roof rafter gaps and need for insulation questions


Mar 12, 2020
Hi all,

I posted yesterday regarding my coop turning out smaller than I had planned.

I managed to double the size now and I have a couple of questions for finishing up.

Do I need to insulate the walls and roof? I live in southern New Hampshire. Winters are about 6-7 months of snow potential, but not overly cold. Usually lows are single digits in the heart of winter, but very few days below zero.

If so, just regular insulation covered with sheathing or OSB work? Will they eat pink foam boards without a cover over it?

Also, where the walls meet roof, I am hardware clothing the gaps. Should I fill these in with soffit? While good for ventilation, I'm concerned about the cold winter air.

Here's a working update with the addition now.



Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
You shouldn't need a soffit. I think you might mean facia board. It wouldn't hurt.
Are you going to put functional windows in the wall between the two halves?


Mar 12, 2020
You shouldn't need a soffit. I think you might mean facia board. It wouldn't hurt.
Are you going to put functional windows in the wall between the two halves?

Yes that is definitely what I mean. Thank you.

And yes, it will just be a hardware cloth window with a wooden slider on it.


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
Northern Colorado
While tempting to close birds in tight in winter it is not the best for them. I would add boards between the rafters on the tall part a few inches away from where the vertical wall is to slow any wind hitting that.

Ventilation is very important in preventing frost bite.

Insulation is not needed. A properly vented coop will make insulation useless.

We get well into the negatives here. I have uninsulated coops with open soffits. My only frost bitten bird was a leghorn that slept in the nest box.


8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
Kalispell MT
If you insulate you will want to close the coop up. That would make your chickens very cold in winter. A warm chicken is a dry chicken. Chickens make all kinds of moisture in a coop when they poop and breathe. That moisture will cause them to get frostbite if there is no way to get that moisture out of the coop. My 6 by 8 foot coop has about 10 square feet of ventilation that is never closed and I live in Northern Montana. Ventilation is placed so that no breezes blow on the birds. I have never lost a bird to cold weather.

Folly's place

10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
Chickens will eat any insulation you try out there, unless it's covered by plywood. The only useful insulation would be in the roof, for protection from overheating in the summer sun.
Otherwise, more upper ventilation, all year, protected by well secured hardware cloth, is best.
Also, it's very small and short, and hardware cloth covered windows, especially on the south or leeward sides, would be good. The coop should have some light, and good upper ventilation!
Two layers of siding are good too, for minimal insulation, wind protection, and especially predator protection.

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