Iowa winter heat and nesting boxes


5 Years
Sep 4, 2014
I am in Iowa and am in the process of finishing up building our coop. I was hoping for outer wall nesting boxes but my hubby is unsure. I am attaching a pic of the current build (old hog farrowing building we cut in half). if we do outer nesting boxes should we insulate the box frame also? the part the sticks out... Or with the iowa winters should we keep them inside the coop? The side the boxes is going to be on is the east side which gets the least amount of wind and pounding. Also, at which point do we need to add heat to the coop during the winter months? I plan to insulate the ceiling and walls next.

I keep the nestboxes in the coop. Usually the coop (My coop at least) will be 10 F or so, higher than the outside temp. Unless you have some kind of thinly feathered, exotic breed of chicken, you do not need to ever, add heat to a coop. They can handle the cold. And you do not need to waste time, effort and $$$ on insulation. The chickens already come with perfect insulation of their own, and don't need any help from us.
Waving from next door in Nebraska...on the open Prairie. I have the same open coop design as Jack. Toss the insulation and build the nest boxes inside. You'd be amazed at how much of our winter weather and winds howl not only from the north, but also from the east. Just keep the birds out of the wind and they'll be FINE. It's the HEAT and the ventilation you need to concentrate on.

Nebraska - where it's either hell on earth, or jack frost ripping off your toes.
I agree completely with the two posts above.

Draft free with ventilation is what they need in the winter.

I have never lost a bird to the cold but lose at least one to the heat and Sunday was my first casualty of the year with 110 degree heat index.

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