Uninsulated coop in northern areas


Aug 12, 2019
Montague, NJ
We are in Northern NJ as well, and we did not insulate our chicken tractor. The girls (RIRs and BCMs) were 3-4 months old when moved to the tractor last October. They did just fine. Because the tractor had lots of windows covered with mesh, I covered most of the openings with heavy clear plastic. I left small windows near the roof open for ventilation. I also put plywood on the mesh floor and used deep-litter method.
While we are much warmer than VT, we had some very cold spells last winter, and the girls did just fine!
This year, I am installing clear greenhouse panels instead of plastic, as shutters/storm windows (THANK YOU, BYC folks, for this idea!!).
Chickens love being outside, even in the cold. There is 20 degrees now, and my 1.5 mo-olds are outside scratching.


Mar 29, 2019
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Here is a picture of the coop this morning
Very nice looking coop. I built my chicken coop on an old boat trailer and made it look like an old fashioned barn with gambrel roof and red and white paint. The only questions I got on my coop build were if I had enough ventilation. How do you handle ventilation for your coop?

I only have a couple small 4x12 inch vents up under the eaves. But I also have two sliding windows on opposing walls which are cracked open slightly. I have 10 birds in a 6x12 coop, and with the high gambrel roof, I have not noticed any moisture build up yet. But the winter is just starting and I am prepared to go out and cut larger openings for ventilation if I must.


Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
Northwest New Jersey
Would you please explain this a little more? I have a pop door on my coop but really don't understand what you mean by a baffle. My pop door opens directly out to the chicken run. Thanks.
Yeah, I want very clear, my apologies.
I'm going to start with a vent as an example because I have used this type of baffle over vent openings. Those vents were like small windows along the wall under the roof.

A baffle in this case covers an opening but does not close it. Example of an open vent baffle would be a framework around the top and sides with the side pieces extending a few inches longer at the bottom but nothing framing the bottom of the opening. The framework in this case could be 2x4. A piece of plywood or plexiglass or some similar material would be attached to the 3 sided frame. This would create a 2 inch gap at the bottom allowing air to flow but since the plywood covers it no draft can blow directly in the open window.

Because your coop is raised I think you could adapt this to the pop door. If you look at the link in my post #12 I'm imagining covering the pop door area in the same manner but at the far end (the end where the photographer is taking the picture from) have another wall but not all the way down to the ground, leaving the bottom open enough for a chicken to pass through. Maybe make it removable for your access to the pop door and for summer weather.

Yeah, I tend to overthink things. But if it gives you an idea, a better one, good. Brainstorming is usually productive. :thumbsup


5 Years
Apr 6, 2014
Melrose Park Illinois
Really nice coop:thumbsup

I would add some vents in area in red pencil. (also on opposite side) Since you do not have much overhang to keep out rain and snow, I suggest something with louvers.

I also don't think the small gaps created by your boards drying are sufficiently large to allow for drafts. SLOW AIR MOVEMENT IS VENTILATION:thumbsup,,, As long as chickens feathers are not ruffled by that air movement,,, it is fine.
You may need to peek inside coop during HIGH WINDS to make that determination.

really don't understand what you mean by a baffle
A baffle is something that stops direct wind from blowing in. This is a common solution and practical one as well.

A baffle would be straw bales placed away from coop, so they would be blocking direct wind from entering pop door.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Here is a picture of the coop this morning
Pics of inside coop showing ventilation(light should be shining thru them) would help here. You have no run?
Definitely needs a heater to keep water thawed,
or swap out a few times a day and have a bowl of snow in the coop as back up.

Would you please explain this a little more?
She baffled ya, eh? :lol:

If you look at the link in my post #12
Is the baffle you mean to show in that second pic the partially shut pop door or the plastic covered run?

Here's my pop door 'baffle' , I call it the Glass Foyer.
Basically the window panels and metal awning blocks the west wind(wicked here).
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