Should I insulate?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by michickenwrangler, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    We are converting part of our woodshed into a chicken coop. We are zone 4, it gets -20 during the winter. The wood shed is at the edge of a cedar and fir forest so the snow never falls very heavy there and it will be protected from winds. The portion that we're sectioning off is 5 x 8 (40 sq feet total) and about 7 1/2 feet tall. Would thick plywood be enough if there weren't any drafts? or would we need insulation? The way that the shed is built, there would be some dead air space between walls.

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I put an AC unit in my coop so I'm going to need to put in some insulation this winter for next summer.

    I'm not working out there until it's under 100. (110 out there right now)
  3. jkmiller826

    jkmiller826 In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2009
    Shelton, CT
    I'm wondering the same thing. Is it better to insulate? Is there harm?
  4. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    If you are in zone 4, I would insulate, but also make sure to have good ventilation. Depending on how many chickens you have, would determine how much insulation to use. It is most important to insulate the roof (just like with your own house) vs. the walls. If you have 6 chickens in your 5x8 space, I would create a sectioned off area around the roost for them at night. I am planning to make one for my coop this winter using a hinged panel to come down from the ceiling, to create a smaller space right around the roost for them to warm up with body heat. Insulate and air seal right around this smaller space. Leave part of this space open to the larger coop, essentially to ventilate to the larger coop. Then make sure that the coop is ventilated to the outside, but in an area away from the roost.

    I am also in zone 4, but we hit -30 F last year! Normally we get to -25F a couple nights each year.
  5. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Thanks Vermontgal,

    The experts say that while in the rest of the world, there is global warming, but the US midwest and northeast are actually getting colder. We just had the coldest July on record.

    There is a gap at the very top of the shed, I plan on putting some hardware cloth over it. I plan on putting the roosts well below it. Now I'll put a board under it to help keep in their body heat.
  6. daryl

    daryl In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2008
    I plan on insulating 1/3 of my coop for 2 reasons one I live in eastern wisconsin zone 4 its cold. But evenmore important I might want to have baby chicks in the early spring someday ond for that I will need to be able to heat and maintain heat in a small porition of my coop. My coop is not like most .Its 17x33 ft with stone feild stone and morter walls. so do it now if you can, do not wait till its coooold...
  7. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    I'm from central Wisconsin and so I understand your weather. I insulated our coop. Think of it this way...if you don't, you're going to wish you had. And then you'll have twice as much work to do later. I also put up plastic over the insulation for moister preventive. It's not just cold but damp too.
  8. We insulated ours, pics and explanation here. I agree about vapor seal- there is no point in using fibregalss without it. We also used Typar on the outside, under the clading. Now keep in mind that we have a feral cat colony using the barn, so there are no rodents.

    We're pleased- it's snug in winter cool in summer and we have adequate ventilation using a porch that is attached and covered 50% by hardware cloth.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  9. mayden

    mayden In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    Tioga, PA
    My sister has a small barn that is completely open on one end for her horses. She has the coop on the other end of shed that is sectioned off with welded wire. She has 20 chickens and lost 3 last winter here in zone 5 North Central PA. My coop is an 8X8 setting on the south side of my Garage. I only plan on putting some insulation in the soffit gaps and see how that goes.
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I was glad to see this question! We ARE planning to insulate our henhouse (6x8). Our detached work shop is insulated, and stays fairly cool in the summer, warm in the winter, so we're basing our choice to insulate on that. We will have vents at the top and bottom to accomodate seasons/temp.

    I'd love to hear more from some experience chicken owners.

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