Insulation...what kind?


9 Years
Oct 5, 2010
I keep reading about insulation for the walls...and now i'm on the fence!!!! I have a 8x8x10 coop with 17 hens, and they have access to an outdoor pen that's semi covered. My coop is built out of 2x4's and plywood...but like i said, i'm contemplating insulating the walls a bit...but how!?! If I were to use form board or fiberglass insulation, I'd have to buy more ply wood to cover it right? The husband has already spent 'more than expected' on my ladies already and I don't know how much more he's gonna want to put out for them. Any good & potentally cheap ideas?
You can have a look at my coop page. I used rolls of r-13 pink fiberglass batts which is the cheapest option. You can just use 1/4 plywood which is inexpensive or even OSB which is really cheap at about $11 for a 4x8 sheet at Home Depot. If you were planning to put a light in your coop, you'll probably save the cost of the electricity if you choose to insulate.
Good luck.
I do not have my coop insulated. It averages 20F in the dead of winter and the temp dips to 0-10F at night. My birds did very well last year. The trick is having no drafts where they roost. I have thought about insulating mine but it's so expensive and most of the chicken owners I know around here do not insulate theirs. They say I baby my birds too much
I have a metal shed because it was so much cheaper than a wooden one, and because of that, I'm going to insulate with foam board, and that thin wood wall paneling over it simply to keep the birds from pecking at the foam board. Haven't decided if I want the faux brick finish or wood. LOL I need it because of how the metal fits together and all the places were panels meet. Lot's of caulk in our future too.

3/4 inch ply wood is plenty if there is no draft and if wind can't blow in through windows.

But I'll tell you what, at my old house 2 winters ago I had 3/4 inch plywood inside and out with pink insulation, and that coop was toasty with one little 75w light light bulb!

This time the coop is much larger, so I'm going to provide a giant wooden box I have on hand, lay it on it's side, clip the bulb to it aimed into the box, so if they want, they can sleep in there on the coldest of nights. I'll give them two roosting options and see what they do. The big girls will most likely not use it, but the babies will I'm sure.
I'd be sure to insulate the roof first, that's where you'll lose most of your heat anyway.

The fiberglass batting has good R value but is very messy to install whenever you have to cut it to fit. You do need to use a facemask, gloves, long sleeves, etc.

The foam board has a lower R value but is very easy to install. You don't even have to cut it to fit between the studs, but can apply right over them. If you use the foil lined radiant foam sheets with the foil facing the air space, you get additional insulating value. You do have to cover the sheets with something else that they chickens can't peck to pieces.

I ended up using the fiberglass batting for the ceiling and what was leftover from that on the walls, finishing up the job with foam board.
those are all great ideas...i think im gonna try putting the cheaper plywood or the T-1-11...I have enough to worry about cuz Im expecting my second child in the spring. I got plenty to concern myself about preparing for baby that I want less to worry about my ladies!!! Regaurdless!!! IM A WORRY-WART!!!!!
You never did say where you live or what your climate is like.

Insulating is a highly debatable topic on here; you have replies mostly on the pro side. When you provide heat you also "soften" your chickens, so if the power goes out, they are much more susceptible to the effects of cold. Wild birds do not have insulated coops, after all. And chickens come with down coats. IMO, good ventilation to decrease humidity, and freedom from drafts, are much more important than insulation. I live in a mild climate, but I don't believe I would insulate up north, either.

And yes, insulation must be covered, or they will eat it.
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I lean toward not insulating . After all birds are outside all the time and they are made for the weather. The trick is to have birds that do well in ur clime.

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