New coop/insulation question/idea............

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gabby3535, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a new 6 x 6 gabled-roof, Amish-built coop.
    I have been wondering about the need to insulate it or not.
    I plan on covering the 2 windows with plastic, to create the dead-air zone, etc.
    and I had them cut a ridge vent in the ridge, and put in 3" x 6" vents, up high in each
    gable-end wall.
    I don't have my chickens yet, but will be getting some of the more
    "winter hardy" breeds as day-old chicks in Spring '09.
    I was asking someone I know if "they" insulate and/or heat "their" coop at all
    .........we both live in northwest NJ..............and his answer was "absolutely not"!
    He said what "he" does is tack carpeting to the roosting boards, so the hens can
    hunker-down onto their feet, fluff-up their feathers, and not have to stand on cold
    board roosts all night. That sounded like a great idea to me!!
    (I asked also, "what if the girls poop on the carpeting"?..........he said, just rip it up and add some
    What do you all think?
    There will be nothing between the chickens and the cold outside air but the painted T-111 plywood
    outside of the coop......................
    Thanks for any thoughts!
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've always said that insulation can help keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Of course if you don't use a heat lamp to heat it in the winter, it could also be like a refridgerator!

    I don't have insulation in mine, but I'm in Phoenix... perhaps I should and then put in AC!
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    hi gabby..thats my concern also!...i live in mass..and my ducks water froze last night!!..i'm getting stressed about this..[​IMG]
  4. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also, just another Winter question.............
    someone else told me the best thing to do (everyone has an opinion)
    is to remove the roosts altogether, and put deep shavings on the floor (if their
    not already there!) which would force the chickens to then 'hunker-down'
    in the shavings............and in doing so, keep warmer!
    Anyone have an opinion on this?
    Thanks again......................
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    hummm....that may be a good idea also!...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  6. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2008
    I think it's a good idea to insulate the roof, if nothing else, cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter. My birds were in the Chicken Shack last winter with a large, gaping window hole I covered with a garbage bag liner, which was constantly slipping--luckily it was a mild winter and only reached the single digits, this winter I'm adding a bit of plex in that space. Still, the coop is anything but air tight (read: air flows like a sieve) and the outside layer is only tin. The birds all did just fine last winter, no frozen combs, no sick birds (I guess the bit about the importance of ventilation was true). If you're offering a warmer environment than this, and you provide plenty of bedding to snuggle in, roosts that are flat instead of one end like mine are, you'll be fine. I don't intend to heat my shack unless I get into the negative numbers.

    On the other hand, our chicken condo is fully insulated and will have minimal added heat most of the winter because we have six week old silkies and frizzled cochins, and I intend to move my other chicks out once they are two-three weeks old, depending on the outside temps. Since the babies will be out there, I *must* use at least heat lamps to keep the worst of the chill off, still, once the chicks are 6-8 weeks old, I'm only going to worry if the temps dip to single digits (I say that now, we'll see how I am when the time comes.)

    My ducks didn't really even use their shelter last year--snow and wind don't bother them much, just make sure they *can* get out of the weather, and they'll be fine. I have an A frame of two sheets of plywood nailed together with 2x4s and sitting on a layer of straw--unless the weather is truly horrible, they'll be fine. Just bring them fresh water every morning and late afternoon, and keep their feeders full.
  7. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    A year ago last Spring my 18 yr/old daughter and I stayed in New Jersey for almost a week, waiting for our passports to go on over to The Netherlands and it was as cold as NW Alaska!

    I'd insulate and at least hang a heat bulb or light bulb over a bucket of water so it doesn't freeze. This not only keeps the water for you and them but provides light for egg production.

    I place my bulb and water below the nesting boxes and perches so they can sleep or lay eggs while not being tempted to break into the eggs as they can't see them well but also provides the bit of light where they will be scratching in their deep litter/bedding and where their feed hangs, too.

    My coops are built so I can fit inside standing up and move around, visiting them while the weather is terrible outside. I like mine friendly and can see or check for signs of good or declining health and attitudes, etc. I visit comstruction sites and ask if there's any lumber they'd like hauled off or would like to sell at a discount. 99% of the building material has been freebie:) The only thing I've had to pay for was the paint for the outside and the foam insulation at a great discount.
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Hey snowydiamonds,

    What do you think of your Governor?

    My wife thinks she is the best thing since sliced bread.

    She thinks that she is like Ester in the Bible, prepared for "such a time as this".
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree. I Live in Florida and have insulation in my coop, to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I also move my coop into the sun in the winter and shade in the summer. I use a red heat lamp when a frost or freeze is forcasted. I probably don't need to, but do it anyway.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    An often underappreciated virtue of insulation is that it allows you to have more ventilation going (yes, in the winter) without the coop getting as cold. Thus, you are probably ALWAYS better off insulating than not -- although of course in most climates it is certainly not absolutely *necessary*. You may want to be thinking in terms of more ventilation for your coop, btw, it sounds like it does not have very much unless you are only thinking of putting a couple few chickens in there (not that it's going to be an issue for another year, of course [​IMG])

    Deeper litter is always a good thing in a cold snap. Carpet on the roost I'd worry about becoming a mite farm and I honestly do not think it is going to be any warmer on their tootsies than the flat side of a 2x4 (wood is a pretty good insulator all by itself).

    JMHO, and welcome to byc,


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