<Very> Insulated Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HeritageButcherBlock.com, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. HeritageButcherBlock.com

    HeritageButcherBlock.com In the Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2017
    I'm building my coop out of a 8x20x8 POD shipping container that is air tight. The coop interior + exterior will be almost completely metal. Not aesthetically pleasing but very easy to pressure wash as needed. It's also insulated to stay very warm in winter and very cool in summer. This coop will accommodate 50 chickens. My 40-50 laying hens do have access to the open fields during daylight hours.

    Questions
    • Do you see any potential problems with providing the chickens with an insulated coop?
    • Any guidelines for ventilation? I will chat with an HVAC specialist on this question as well
    • Will the chickens go through a doggy door plastic flap?
    • Is 5-ft off floor a good height for the roost? I will have ladder up to the roost
    • Should the roost & ladders be wooden?
    • Is 5-ft off floor a good height for the top of metal nest? The nests will be closed at night.
    Construction Plans
    1. Add 8x20x8 POD to skids for easy transport
    2. Keep the end doors already part of the POD for human access
    3. Cut openings for chicken doors in side walls & add doggy door plastic flap cover
    4. Cut openings to gather eggs from outside the coop (optional for laying hens)
    5. Cut ventilation openings near top of POD side walls
    6. Add electric fans into ventilation openings
    7. Add 2x4 metal framing to the ceiling, floor, and walls
    8. Run utility lines inside the framed walls
    9. Spray closed cell foam insulation into framework
    10. Cover framework with thin metal sheeting
    11. Mount removable roll-away metal nests (optional for laying hens)
    12. Mount removable water storage containers
    13. Add removable rubber mesh floor mats. So chickens not walking on metal
    14. Install removable <?wooden?> roosting poles + ladders
    Floor Plan
    POD Hen House-png.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
    biophiliac likes this.
  2. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Crowing

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    sounds fine other than ventilation. you may need to go forced air if making holes is not doable. I don't have specs on ventilation but the two things I know of that you really need to look out for are excess heat in the summer and ammonia build up in the air, both can kill. you really don't want any noticable ammonia in the air. most folks can rely on smell and it stings the eyes. most folks don't feel that insulation is worthwhile for most backyard coops but I used it and like it, but the more you seal things up, the more you have to make accommodations for ventilation. The heat of the birds creates a thermo cline and if you put a good sized vent up high with a damper, the warm air escaping will draw in fresh air from below, presumably where they enter and exit, creating a passive venting effect.
     
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  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Songster

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    Curious where you live at...Trying to get an idea what summers and winters will be like. If you are getting a bargain on the container and want to use it for a coop it will work. If you are looking to get this strictly because of the insulation values I am not sure that is needed. The amount of ventilation you will have to have will counteract the insulation properties of the container.
    The numbers thrown around most commonly are 4 square foot of floor space per chicken. So 40 would be the max number recommended in a 20x8 coop. That is assuming the next boxes and egg catchers you show will be incorporated on the outside. If you are in an environment harsh enough to require an insulated coop you wouldn't want to put 50 birds in there with less then 4 sq foot per bird. Potential for lots of behavior issues, especially during the winter months. Rodents will find a way into that insulation more times then not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

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    Guideline for standard chickens is 0.5 cubic feet per bird per minute air exchange. Another way to look at it is any livestock should be provided minimum 0.1 cubic feet per minute per pound of animal as a minimum air exchange requirement.

    Since your using insulation and relying on forced air exchange your building needs to circulate (bring in and push out) 25 cubic feet of air per minute to support 50 standard birds. That's all the air in that size structure exchanged every 50 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
    biophiliac and B Redhawk like this.
  5. B Redhawk

    B Redhawk Chirping

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    You are going to need more ventilation than you think, even with insulation metal containers get hot inside and that means lots of air exchange has to happen. I would figure on 1 sq. ft. per 2 birds for vent sizing in a shipping type container. Think car interiors in the sun and you will be close to understanding the heat temps to expect. I would try for high and low vents so you will get passive air flow. Remember, metal is a heat and cold conductor, you might want to use wood for any framing instead of adding more metal.
    Unless you are going to have run and coop fully enclosed in wire mesh, you might want to re think using doggy doors, any critter can walk right in and get your flock.
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  6. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    You'll need a dozer to move that thing on skids.
     
  7. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    What color is the container? Dark colors absorb heat more.
     
  8. HeritageButcherBlock.com

    HeritageButcherBlock.com In the Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2017
    Thanks for the metric. And I actually plan to make two coops so I should have plenty of space.

    I already own the PODs and I own the insulation machine. We use PODs for other purposes. The ranch is in Boulder Colorado. So what I think I hear you saying is I probably don't need to add the insulation. The POD structure would be warm enough without the insulation?
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  9. HeritageButcherBlock.com

    HeritageButcherBlock.com In the Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2017
    Thanks for the input. Sounds like it would be better not to insulate the POD.
     
  10. HeritageButcherBlock.com

    HeritageButcherBlock.com In the Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2017
    The outside is black and the inside is metal silver. Good thing to keep in mind.
     

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