Insulation & predator proofing ideas for my new coop? 3 Pics

bantyshanty

Oval Office Courier
10 Years
Oct 6, 2009
568
14
141
S.W Pennsylvania
This modified A-frame tractor-coop, called "Nolia's Ark" after our oldest pullet Magnolia. It will be housing 4 silkie hens,
and it's constructed of 100% black locust, locally milled.
--Yes, it's been sanded, dusted & hosed down to get rid of the fine sawdust.

My question is: do the gaps in the walls pose a problem next winter in SW PA?
Is the insulation we're going to do enough? What about the small gaps where the door frame meets, etc.?
Here's the insulation we'll be doing so far:

The ceiling will be insulated with 1/2" sheets of styrofoam & some leftover plain pine wainscoting .
The hardware cloth --proportionally huge--windows will be covered with lucite panes at night, and insulated pine inserts in the coldest of winter.

The triangular gaps on top of the triangle doors will be of metal grill-work. They're our vents in winter. They're about 3.5" each side.

The entire interior is 5 feet long by 32" wide, and the walls slope outward toward the top.
This coop will be sitting on our wooded hillside just above & behind our house, at the edge of a small forest.
Does the upper coop part seem predator proof? We have no foxes or rats, just raccoons so far.

42508_nolias_ark_3-4_view.jpg

42508_p3090538.jpg

42508_p3090542.jpg


The big hole in the floor of the third picture will have two locust trap-doors that latch from the inside, leading to the gangplank.
There will be one nest box inside & plastic trays with 1-2" pine shavings
The gaps in the wood roof will be covered.
 
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annie3001

My Girls
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
4,313
21
223
Ct.
looks like it will be fine. i think you have really cold winters as we do in ct.
will you be using a heat lamp source at all? if so, is the coop big enough where you can hang it.
i am not good at the measuring part but having your vechicle there in the picture gave me a better (picture idear) in my head.
Other than that, good job!
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oh as i was reading again your post question, yeah it looks like its predator safe.
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Montana-Hens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
320
8
143
Buxton, Montana
Love your coop.

If you have any kind of wind, I would think that the little gaps would create draft. Not sure what kind of winters you have, so can't say about that. Here in Montana insulation is required.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
336
341
Ontario, Canada
That's a neat design!
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Quote:
If you apply insulation all over the inside, that will block nearly all of those gaps so drafts will not be a problem. I would suggest putting a sheet of something very waterproof between insulation and roof, because I am pretty sure that your roof will eventually begin to leak and you don't want that going into the insulation.

Any that remain, e.g. where the door meets doorframe, can either be weatherstripped *inside* the joint where chickens can't peck at it, or just add external battens that close against the edge of the doorframe to eliminate egregious drafts.

The hardware cloth --proportionally huge--windows will be covered with lucite panes at night, and insulated pine inserts in the coldest of winter.
The triangular gaps on top of the triangle doors will be of metal grill-work. They're our vents in winter. They're about 3.5" each side.

Be careful with that... with only 4 silkies and *excellent* sanitation, it *might* work out ok to have only one tiny triangular vent open during cold weather... but IMO there is a pretty good chance it will be inadequate. Silkies may not have the large combs and long wattles that some chickens do, but can still get frostbite and suffer from respiratory disease. I would be unsurprised if you find you need to enlarge your wintertime ventilation. Remember you will often only be able to have it open on the downwind side.

This coop will be sitting on our wooded hillside just above & behind our house, at the edge of a small forest.
Does the upper coop part seem predator proof? We have no foxes or rats, just raccoons so far.

There are more foxes than you might think in SW PA, also coyotes and loose dogs.

It might be ok, I dunno. How is it all attached together? My concern is that it seems to be made of rather small thin wood without much backing it up. No way to be sure without being there, but looking at the pics I get the impression that I could rip the roof slats off without much trouble; and the structure where the sides meet the ends does not look real strong either. What's done is done, though, and of course I could perfectly well be wrong anyhow
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-- just do the best you can and hopefully they will be ok
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Good luck, have fun,

Pat​
 

mlmaxson

Chirping
10 Years
Dec 31, 2009
21
1
77
New Hampshire
I think insulating it would prevent drafts, but if you insulate it looks like the insulation will get wet and mold when it rains. And what type of insulation would you use that your girls wouldn't peck at? Questions for the masses
 

emys

Songster
11 Years
Nov 19, 2008
1,416
12
161
Idaho
I can't see what you are using for a latch, but if it is a piece of wood that turns, raccoons will be in first try. You need a good lockable latch with raccoons.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
174
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
With the winters PA gets, I would find a way to cover all those gaps. You will probably want to cover much of the bottom portion (run area underneath?) as well (maybe with clear vinyl or something like that), because that trap door will let a ton of freezing air up under them and out the vent, creating a draft as well, especially if there's any wind. Your space is going to be pretty tight in there with a nest box added and the trap door...
 
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