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Rafter insulation inside coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BBB Becky, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    Can I place some small beams in the rafters and layer it with straw for insulation? We do have one vent. This is my first year with chickens. I have six golden comets, six months old. We are in MA and are expecting -10 temperatures this Friday. Please respond with your comments.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    What is your roof made of? If it is metal, that may be an issue. The biggest issue I see with using straw is that the condensation that will occur there will seep into the straw, creating moisture and mold issues. If you have a wood roof, you should be ok. The birds do need ventilation inside the coop, even when it's below 0*F. How big is your coop, and how close is the back of the perch to the wall and how much space between the perch and the ceiling? If the perch lacks space in these areas, the birds may have frost bite issues due to moisture accumulation from their respiration.
     
  3. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    The coop is made of wood, wooden roof with shingles. The hens perch about 2 1/2 ft. from the ceiling and 1 ft. from the wall. Can I use foam insulation. Just up in the rafters where the hens cannot get at it.
    The coop has one large vent. The coop size is 3ft by 4ft. I have six hens and three nesting boxes. It is a raised coop.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    One vent does not equate to well ventilated. With those projected temps, increasing ventilation will be more important that adding insulation.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The coop is kinda on the tight side for 6 birds. I hope the nestboxes are the external type, so as to free up as much interior space as possible. I wouldn't even bother with insulation. Insulation under the roof, is more for soaking up summer time roof heat. Won't do anything in a coop in the winter.
    As others have said, think more about ventilation. Keep an eye out for frost buildup in the coop. That will be a sure sign you need (Really the chickens) more fresh air/ ventilation flow.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Your coop is too small for 6 birds. It is designed for 3 birds, and would be a tight fit for 3 birds, at that. The more birds you have, the more moisture they will be pumping into the air, which will increase their frost bite risk. Don't use any spray foam insulation. It off gasses for quite a while and would fill the coop with toxic fumes. Maybe for a VERY LONG time. and don't think that they wouldn't reach that foam if it's 3' above their heads. Chickens are very creative when they see something they want. I can see them jumping from the perch to snag one bite of that foam at a time. "Hey Marge, try this. Tastes just like popcorn. Wonder why she didn't leave a salt shaker!"
     
  7. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    The perch is 3 1/2 ft from the rafters not three inches. Does that make any difference? The coop was made by the co-op and they told us it could hold five to six hens.
     
  8. BBB Becky

    BBB Becky Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2016
    Georgetown, MA
    Sorry about my comment on the 3" reply. I thought you said 3" and not 3 ft. Sorry again
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Most prefab coops grossly underestimate the capacity. Each adult bird takes up about 1 sq ft just standing still. Then consider that they have an average wingspan of about 3 feet. That's 4 feet needed just to spread their wings a bit.
    Cut some holes near the roofline for more ventilation. The more birds that are in a coop, the more ventilation that will be needed.
     
  10. amenfarm

    amenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
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    You need about 10% of the total area of your coop in ventilation, I have over 50%- we use doubled 5ml plastic sheeting outside the upper 1/2 of the wire wall and 1 I drop inside when the temperatures are below 32* to cover the upper half of our longest wall, the wire on the lower 1/2 is wood panels we put up in winter. Your birds have down feathers and hard feathers, they can keep warm if-
    1# they are on roosts wide enough to sit over their feet- I use 2x4's.
    2# there are No drafts while they are on the roosts-( I have all my vents open up high, only in summer do I open the lower vents to create air movement).
    If you feel you need more insulation Now- you can staple feed sacks to the walls of the coop- just don't cover the vents. Your chicken's manure and respirations up the moisture greatly inside, the moisture rises and then falls back onto the chickens, any exposed parts, feet, combs, waddles- then get wet and they can/ will suffer frostbite or just generally damp from the moisture they can get sick from that- depending on breeds too. So, cutting extra vents- wire over them to keep predators out, is the most important thing tonight. You can also cover the waddles and combs with vasline tonight, and extra shavings to the floor, or even staple plastic sheeting to the outside of the coop and fix the vent problem tomorrow. I would do a vent at each end of the roof, wire over and add a way to direct wind away during a blizzard. I think it's called positive pressure when the wind and snow are sucked in to the building, you may want to be able to slide a baffle over most of the vent-only during heavy high winds with snow or ice. and the other posters are correct your coop should be 4 feet per bird at the very least. I find over and over commercially made coops being listed for more birds that can they can fit, leading to all sorts of dangerous behaviors.
     

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