Temp's are falling - what can I use to insulate my coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Granolamom, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    Our coop is about 4'x6', and we have 7 chickens in there. They only use it to sleep in, and as of yet there's no insulation (the walls are plywood, with several openings for ventilation). Since we're in Georgia, I think we probably won't need a heating lamp (even though the verdict is not out on that one, yet - I'm open for advice), but I would like to cover the windows with clear plastic, and insulate the walls with something. What's a good material to use? Also, the floor is just a dirt floor, covered with about 3 inches of wood chips. Is that sufficient to keep the cold out?
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Wrap the coop in some thick plastic sheathing (sp?). That is what I do to mine. Also, im going to be using the Deep Litter Method, which I have heard produces heat. Also, use straw, as that holds heat in better than hay, shavings, etc.
  3. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    Quote:THank you, I will do just that. I was thinking about insulating it from the inside, because our hen house is freshly painted and looks real cute, but if I can't find anything inexpensive to use, I'll wrap it in thick plastic instead. And the floor will definitely have a nice, thick layer of straw. Thanks again!
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Their body heat will go a long way towards keeping those 7 chickens warm in a 4 by 6 coop. If it has a low ceiling, I can't see why you would need to be very concerned at all about the cold.

    You may have a moisture problem in your part of the world if you put that plastic on the walls. If you want to use it, could it go up on the interior of the walls? I imagine that you have studding - lathe could be used to hold it. Anything that creates a "dead air space" will help to keep the interior warm.

    Don't go too deep with litter - 3 inches is fine (or 4 or 5). I really piled in straw one Winter thinking that the chickens would enjoy that [​IMG]. They did but so did the mice :eek:. I'd thought about mice but could see the hens running them out - that wasn't happening in the deep, deep straw and during the night . . . I don't want to think about that. Nor, do I care to remember the pitch fork mouse attack I carried out when the problem was discovered :mad:. Luckily, there was somewhere else to put the hens during the fracas . . .

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What part of GA are you in - are you sure you need insulation? I would not think you would get much benefit from it unless your temperatures regularly get below the mid-20s or occasionally drop to near 0 and you have large-combed breeds. The main thing is to have a good draft-free coop; you can use battens etc to seal any small gaps where boards meet.

    Your plan sounds good to me - clear plastic over the windows will maintain light while keeping drafts out from the windows, and you still have other ventilation openings to use, right? 3" bedding may be enough; otherwise you can just add more -- you can sort of play it by ear, see how the chickens are acting. A mouse empire can be avoided by regularly fluffing and relevelling the bedding.

    Put a max/min thermometer in the coop at roost level so that you know what it's like overnight.

    Good luck, have fun, totally jealous of your mild winter <g>,

  6. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2008
    Canton, N.C.
    I have just had a flash of a idea, which is not always good. Currently 6 of my 9 chickens have taken over 6x14 of my shed. The ceiling is quite 7 feet and leaky for now. To avoid the heated vs unheated concern I have been thinking of building (likely with duct tape) a small 'shed within the shed'. With a sheet of 4x8 insulation board--likely the foil stuff with glass packing inside 3 sided garage with a lip on the 4th side to hold in most heat. Then and cold chickens could choose to duck inside and the body heat would be held in. They would still have the boxes/perches and other toys in the shed. Then I could sleep without worry. Those cold chickens could duck into the Chicken Sauna or not. Thus far my older Silkeys are fully unheated and fine, and the young-ones are using a heat lamp. ----Then, of course I think back to my days in Northern MN where friends had barn chickens in run-down leaky barns at -20 -30 below for extended times without problems. -----So, am I onto something with the insulated room in the shed theory, or am I nuts once again.
  7. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    If you are in Georgia, I am ceratin that you dont need to insulate your coop. Unless you are in an area where the temperatures drop below freezing and stay that way for extended periods of time, you'll do fine just to hang a heat lamp in there.

    And for reference, you really only need to turn the lamp ON if the temperature is falling below freezing....

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by