To Insulate? Or Not to Insulate? THAT is the question! :-)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Whispering_Raven, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Whispering_Raven

    Whispering_Raven Chirping

    Jul 9, 2011
    Ashland City, TN
    I'm still kinda new at this. I've only been raising chickens for a year and a half or so. Currently, my coop area (electrified) is directly behind the kitchen in the "L" part of the house. (outside of course). My chickens are free roam on a 20 acre organic farm. I just got in 40 new heritage and rare breeds this past Monday. I have started to build a 8x8x6 ft house (pic below) and I will be adding two 4x4x4 lean to's on either side. I HAVE PAID NOTHING FOR MY MATERIALS BTW with the exception of $100 for 70ft of 3.5ft tall picket fencing! ! Craigslist RAWKS! I am using wood and windows that I have collected over the years as well as extra wood fencing boards that have been stacked and covered for other uses. Anyway.....

    I live in Middle Tennessee and one thing I've noticed over the last Winter (mild as it was) the current coop area was not entirely enclosed therefore got a good dose of Northern winds. I have several houses for them, but the chickens prefer to the roosts over the houses.

    This time I am building a house and yard back a bit with a nice Red Maple for shade in the summer, the sun sets over the tree line to the west around 5:45pm- 6:00pm in the Summer, and excellent Southern exposure for the Winter.

    I'm using 3/4" plywood for the entire house. The frame is made with 2x6 fence rails. I've built the floor on a skid from timbers from our local saw mill. (no permit needed if building is not a "permanent structure") ;-) I have covered the floor with cheap vinyl and will install windows on the East, South and Western walls.

    Obviously I still have quite a bit of work to do, but my question is, should I insulate the house and install actual interior walls? Or just leave it open framed inside? (BTW - I am a 38 yr old woman and have done this by myself!) :)


    Had to throw this picture in. One of my crazy cats, Luna taking a rest.


    Thank you in advance for your input!

    Much Love!

  2. WinterLadyAK

    WinterLadyAK Chirping

    Apr 14, 2012
    Palmer, Alaska
    I'm in a very different climate than you, but I'm glad I insulated. We actually did our roof, walls, and floor. We wanted to insulate for our cold winters, but chickens actually do better in the cold than in the heat. So insulating your coop will keep your chickens cooler in your hot summers too. I too used mostly scrap wood for the coop, but bought new plywood for the interior walls (I can never find plywood on craigslist). We have high winds also, and lots of the scrap wood we used had old nail holes and stuff in it, so I used those for the outside, caulked the holes, and put siding over them. That way they have a draft-free coop. Have fun!
  3. ScottM

    ScottM Songster

    If u r in Tennessee u don't need insulation for cold, but it would help some with sound if that is a concern
  4. motherofmolly

    motherofmolly In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2012
    i am in illinois and we do not have insulation. i used one of those prefab sheds made of wood from the hardware store.
  5. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Hillbillyville, MO
    No insulation, paint the inside...
  6. joan1708

    joan1708 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    I think your chickens will be more comfortable winter and summer if you do insulate. I would just make sure you are rodent proof enough that nothing can get in there to nest.
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Songster

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Folks are right when they say insulating will keep them warmer and cooler. The most important thing whether you insulate or not is ventilation. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation. If you insulate venting your coop can get a little more complicated. The decomposition of the poop creates a lot of moisture that proper venting will release.
  8. LindaJean

    LindaJean In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2012
    McCleary, Wa
    As you can see - much well meaning advice. What I have gleaned from this wonderful site is that many people do things in unique individual ways that works for their flock, climate and Mostly I love the varied ideas that give volumes of food for thought and consideration. From what I've read they say insulate for all the above reasons. I'm fairly new to this and my resin shed isn't insulated. We'll see as the weather progresses. I do have a small elevated space heater in their coop for when it's going to be really cold. Western Washington is my climate and so far my weather proofing has been shelter from rain - go figure!!
  9. Jbrandt000

    Jbrandt000 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    I tried white styrofoam and the chickens kept pecking at it to eat it. I then tried the foil faced foam and they tore the foil face off and tried to eat it. So what else is there to insulate with?
  10. toofarout

    toofarout Chirping

    Oct 14, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Jbrandt000 said,I tried white styrofoam and the chickens kept pecking at it to eat it. I then tried the foil faced foam and they tore the foil face off and tried to eat it. So what else is there to insulate with?

    Jbrandt000, you cannot leave the insulation open for the chickens to peck it. It has to be covered with sheathing or something.
    from Sue, Fairbanks Alaska

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