessary to insulate a coop? I will be building a 5'widex4'longx4'tall coop. I will make sure that it is tight, with no drafts. I am thinking about using the deep litter method. I will have four winter hardy laying hens. Do I need to insulate the coop, or will their body heat keep it plenty warm in there during the cold? Thanks for the help.
     
  2. lilshadow

    lilshadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    I live in Minnesota, and I insulated my coop. Yes, it is extra work, but I think it is worth it also. It gets very cold here.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    In your area, I think at least putting up interior walls with a dead air space would help. I did that on one coop and on another one, I used all my saved Walmart plastic bags to stuff in the airspaces. Just the airspace between inner and outer walls helps alot without buying insulation.
     
  4. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I have no problem insulating it if need be, but I have seen others say that it wasn't necessary, so I wanted to check with a forum of experts. Consensus so far seems to be for the insulation. More opinions please!
     
  5. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    I'm also wondering about this. Our plan is to build the coop inside one corner of our barn with the east and south walls being the barn walls and a bank of windows on the south wall. We live in central Ohio and it's not quite as cold as MI, but we're in the flatland and get tremendous wind coming from the west and southwest. Sometimes sustained winds of 40-50 mph.
     
  6. KrisRose

    KrisRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    I also live in SE MI. You need to insulate. I also used heavy plywood as interior walls. At the very least get the West wall insulated to protect against the wind.
    I'm sure someone will tell you its not necessary. But after this miserable long winter I am so happy that I spent the extra bucks and did it right. My girls were OK, they still have their toes, and my Roo still has his comb.
    When that wind went through this area at 50 MPH and it was bitter cold and the coop still got down to 12 deg inside. That was with a heat lamp and a flat panel heater going.
     
  7. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    Great idea about the plastic bags!
     
  8. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Dimondale
    I would definately insulate the coop. It gets mighty cold in MI...the winds are pretty cutting. And then you have a chicken that's going thru a molt during the winter, you'll be glad you have insulation!! It's worth the extra bucks!!
     
  9. NS2A

    NS2A Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Minnesota
    What types of hens do you have? That will make a difference.

    I have 3 Buff Orps which are pretty hardy. I'm in the southern part of MN and we've had a pretty cold winter, and my 8x12 shed is not insulated. The birds are fine. My next door neighbor has 25+ hens and he doesn't insulate.

    Let me ask you: did your grandma insulate her coop? Mine never did and she raised chickens all her life.

    If you want to insulate, well, its your money.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    With an uninsulated coop, will they survive? Probably yes. Will they be at all comfortable and avoid losing toes and comb parts? Maybe not. Just depends on how draft free and dry the bldg is, etc. It does not have to cost alot to add an inner wall, even thin plywood scraps/masonite will help and plastic bags saved from grocery store trips cost nothing and it keeps them out of the landfills.
     

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