To insulate or to not insulate

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Welshies, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    So we live in Northern Alberta, it's average -15°C to -20°c during winter, can get down to -40°C occasionally (not so much anymore... winters have been much warmer lately. We have only had one -30°c day this year.)
    The coop is 6'x8' ,7' tall at the front, 6' tall at the back. At the top of each wall we have 9-12" ventilation, that you can close... Along with a 2" window that tapers back to 1" tall, on each side.
    I will be insulating the roof for sure.
    We have 2 types of insulation. The rollout shiny bubblewrap type, and the styrofoam sheet type.

    Is it worth it to insulate and if so do I need to cover it, or if I paint the whole interior will they not peck at it? I have electricity out there, and will have cold hardy breeds that are fairly big.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Eastern Shore, MD
    If you insulate, you will definitely need to cover it to prevent it from being pecked and eaten, and also for cleanliness. Usually I don't advise insulation but in your instance... maybe it's not a bad idea. Though I still would not heat the coop and I would ensure ventilation is adequate to keep moisture and ammonia at bay. While you're at it, if you haven't settled on breeds, I would look at breeds with small combs. The Chantecler chicken is one that comes to mind, as well as Wyandottes and Easter Eggers.
     
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    HI from Montana!

    I did not insulate, or add heat. The snow actually insulated the roof (there is still at least a foot on there). What I did was keep an eye on the humidity in the coop vs. outside. That is most important. And varied the openings according to the outside low temp...

    They will peck the insulation unless you cover it. Thin plastic 4x8 sheeting at hardware store might be your easiest bet. Easier to clean too.

    I have a thread on venting/humidity if you are interested...where I tracked the temp and humidity daily for nearly a month.

    The chickens are thriving. They are wonderful cold-hardy breeds. And they were in a molt! They just started laying again. They got a bit of extra scratch on the coldest of days...before bed.

    The chickens actually heated the coop between 10-15F after two hours on the roost and humidity fell accordingly. It was an amazing finding.

    Nice info on your coop size...how many chickens?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  4. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alberta, Canada
    I decided against Chanteclers. I have another thread on breeds, but I REALLY want Wyandottes. And as for Easter Eggers, I wasn't sure if they were good dual purpose or layer-only birds.
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Starting with 15 chicks. Who knows how many I'll have in the end. A good cold-hardy breed too.
    Does the deep litter method affect warmth in the coop at all?
     
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Love, love, love my wyandottes. Intelligent, friendly, personable and very cold-hardy. Would love some BLRs. The golds I have are great..oh and did I mention Gor-Geous?
     
  7. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is some indication as well with a large enough mass that the DLM contains warmth in the coop. Which is great, but I think it would take a larger, older mass than what I have to significantly raise heat level in coop.

    After the chickens would leave coop in daytime, the inside temp tended to equalize with the outside in, again, about two hours. DLM might prevent that a bit as well i.e. keep it warmer during the day.
     
  8. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    One of the main reasons I want Wyandottes is their looks AND color variations; when I had ducks, I loved breeding for color.
    However, I've also heard they're cold hardy, and lay decently well for a slightly heavier breed, as well as making a dual purpose breed. Which is why I have decided they are my #1 preferred breed.
     
  9. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine after the molt went from medium to large eggs now. During the summer, their first laying season was highly productive. There is a lady in Hamilton Montana that raises heritage BLRs. I know it is south even from here, but if I had it to do again....hers look significantly bigger and better than even my pretty girls, which I got from a feed store last Feb.
     
  10. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Found it, link to BLRs Whew!

    https://missoula.craigslist.org/grd/5966606310.html

    Have a look![​IMG]

    I looked at this some more and she has quite the operation, hatching eggs, etc a lot of stuff on her farm. Lots of options.

    Pick me up a couple silkies if you go that way [​IMG]Joke, I can't have more chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017

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