re insulation-does it matter whether...?


10 Years
Feb 9, 2009
Capital Region NY
Does it matter whether the insulation in the coop in faced or unfaced? From what I understand, the facing is a moisture barrier, which would block the moisture from outside, so would it be better to use faced? Or would it be better to use unfaced since I want the moisture from my chickens to escape. I'm so confused
Facing is used to keep the insulation from getting too wet.
Its normally turned toward the inside in heated areas

In a coop, moisture should NOT be passing through the insulation, but should be going out vents.

In reality , most coops shouldnt even BE insulated
bear foot farm,
my coop is not insulated, but I keep hearing that it should be insulated--what do you mean that most coops should not be insulated? I was feeling a bit apprehensive about this winter without it being insulated. This is my first winter with chickens.
We've insulated ours. We have fiber insulation between interior and exterior walls. We've got a coop with a gabled roof, and vents on the gabled ends as well as about 6" of vent under the eaves of the roof, and this takes the moisture out quite well while keeping the birds out of drafts.

The insulation helps in the summer, too. The coop stays cooler.

My wife put a wireless thermometer in the coop, and checks the temps from her computer. Geek.

We are'nt insulating our coop, and it gets really cold here, sometimes -30. People have had chickens for hundreds of years if not thousands, and they never insulated a coop either. A chicken gives off about 10 watts of heat itself. If a coop is built with no drafts, and ABOUT the right size for the flock, then they should all be fine. We'll have an electric water heater base in a 6x8 coop 6 feet tall with 6 lg breed birds. That will be just fine for us. Coop gets lots of sun, and windows / vents etc.
Yes, the right size coop for the flock is key. If you have the right number of birds in your coop, body heat will take care of a lot of winter temperature concerns.

I couldn't count on that ... we built a bit larger, so we could add some new birds when we wanted to ... so we insulated.
We insulated ours too, and keep in mind it depends on adequate ventilation. We opted to add vapor seal to control moisture and we never hose down our coop. Here is our method, complete with pics. We have 12 birds, adequate ventilation and we do not use the deep litter method (we have a concrete floor with horse planks over and wood shavings on top treated with stable powder and food-grade diatomaceous earth). Birds did well last winter, and now have completed a slow molt and have excellent feathercoats foe the upcoming season.
You don't need to insulate,chickens have survived for thousands of years without it. I live in the same state as you and never,ever had a problem. I think they would be healthier without it.(that's why they have feathers) All they really need is shelter. Will
Although there are few climates where it is absolutely *necessary*, anywhere that gets below freezing it is still *worthwhile* to insulate if you feel motivated and have the materials available, because it will make your life and the chickens' life easier.

By keeping the coop slightly warmer, you can have more ventilation (good) and use less feed for the chickens (good), and not have to spend as much time worrying about cold (good). Insulation in a cold climate also lets you make much better use of other strategies for moderating coop temperature, such as solar heating.

Yes, chickens have lived for thousands of years without insulated coops, but not in upstate NY or colder climates
and in any case, just because it CAN be done does not mean there is no additional value to insulating. I can't see any reason for saying most coops "should not be" insulated, although it is certainly true that most coops "do not absolutely need to be".

I am of the camp that believes a vapor barrier is not necessarily a good thing in a coop -- which functions considerably differently from a *house*, in which a vapor barrier is quite valuable. If you already have insulation with an attached vapor barrier I suppose I'd put it towards the inside of the coop, as that is where the warmth and humidity (such as they are) will be, but you should not have all that much of either, and I doubt it really matters that much in a well managed coop.

Good luck, have fun,

My coop is insulated, and I'm happy with it! Could they survive without it? Sure. Would I worry myself to death when temps drop down to zero or close to it?? I sure would. The money and time I spent putting insulation in is well worth my peace of mind come freezing weather.
People didn't used to care whether dogs had shelter or not (that's why they have fur coats, right???) in extreme cold/heat. That changed (or mostly changed), because now you even hear it on the evening news when extreme temps hit..."You may want to bring in your family pets..."

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