Insulation Ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bushastead, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Bushastead

    Bushastead In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2019
    Winter is coming!!
    And I would like to know ways I can insulate my coop without having to use a heat lamp. Or is a heat lamp a must? I love in Colorado so it can get pretty cold sometimes.
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    You need to read up on ventilation. That is the MOST important part. Insulation does not do as much if there is no heat added. Each chicken produces little heat to warm the coop. They fluff up and keep the heat to themselves. Drafts are the most important to eliminate.
    Depending on the breed of your chicken,,, many will tolerate the cold OK. If you have chickens that are less cold-hardy, you may need to resort to some supplemental heat. I suggest only supplementing the minimum. If chickens are in too warm of a coop, then when they go outdoors, the temperature difference creates a shock. NO GOOD..
    Post some pix of your coop, and some info on number and breed of chickens.
    A HEAT LAMP, is something not very recommended.
    This is a better/safer option.
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and:welcome
  3. BDutch

    BDutch Songster

    May 19, 2015
    the Netherlands
    My Coop
    @Bushastead, please tell us more about you're winters, the size of you're coop and run. The number of chickens and how coldharded they are.

    E.g. 6 of my small bantams prefer (in summer and winter) to stay in a coop with the south side completely open. From spring till autumn there are two 1x2 foot ventilation openings open under the board where the chickens roost. If temperatures get below freezing I close the extra ventilation to avoid cold.
    Two bantams prefer staying in a warmer cabin with only a pop door and 2 small ventilation openings under the roof for ventilation. 1 opening and the pop door are open all the time.
    They can choose where they want to sleep. But do not change places in winter. Sometimes the winters here have up to - 15°celcius in the night and -10°C in daytime.

    Chickens are birds. They can have a lot of cold if they get used to it. But do avoid moisture in combination with cold.

    Chickens even can adapt from generation to generation to more cold.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    Mybackyardpeepers likes this.
  4. Bushastead

    Bushastead In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2019
    Thank you so much for the information!
    I have seven silkie chickens that are 4 months old. They still snuggle every night so I would like to think they are keeping warm but I am not sure.
    I got the coop from big was the more expensive one because we were worried about the winter.
    Attached are some pictures. I can take better ones after work.

    Attached Files:

    cavemanrich likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    They snuggle at night because they like the company, not because they are trying to keep warm.
    aart likes this.
  6. quackersandfern

    quackersandfern Chirping

    Sep 6, 2016
    West Palm Beach, FL
  7. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Here is a partial list of COLD HARDY CHICKENS.
    Bantam Brahma
    Buff Orpington
    Easter Egger
    Jersey Giant
    New Hampshire Red
    Plymouth Rock
    Rhode Island Red
    Note that list does not include SILKIE:(
    Below are Copy n Paste from online..

    Some particulars may vary breed-to-breed, for instance Silkies and frizzle-feathered chickens are less cold hardy. The above points will certainly give you a safe place to work from.Sep 15, 2019
    Cold Weather Chicken-Keeping Tips - Urban Coop Company ... › winter-cold-weather-chicken-keeping-tips

    How do you take care of silkie chickens in the winter?
    Depending on your climate, consider using heat lamps during the winter season, to keep your silkie chickens warm. Heat lamps will also help to keep water in the coop from freezing. Keep your coop well ventilated and the water supply full during the summer months to prevent dehydration.Aug 11, 2017
    How to Care for Silkie Chickens | Animals - › how-to-care-for-silkie-chickens-2878892

    Above states HEAT LAMPS,,, :( But I recommend the SAFER ALTERNATIVE.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd worry more about ventilation in your coop and snow and wind proofing your run.
    Pics of your coop all around and inside and out might help us help you evaluate your ventilation.
    This might help you understand more:

    I believe CO is pretty dry(low humidity) and that helps.

    Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
  9. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    It would be nice to put a steeply sloped roof on that run, to keep the snow out.

    Then I would put a huge wired opening on the side of the coop now protected by the run roof.

    Lots of bedding for the Silkies to snuggle in, and tada, all ready for winter.
  10. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    Hello and welcome! I'm also in Colorado at about 10,000 feet up in the mountains. It's been windy and snowy here for the past week or two already. I've had my chickens and ducks up here for a few years now. I neither heat nor insulate my coops. I find the wind to be the biggest problem, followed by the snow, and lastly the cold. The birds really don't seem to mind the cold much and I always put their food and water outside and they come out pretty much every day of the year (barring ground blizzards). They will come out on days when there is fresh snow, but tend to stare nervously through the window for awhile first. I just put the food dish near their ramp to lure them out and once they realize the snow won't kill them they hang out outside. They seem to have re-learn that snow isn't deadly on a near daily basis. They hate the wind however. It doesn't matter the temperature, when the wind gets howling the birds hide in their coop. So my biggest advice is to make sure your coop is free of drafts. Make sure your door is not on a side that faces into the prevailing winds, so you don't have the wind blowing in the coop door all day every day. Make sure there is a wind block of some sort in the run. I like to have a wind block right by their ramp out of their coop so that when they are first checking the weather in the morning they have some shelter, then I feel they are more likely to come out. I also try to keep the food/water behind the wind block. I have learned that the intense UV at high altitude really destroys plastic so wrapping the run in plastic doesn't work well, bowls/containers/rubbermade bins etc. tend to get brittle and shatter eventually. My flocks have secure runs so in summer they can go in and out of their coops at will, 24/7, but in winter I lock them in their coops at night, mostly to eliminate a draft from the door. It was windy last night and my ducks were being quite noisy and they got quiet as soon as I went and shut their door and they were more protected. Also, as others have mentioned, lots of dry bedding. If a cold front is coming through I'll add a few inches of fresh bedding in the coops. I think that's all I've got for now ;) feel free to ask any questions!
    cavemanrich likes this.

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