is insulation enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mener6896, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. mener6896

    mener6896 Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    I have a 12'x10' chicken coop on a concrete slab. My hubby and I insulated the walls this weekend, but he think since the eaves are open (screened in for ventilation) that it isn't enough to keep the coop above freezing. I really just want it warm enough that my eggs won't freeze. I bought a floating heater for their water bucket. Is this enough?

    btw, we used rolled insulation with waferboard plywood to cover.

  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Depends how cold it gets where you are, I know for us there is no way we can keep the coop above freezing, right now outside its 9 degrees, I don't think inside the coop is much warmer than that.

    I collect eggs if I see them in the morning, not often they lay that early, and then I collect again at 5pm, the only frozen eggs we've had are ones that we missed and stayed out overnight.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm assuming you keep several inches of bedding on the concrete floor?? You can also put heavy bedding in the nest boxes to help keep eggs from freezing. You mentioned insulating the walls, but did you insulate the ceiling??? If your main concern is the eggs freezing, and all else isn't working, you could always dangle or fix a 60W bulb above the nest box area...
  4. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Don't know where Noblesville is. Chances are, you're coop is still going to freeze. Try as I may, and I use insulation AND heat, I can't keep my coop at 30F. Heck, it's about 15 in there right now. It's been as cold as -5F. The chickens are fine - they cuddle up together and sleep under a ceramic heat emitter (even tho I'm a wreck when it gets that cold). More important than keeping the coop from freezing is making sure that your ventilation is adequate (there should be no smell) and it is draft free. If you can, insulating the ceiling will do more for keeping heat INSIDE the coop.

    My DH doubted me too, and was most unhappy, when I told him we were going to have to cut more holes into his newly built masterpiece coop. He was convinced that it was contrary to heating the coop. But that ventilation is really really important. Just make sure it's up high. If you live in a super cold place, you might want to think about a way to close up your vents if necessary (snow storm, sub-zero temps). I keep my vents open until it hits -15F.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    No, insulation is not going to keep your coop above freezing with open eaves in Indiana. But that is OK. You do not need the coop to be above freezing. As long as they have liquid water and dryish draft-free air, chickens are usually pretty cold-hardy.

    Eggs do not freeze as readily as one might think -- their freezing point is a bit lower than plain water, the high 20s F if I recall correctly, and of coruse it takes them a good while to cool down to that level since they are starting out at 100 F and half-insulated by lying in a nice deep bed of shavings or whatever you have in the nestbox. It has to be pretty cold (sorry, I cannot quote you a number) before eggs start freezing before a late-afternoon egg collection time. Even if a few do freeze, you can cook them and feed them back to the chickens if you do not want to eat them yourself, so they are still useful. So, rather than trying to keep the whole coop at unreasonable temepratures just for the eggs, I would suggest bedding the nestboxes deeply and seeing what happens [​IMG]

    BTW, you will probably want to close off the upwind-side eaves for some or much of the winter, for a variety of reasons. I would only leave them open if it is a mild day and/or if you are having actual problems with high humidity in the coop - which if your coop hygeine is good and your downwind-side eaves are of decent size, may not occur.

    Good luck, have fun,


  6. I agree, you're in such a cold zone. If you close up most of the eaves, leaving a couple of adjustable vents that you can open in whole or part when you note humidity you should do well. Those of us in the challenging winter zones have to learn what works for our coops, and we have predator protection to complicate the issue. I'm sure you'll get it right! [​IMG]

    Some thoughts in the link below-

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