insulation advice needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sharol, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    This is a view of the inside of my girls' coop. They have been in it since October, and last winter was brutal. I really need to insulate the single steel panel sides. As you can see there are 2x4 supporting structures that as of now I'm using to support the roosts and a (not shown) feeding table. There are 3 windows plus a roof ridge vent the length of the coop, and it really vents well. I don't want to interfere with the ventilation, but I have to do something about the cold walls.


    My tentative plan is to use 1" blue styrofoam insulation between the studs and then cover the walls between the studs with something. I looked at 3/8" plywood (and 1/4" plywood) yesterday, and as we were wandering around Lowes, my husband spotted the wall paneling that is used to panel below chair rails -- little grooves every 2 or 3 inches that run vertically. It has a vinyl finish that might be more resistant to poop stains. I'm still leaning toward the plywood (painted with glossy outdoor paint of course), but my DH is lobbying for the lighter weight stuff. It appears to be only 1/8" thick or so and looks like it is some sort of pressed board under the coating.

    My plan is not to insulate the ceiling completely since a good deal of the ventilation is up there. Too much sometimes, I had some snow in the coop that had come in through the ceiling vent, but that was only once and during a blizzard.

    There are gaps between the metal siding and the framing lumber at floor level, and I've worried about rodents getting in, so that is also where some of the ventilation was coming from, I'm just not sure how to handle that either. I toyed with the idea of stuffing the holes with crumbled up chicken wire so that it wouldn't interfere with the air flow and would keep the undesirables out, but my insulation will mess with the ventilation anyway so maybe a more permanent filler is in order.

    I'm going to get a Sweeter Heater for overhead so I don't have to use the red heat lamp (made me nervous all winter) hooked into a thermocube. I just want the girls to be more comfortable, and -10 isn't comfortable by any standards.

    Does anyone have any better ideas? I have to do something better for the girls this winter.
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    According to my hubby...[​IMG] he suggests using the Celotex insulation, 1/2 foam sheathing. It is foil covered and cuts well with a razor knife. You can attach it to the walls with liquid nails or silcone calk. If they start to peck at it, you could then buy some cheap paneling and apply that over the insulation.

    As far as the ceiling, I wouldn't insulate it with much. Let the heat from the chickens rise and go out the roof. At floor level, I would close off all holes to keep out the creeping things. You would be better off with vents halfway up than coming from the floor, especially during the winter when all you will be doing is sucking all the heat out with vent at the floor level.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    My advice on insulating a coop? Don't do it.

    If you want to avoid cold for your own comfort, then I suspect a plywood interior would suffice. If you have trouble with heat, you can add radiant barrier foil bubble wrap.

    But really, chickens are miniature space heaters. Keep them dry and the winter will be fine, though you might need to keep the water warm.

    Summer is a bigger risk to chickens. Radiant barrier or shade cloth can make a 10 degree difference, which can save a chicken's life.

    Check out patandchickens' pages on ventilation and winterizing.

    Check out Gallo del Cielo's page on extreme heat.
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't bother with insulating, focus on blocking out the drafts so you can control the ventilation.
  5. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    We haven't been thru our 1st winter with our birds yet, but as of this point we are very happy that we took the time to insulate our metal shed.
    We used foam board insulation under plywood after sealing any holes/seams/possible leaks with "The Stuff" (expandable foam spray insulation).
    I have photos on my byc page.
    Good luck!

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