Insulation in coop / run rotation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dragonflydreamsfarm, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. dragonflydreamsfarm

    dragonflydreamsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Northeast TN
    We need a coop, but are pretty tied up in terms of time so we were looking at prebuilt sheds as a starting point.

    Unfortunately the "best" option locally is built with pressure treated walls and floor. These chickens are being raised organically so that poses a problem. It is acceptable to use the pressure treated lumber as structural as long as the animals have no access. Even ACQ pressure treating is not currently allowed.

    So I was planning on lining the inside with some kind of untreated plywood and glasbord for the flooring. If I'm going to panel the inside anyway should I go ahead and put a few runs of insulation in there? Obviously I've got to cut lots of ventilation holes, but those will be framed in so it wouldn't expose the hens to the insulation.

    Also since I'm asking something already, what is everyone's opinion of run rotation? I can't easily move a tractor out in the field every day to give them fresh pasture, but I could easily setup 6 different runs and shift them weekly. Would that actually help keep the grass from being killed off?
     
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Why not set up a large movable coop in the pasture. Install movable elect fencing?
     
  3. countrychix

    countrychix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2010
    Frewsburg, NY
    I would go ahead and insulate if you will be paneling it anyway. The insulation will help maintain heat in the winter, though it may not be a huge concern depending on where you live, but will also help to keep it cooler in the summer. We just built our coop and it gets so hot in there that it's nearly unbearable even with ample ventilation. I have a fan running constantly but it doesn't do enough. Of course it doesn't help that there is no shade. When the chicks are a little older so that they all can be housed together (different ages/sizes) we will be moving some partitions around and add insulation then. I wish we had done it during construction.

    Sorry, I can't help you on the run question.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Honestly in TN I would probably not bother insulating, myself, unless you're way up in the mts or something like that. OTOH it's not like it would hurt, so if you FEEL like it, sure, go ahead [​IMG]

    Rotating runs will definitely help prolong the life of the vegetation (whether it will do so enough to prevent it from all going to dirt over time depends on how many chickens in how much space on what soil), although it is also a LOT more fencing to do. Don't rotate on a timed schedule, rotate according to the observed effect of the chickens on the vegetation in the run they're currently in. You will probably want one of the runs (possibly a yard directly attached to the coop, from which the other runs open off) to be a sort of "sacrifice yard" that the chickens always have access to even if none of the grass runs is in good enough shape for occupancy at the moment. This sacrifice yard can have mud-resistant improved footing, such as sand or roadbase or gravel, to keep it from getting nasty.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. dragonflydreamsfarm

    dragonflydreamsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Northeast TN
    Sorry I realize now that we didn't provide all the details. I went ahead and filled in our profile also, but we're in north-east TN (outside Elizabethton [near the tri-cities]).

    We've got 18 baby Blue Andelusians (layers) in a converted rabbit hutch brooder in the basement. They are still only 9 days old, but the brooder is only 7.5 sq ft so I'll need more space soon enough (thus the prefab idea). Because we've got 18 I was looking at a 8'x10' or 8'x12' coops. I've not really seen a lot of designs (really only the way too much $$$ HenSpa HenHotel ($5k)) that can be easily mobile and still be that large. There are a bunch of other factors, bigger pasture is being used by someone else non-organically is a big one, but the biggest issue with using a portable coop/tractor is time, something that big will take a lot more time to move than a smaller person movable tractor.

    Where we're planning on putting the coop should have early morning and late evening sun, but for most of the day should have decent shade from a large sprawling willow nearby. We have a fairly large temp swing from summer to winter so both heat and cold will be factors.

    We were planning on an open area with sand for dust baths that all the other lots open into. That way we only needed the single chicken door/ramp. The "extra" lots are going to be around 200 sq ft each.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010

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