Insulating my coop ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jaj121159, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am converting an old shed to a 16'x10' coop. Living in Nebraska with some colder weather I was thinking about insulating the walls. What's the best inexpensive way to insulate? Do you cover the insulation with plywood or some other material? Is there an insulation like foil covered for example that doesn't need an interior wall to cover it and the chickens don't peck at? Any tips, ideas or suggestions will be much appreciated.

    John
     
  2. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens peck at everything! If you are going to insulate, you must cover the insulation with plywood (not sheet rock). I haven't priced the various materials used for insulation, but I know there is the foam board type and the fiberglass type. The foam maybe easier to work with, but the traditional fiberglass insulation may be the best for your circumstances.

    The "R" value is the key to selection.

    I'm now trying to update an old coop that I inherited with our house and I am in the same boat as to what type of insulation. Our winters are sometimes mild, then we get the blizzard types. Good luck!
     
  3. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Insulating your coop will make a big difference, the chickens will thank you for it. Last fall I insulated one of my old coops and I am really glad I did. We had a very very cold winter. I kept one of those wireless temp gauges in the coop so I could monitor it from the house, I only had one heat lamp with a 100 watt bulb in a big 8x8 wood shed and my water was never frozen, even on the coldest nights. That was a first. I used the pink fiberglass batting and screwed leftover OSB board to cover it. I just finished insulating another coop and I have one more to do before winter comes around again. It is a good investment.
     
  4. Lisa Foss

    Lisa Foss Out Of The Brooder

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    I raise sheep and have lots of scrap fleece, not good enough to send in for cleaning and roving. I was planning on using the fleece, covering it with tyvex then placing Luann over that. I know wool is a good insulator and the luann is nice and smooth so I don't anticipate any issues. I live just outside Buffalo,NY where our winters get to single digits in January. I'd like to use the stuff I have instead of buying fiberglass. Does this sound feasible?
     
  5. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Buffalo - You could pile up all that snow against the walls. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You'd have to have a *powerful* lot o' fleece to insulate effectively -- it's not really going to be worth putting less than a 3-4" thickness in there, and that's "reasonably packed" not "stretched out as far as possible" [​IMG] I would expect it will turn into a moth ranch, and you'd want the carpentry to be good n tight so you don't get mice moving in.

    As far as inexpensive insulation, the best thing I know of is to make a habit of asking stores if they have any styrofoam packing they're wantin' to get rid of. A lot of merchandise comes in boxes with styrofoam in them -- either molded, or just plain flat sheets -- and since stores have to pay for dumpster space a lot of them are happy to have someone relieve them of the stuff, especially if you explain you are trying to insulate a chicken coop on a budget. Again, you need tight carpentry, because if mice move into a wall containing styrofoam insulation, whoa nellie it makes a mess -- leetle tiny white balls of styrofoam *all over creation*. But it insulates well, and if you are a good scrounger (and scrounge yer plywood or panelling to cover it, too) it can be FREE [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. 1_FnkyFrm

    1_FnkyFrm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you use hay?
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    While it is certainly *possible*, technically-speaking, to pack hay or straw or shavings or dried leaves or crumbled newspapers or whatever into the wall space and call it insulation, it actually doesn't have very much insulating VALUE, especially after a year or two of moistening, settling and getting moldy.

    If you're going to do it, I'd advocate doing it in a way that will more or less last a reasonable while *and* provide some reasonable insulation value. Otherwise it is a lot of work for not a lot of benefit (potentially some harm, if you get too much mold and rot goin' in there).

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  9. texandziggy

    texandziggy New Egg

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    I live in northern Vermont. I'm currently building a coop and it will be insulated because our winters can get VERY cold. Our winters are probably very similar to yours. The best and cheapest way to insulate is with fiberglass insulation. It comes faced and unfaced -- faced is only slightly more expensive and is easier to work with. Where I live, a roll of faced R-21 insulation is about $40. One roll will do approximately 100 sq. ft.. R-21 is plenty good for a coop -- what's in the walls of your house in Nebraska is probably about the same (although what's in your attic is probably more than twice that).

    If the walls of your shed are studded, and you buy faced insulation, you simply need to lay it between the studs and staple the facing to the studs to hold it in place. It's pretty easy.

    Insulation board, such as Thermax, is very expensive. It comes in 4x8 sheets, equaling 32 sq. ft. For 1" Thermax, expect to pay about as much as you would for a roll of fiberglass. This means it's about three times as expensive, and won't insulate nearly as well. 1" Thermax will only give you an R-Value of 6.5, which is obviously much less than R-21.

    Either way, you will need to finish off the interior walls to keep the chickens from pecking at the insulation -- either plywood or pressboard which is cheaper but kinda ugly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010

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