Insulating chicken coop for cold Alberta winters.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ryley, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Ryley

    Ryley Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2013
    Hi there, I'm a newbie on the forum, but have been doing a bit of browsing over the past few days.

    My husband and I have recently moved, and inherited a chicken coop at our new home with 16 Isa Brown hens.
    The coop is wood framed, with wood slats inside and out (so no exposed framing on the inside, however we don't believe there is any insulation in the wall interiors). Approx 10x20 feet. The owners before us insulated it, by stacking square straw bales along the perimeter walls. It seemed to have worked, because the hens are all 5+ years old.
    We decided to do a clean sweep of the coop yesterday and emptied the coop of all the bails to replace them, and give the girls a nice fresh start before winter comes. However, the deeper we got into it, the worse it got. The bails were packed with mouse tunnels, and nests, and we believe maybe even a weasel has been living in there, and there were many eggs packed in between the bails (although we've never lost a chicken).

    From a sanitary point of view, we would like to try something different than straw bails for insulation now, but aren't particularly eager to reframe the inside of the coop.

    We have been considering just adhering rigid insulation to the perimeter walls, and putting some plywood over it. It might not be pretty, but could it work? We're not sure of what R value we should be aiming for, for our coop. I know that some people say coops don't require insulation, but we can have weeks of nearly -40C weather here in the winter sometimes. We will definitely have a heat lamp on in there to keep the water thawed, but how much more should we do?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AK Baha

    AK Baha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Drill a small hole and see if there is any insulation.If not you can use foam insulation and spray it into the walls.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  3. Ryley

    Ryley Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply AK Baha.
    By foam insulation, what type of product do you mean? Is this something you can buy in a can, or something we would need to have someone come in and do?
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Expanding foam spray is what he's talking about, but that is EXPENSIVE for a building the size of yours.
    It's roughly $2 per Sq FT

    I'd just put up styrofoam sheets on the INSIDE, and cover it with cheap paneling or 1/4" plywood.
    Unless you live in a VERY cold climate, insulation isn't really needed anyway

    Also, I'd attach it with screws rather than trying to "adhere" it to those wooden walls
    You'd only need a few to hold it since it's not structural at all
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  5. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know if it would make any difference, but check out the link below. It's an old book on open air coops from almost 100yrs ago. You can read in it, about chickens being kept in -40 temps, in open air coops. The chickens have great insulation of their own. They really don't need any help from us for the cold. They have evolved, and are built to handle it.

    http://archive.org/stream/openairpoultryho00wood#page/n0/mode/2up
     
  6. AK Baha

    AK Baha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]You can get it in a box with a gun.Cans would be very expensive.Not sure how many sq ft a box will do.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Here's the coverage specs for the spray:

    FROTH-PAK[​IMG] Foam Sealant Portable kits(1)
    Product Theoretical Yield(2), bd ft (m3 )
    FROTH-PAK[​IMG] 12 12 (0.028)
    FROTH-PAK[​IMG] 120 120 (.28)
    FROTH-PAK[​IMG] 200 200 (.47)
    FROTH-PAK[​IMG] 620 620 (1.46)

    The one you pictured is about $45 worth and is (I think) the smallest.
    Larger one's were @ $300+
    http://building.dow.com/na/en/products/insulation/frothpak.htm
     
  8. Ryley

    Ryley Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info on the spray insulation! That is probably out of our budget for the coop, but would be an ideal solution otherwise!
    Bear Foot Farm, that is exactly what my husband was thinking as a solution. I think we are leaning towards that. I am researching what thickness of styrofoam we should use.
    And Jack E thanks for sharing that awesome link. I am going to sit down this evening and have a read.
     

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