Insulating the ceiling of my coop?

singwithmylife

Chirping
May 3, 2020
51
81
96
Ohio
My coop has a metal roof with one panel of opaque plastic sheeting to let in light during the day. In the inside there’s currently a layer of vapor barrier. It’s supposed to get down in the teens and even down to ten in the next few days and I’m nervous it won’t stay warm enough in there. The walls are all double insulated with radiant barrier and plastic sheeting but I wasn’t sure if I could add the radiant barrier to the roof as well. Is it ok to add it with the vapor barrier? Will it cause any problems? Right now it stays pretty much whatever temperature it is outside in there. 😢 I can’t figure out what more I can do to keep it warmer.
 

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abpatchy

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2012
1,254
3,848
416
Germany
Keeping your birds too warm is really bad for them. They will get sick. Imagine you being inside all snug and warm and then going outside in the snow without a jacket. They can't put on a jacket.
I don't see any ventilation in your coop. Even though it's cold your birds need ventilation. Check out this video ... we are all too worried about the cold. Reach into your birds feathers and you'll see how warm they are

This is my neighbors website. She is breeding orpingtons for show. Scroll down a bit. She took pictures with a thermal camera. You can see how insulated those chickens are. https://www.orpingtonzucht.de/nützliches/
 

Quailguy728

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
62
148
116
Southern Ontario
Birds are a lot more resilient than people usually give them credit for. Your coop looks like it should keep the drafts out, and the weather. Which is perfect. However, as mentioned; You're gunna want to make sure there is adequate ventilation. Pneumonia and other breathing sicknesses are the biggest thing you have to watch out for during these colder months.

I have 2 coveys of Quail in large dog crates. They're in an open barn/garage, but mostly out of the wind and snow. These little guys all came from a farm where they had a heat lamp for warmth. I kept them inside my trailer with me for a few days to help acclimate them down to winter temps. (Yes, my trailer is colder than a coop heated via heat lamps. I turn my heater off when i sleep, and it can get as cold as -7 inside. LOL :idunno) They've been outside ever since, and have seen nights as cold as -18Celcius. They hardly seem bothered. (Some are still laying even, and i didn't think they be getting enough light for that!)
 

BennieAnTheJets

Songster
5 Years
Mar 4, 2016
435
1,027
247
Virginia, USA
Super-helpful posts from abpatchy and Quailguy728!

Having said that, I hate my metal roof as well - ice cold in winter and an oven in the summer! Argh! And we paid extra for that becuase it looked so pretty and durable. Biggest mistake I made with the coop!

I actually strapped two 6' by 8' insulation sheets (taped together on the long sides) on the roof and a trap over that. Has lasted for a few years now and I need to replace it. It keeps the worst cold (from icy winds) and heat (from the sun beating on the metal) at bay. Not prettty, but it worked for me.

Coop_roof_withRainbow.jpg
 
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3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,503
26,833
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Right now it stays pretty much whatever temperature it is outside in there.

This is what it's supposed to be like -- the same temperature and humidity as outside.

Ventilation, not warmth is the important thing. Chickens generate a lot of moisture and a lot of ammonia and you need ventilation to remove both.

That said, the metal roof is the part that should be insulated rather than the walls. Not against the cold, but to prevent moisture from condensing on the metal and dripping into the coop.
 

singwithmylife

Chirping
May 3, 2020
51
81
96
Ohio
Thanks everyone! It has a ridge vent all the way across the top but I think the guys that built it did it wrong. We need to cut away some of the middle of the top boards and then it should circulate really well. I have the blankets over big cracks because it gets pretty drafty and cold right at the level of the top roosting bar without them. There are some at the front of the coop that are wide open though and let a decent amount of air in.

I’ve been monitoring humidity carefully. The vapor barrier keeps any condensation out so that’s a major win. They are only six to nine week old birds. Mostly nine weeks with a six week old and four seven week olds. I put a space heater in there initially and slowly lowered the temp each day until it was the same as outside and never running and then took it away. They’re still sleeping on the floor instead of the roosting bars so I’m really worried that will steal their heat. It’s sand. I put a short little set of roosting bars on the floor from their brooder to try to encourage them but still no go. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I’m sure I’m over worrying but I’ve never lived somewhere so cold before.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,542
143,331
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have the blankets over big cracks because it gets pretty drafty and cold right at the level of the top roosting bar without them.
There are ways to baffle the vents to reduce or redirect any strong drafts.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/ventilation-baffling.75434/

I’ve been monitoring humidity carefully. The vapor barrier keeps any condensation out so that’s a major win.
Think you must mean humidity rather than condensation.
Most the humidity comes from the birds themselves....but with adequate ventilation the temps and humidity should be about the same inside and outside the coop.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,503
26,833
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
They’re still sleeping on the floor instead of the roosting bars so I’m really worried that will steal their heat. It’s sand. I put a short little set of roosting bars on the floor from their brooder to try to encourage them but still no go.

How about giving them a nice pile of shavings to sleep in instead of the sand?
 

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