Insulating the Coop Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 3 girls chickens, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. 3 girls chickens

    3 girls chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2008
    I live in MA and i just built a 6x8 coop for 12 chickens. Do i need to insulate the walls. if i use regular insulation do i then have to put wall material up or can i just leave the insulation exposed. also would it be better to use the rigid styrofoam insulation. Im trying to avoid having to use wall material in the coop.
     
  2. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    it seems to me that yes, you would need to insulate. But I live in CA, so I can not answer your building questions, just bumping this up!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    We are in Massachusetts too, and we put up rigid insulation with barnboard nailed on over it. The barnboard was given to us and seemed perfect to cover the insulation.

    I think you'd want the insulation covered because the chickens will probably peck at it and eat it. Chickens have a great affinity for styrofoam products too. (Just ask the owner of this BYC site.)
     
  4. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i'd certainly insulate and if you insulate, you have to sheath the walls, too, or the birds will undo all your work.
     
  5. 3 girls chickens

    3 girls chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks for the info i guess there is no way around it
     
  6. La Banan

    La Banan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Hey 3 Girls,
    I might be the odd chick out but I don't agree. I don't think you have to insulate. I live in Nova Scotia and our winters can be quite snowy and cold. I had chickens before and I'll have them soon again and I am not going to insulate. Dry and draft free is important but domestic hens especially of the heritage or dual-purpose are hardy and can keep warm with their lovely down-filled coats. You might consider making sure they have nice flat roosts so they can cover their toesies with their fluff but insulate - I say heck no! I am trying to not have $50 eggs - electricity, insulation, heaters, - this is what I'm trying to avoid - industrial agriculture. Oh boy ( I mean oh girls) I could get ranty here. So I'll stop right now. Brrrrup!
    La Banan
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I have an old henhouse with large gaps between the boards that had been covered over with strips of tar paper. There are two large windows that cover one whole side of the coop and I have cut another in the opposite wall but high up on the wall. My hens did very well in the cold weather, as the old fellow who built the building also built frames covered with plastic for the windows. I have been collecting thick cardboard boxes from different places. I am going to insulate with these on the walls. It costs me nothing but roofing tacks and insulates very well. Now, to cover the cracks in the old, warped floor..... [​IMG] The hens had no problems this winter without all the extras but it will keep things cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, so I'm for it! Good luck!
     
  8. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:depending on what part of MA the OP is from, his/her winter might be significantly worse than yours in nova scotia. i know for sure that my vermont winters are worse and not insulating would be a ticket to losing my chickens, which would be a terrible return on my investment and could lead to $50 eggs for sure! i don't plan on going into debt for my chicken coop. i've got found insulation, both fiberglass wool and rigid foam, and found lumber for sheathing. it's amazing what people throw away, seriously.

    Beekissed, you're so lucky to have a mild climate where that works! [​IMG]
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in Nova Scotian too and unlike La Banan we decided to insulate. We're in a hilly part of the province with high winds and bitter winters. Friends of ours who have raised chickens on the south shore have not insulated but their coop is adjacent to their horse stable and shares a wall so heat from there benefits the hens. Ours is built within a barn.

    Since we began building in February we had every indicator of how bad it could get here! The bonus is that we are in hot humid weather now and the coop is far cooler than the rest of the barn. Our design is in my home page below. There are some quirky rules about installing insulation and we tried to cover them with our pics. We don't plan on heating the coop, though we kept a brooder lamp in case we need it for a sick hen.

    I think what you need to ask yourself is whether your particular circumstances mandate insulation, and how to cover it so the birds don't ingest it. A question as important as the comfort of the birds- would I want to work in there this winter? Whichever choice you make you'll probably need a metal waterer with an electric heating stand for your winters. If there is a power failure (we get lots) I plan to bring water from the house. We have a generator so working the well is always possible.

    The nice thing is that you're considering all this ahead of time. Want to discuss biosecurity? Heh. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  10. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Insulate if you can, but if you do protect it with board, your chickens will eat it otherwise.
     

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