Should we insulate?


11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
Nelson BC
Hi, all. After lurking for awhile and learning TONS, I've finally joined the forum!

I haven't had chickens in ages and am pretty excited about the EE chicks I've ordered (I hope to get some Ameraucanas later as well). DH and I are building a coop (this forum has been a goldmine of help with the design) and we're trying to decide whether it should be insulated. Our neighbours' coops aren't insulated and their hens seem fine, but I want to make sure our girls are comfortable, not just survivable.

Winters here range on average from -5 to +5 Celcius (23 to 41 Fahrenheit) and the coldest it gets is about -25C (or -13F) overnight occasionally. Summer temperatures range from 15 to 30 C (59 to 86 F). Our coop will be 8x8, raised 32" off the ground (the height at which my 6'3" DH can scrape the floor with a shovel without bending his lower back). The interior walls will be just under 4' high and the peak of the roof will be another 4' above that (it's a steep pitch as we get a lot of snow here). The high roof will be good for ventilation but maybe not so good for heat retention. The run area, including underneath the chicken house, will be 8' x 20' and fully roofed (again because of the deep snow). I plan to have somewhere between 12 to 20 chickens, and the Ameraucanas are known to be cold-hardy...

Sorry to be so long winded. Basically my question is: should we insulate it?

Hi neighbor!

I'm down in christina lake. Your chickens will be fine without insulation, but more comfortable if you do. Ventilation to control humidity is a bigger concern. Insulate the floor! With a raised coop in our climate the chickens like to snuggle in straw on the floor and it will help keep them warmer in the winter. Will also help keep frost out of the bedding.
Awesome; thanks for the info, guys. Nice to have a neighbour on the forum, too! We will insulate it for sure then. How large an area would you suggest for ventilation up near the peak?
With smaller coops like yours I would use 2 furnace duct grills. That way I can regulate air flow summer and winter. Close then down in the winter to conserve heat and open in the summer to maximize air flow and help keep the coop cooler.
Hi, I'm new too and working on my home page here. I put in a page on insulation- we're finishing ours now. I also hear there's a new green insulation, similar to fibreglass pink that is fireproof.

Nice meeting another Canuck, winter is still in Nova Scotia and very tiresome!
We insulated our coop with insulation board. It's cheap to get, it's just adding it to the chore of building is all. I live in Upstate NY where we get a lot of wind off Lake Ontario, so that was a big factor. It never got below20 in the coop this winter and we had a lot of cold nights ( -10 ) for a week straight. I honestly feel that if I did't have it insulated, I would have stressed or lost one hen. It is a personal choice really.

And by the way, welcome!

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