To insulate or not MA

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jjc, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. jjc

    jjc New Egg

    Mar 6, 2009
    Hi, I am getting my chickens this spring and we are building our 4.5x5.5 coop (for 6 hens). Any advice on whether we should insulate or not. I've had conflicting advice. We live in Massachusetts where winters are cold and snowy. I have a local friend who does not insulate her coop and her 6 chickens do fine. Another friend has an coop which came insulated and her chickens do fine as well. Any advice would be appreciated? (The argument is that the feathers/down protect the bird and insulation can interfere w/ ventilation which the birds need).
  2. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps


    You will get as many replies as there are members!

    I insulate because of where I live and harsh winters, including frigid temperatures, high winds and snow.

    Welcome and enjoy!

  3. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you're building from scratch, why not? It can't hurt. You can build in plenty of ventilation.
  4. purecountrychicken

    purecountrychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2008
    Gray Court, SC
    I live in SC and when I built my coop I insulated the ceiling and hung plywood in the ceiling also but I did not insulate the walls. It can't hurt to insulate so I figured why not.
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:That 'argument' seriously misses the point on both issues; feathers/down do not protect the comb and wattles at all, which are where you get frostbite (first, anyhow); and insulation does NOT AT ALL interfere with ventilation, you just have ventilation openings that remain, well, open [​IMG]

    However, that said, it is not *necessary* as such to insulate, either [​IMG] I would say it is *desireable*, for your convenience and the birds' comfort; but not absolutely necessary (in Mass. anyhow).

    The advantage of insulation is that it helps the coop retain what heat it's got, thus allowing you to have more ventilation with less freezing cold. Best of both worlds [​IMG] There is no downside, except that it is one more thing to have to build into the coop.

    So if you have the money/material/energy, it is better to insulate than not. If you don't see yourself insulating now, at least give some though to making it easy to retrofit if you should change your mind in the future.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  7. jjc

    jjc New Egg

    Mar 6, 2009
    Thank you everyone! I think I will insulate and ensure proper ventilation. There is so much to know about chickens - and they haven't even arrived yet!
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    We are finishing up a very very cold winter season. Last summer when I was LAMENTING the money I was spending to insulate, I had no experience to draw from. With a winter under my belt now, I have ZERO REGRETS. Just keeping my coop above -0- was a challenge, even with the insulation. And what happens if your hens go into a molt or pull out feathers? All of a sudden, they don't have the ability to retain as much heat. There probably aren't many folks out there who regret insulating, but I'll be willing to bet that there are plenty out there with chooks with frostbite who wish that they had.

    JMO - good luck!

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