Just insulating the nesting box area?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FarmingCityGirl, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

    50
    0
    39
    Mar 21, 2013
    Michigan
    My husband built me a nice coop, but he wouldn't insulate it then, when it would have been much easier. Now I have 12 chickens comfortably living in the coop, and they're all laying where I want them to (and on floor under where I wanted them to, but whatever...I'm getting clean eggs).

    Now it seems my hubby is not insulating it anytime soon...and it's already getting chilly here in Michigan. So I've decided to insulate just the nesting box area myself...I'm going to cut the insulation to fit in there and then cover it up with wood. Do you think this will work? Will it keep the area warm enough so they'll lay without problems and my eggs won't be freezing quickly? It's a dry coop with good ventilation.
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Insulation won't "keep it warm enough" unless it's ALREADY warm enough.

    If the air temperature outside is much below freezing, then the inside temps will be within a few degrees UNLESS you add additional heat

    If youre having problems with eggs freezing, what I would do is enclose a small area under the nest boxes, and run light bulbs to heat the bottoms of the nests directly
     
  3. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

    50
    0
    39
    Mar 21, 2013
    Michigan
    I'm not having any freezing egg problems yet, but the coop was supposed to get insulated....and it never did. I don't want to put any heaters in there. I have a door that swings open right where they're laying so I don't have to go into the run to get the eggs and I'm worried that the door is going to cause it to be colder there than in the rest of the coop. So I was thinking of just insulating the inside of the door, the floor where they're laying, and the 2 outside walls where they're laying. Do you think this would be a waste of my time? Or should I wait to see if things are too cold in there before I do it?
     
  4. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    Your insulation likely wont do anything, it might buy you an extra few minutes before eggs freeze. If you have 12 chickens laying in the same place all day long that might be enough heat to keep them from freezing. I wouldn't fix a problem that doesn't exist yet.
     
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,345
    646
    306
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Here is a bit of information you may find helpful

    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have 63 trips around the sun so it is not my first rodeo.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months the bedding froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    Oh I might add I do have poop boards 3½" below my roost that I clean every 2 to 3 days (excellent for catching eggs laid through the night). My roost are 2x4 wide side up and are housed in cups which allows me to set them aside for easy cleaning of the poop board (I have a piece of vinyl flooring over my pop board that is just friction fit pops out easily when soiled and pops back in after cleaning.

    Easy Peasy!

    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.
    I have three levels in my coop and a bit of storage over my nest boxes (milk crates with a board in front zip tied into place) Also more milk crates on top for storage. My favourite addition is my poop board!

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    I house a variety of birds in hear ¼ inch plywood veneer between birds and the elements no heat no light no insulation no problems!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Yes I do.
    Insulating one small portion of a building does nearly nothing to contain more heat, and a PROPERLY ventilated coop will still have an inside air temp very close to the outside temp.

    Insulation is only a benefit in heated or cooled structures that are basically airtight.

    It would be more practical to heat the nest boxes if freezing becomes a problem
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    I think that heating the nest boxes is simply a fire waiting to happen.

    Also, a well insulated nest box will stay warmer since the extra layer of plywood, along with the layer of insulation will close to eliminate any drafts from small cracks etc.

    Also, the chickens themselves produce a good deal of heat. If you can keep the heat from blowing away, it does add up.

    Of course, Bear Foot Farm is correct in that you can't get it really toasty in there, unless the building is built air-tight with no ventilation, and then of course your humidity levels are going to skyrocket, and your birds will start having all sorts of respiratory problems if the coop stays above freezing, and frost bite if the coop goes below freezing.

    I just insulated my coop, for the first time this summer.....the coop is so very much better now, even with the windows wide open. Part of the reason that I see such a large improvement might be because I have almost constant strong winds. So, for me, insulated nest boxes are a great idea, and should help a bit with the frozen egg problem. ( but you can still eat them even after they have been frozen)
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: There's no fire hazard because a small light bulb (NOT a "heat lamp") will provide all the needed heat. It's no different than the type of heat commonly used to keep water from freezing

    You don't even really have to keep it "warm" .
    You just need to keep it above 32 degrees

    The only way to keep the nest boxes warmer would be totally enclose them, because if one side is open, all the heat will go out that opening.

    I don't think insulation on the boxes ALONE will make any practical difference
    If there are drafts from gaps around the lid of the boxes, a simple rubber gasket or some weatherstripping can stop all that
     
  9. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    A regular light bulb can cause a fire. (I have managed to do so, and it was with a low wattage bulb)

    A water de-icer is much less likely to cause fire, since it is submersed in water. Of course, where the plug is inserted into the outlet can become a fire hazard too, in the proper conditions.

    I am afraid that perhaps my idea of a warm coop is simply much different than yours, bear foot farm. I would find a coop at 32 F to be very warm. So, perhaps we are simply talking about two very different things?

    I suppose, it is also that I am very much against heating coops...I think it causes more problems than it solves.....

    My big problem is wind, so insulation helps greatly, since it is more difficult for the wind to pull away all of the heat. It is not very cold where I live, but my water can freeze into an eight inch thick block, in just four hours.

    I find that the eggs laid in thinner or more exposed nest boxes do freeze more quickly than the eggs laid in more sheltered locations.

    Now, that doesn't mean that insulating the nest boxes would make a gigantic difference. But, even though I am happy to use the frozen eggs that I collect, I do prefer to have un-frozen ones. So, for me, even though I do agree that insulating the nest box would not give you a giant improvement, in my case at least, I think even a little bit if improvement is worth it.

    Then again, I am also a great scrounger, and nest boxes are so small....so I would think it could be accomplished for no cost at all....but perhaps you are worried she will spend a hundred dollars on the project?

    So.....I suppose it all depends on
    1. If you want to heat your coop or not
    2. If you can insulate the nest boxes for free, and
    3. If you can't insulate them for free, then just how much are a few fewer frozen eggs worth to you?
     
  10. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    Alaskan,

    Did you try just insulated nest boxes first? You said you insulated your whole coop and not just the nest boxes.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by