Wood or Metal ??


7 Years
Apr 2, 2016
Ft Leonard Woood, Missouri
I am needing to replace my chicken coop...hopefully this year.

I have looked at wood vs metal buildings and see the advantages of both.

Do any of you keep your birds in a metal building ( with windows and extra ventilation added ) ?
Insulated for what reason? Not looking to argue or nothing but...
I've had a small flock living under a tarp all winter and we had several nights well into the single digits and not a problem. I've found that as long as you keep the wind and rain off your birds they'll keep warm enough, or at least they did for our weather.
My only concern with a metal building is ventilation and heat during the summer.
Just my 2cents...
The issue in our climate is that metal is hot in summer and cold in winter. So leaving bare metal walls and roofs exposed to the interior is going to cause you problems, although when you look around at Craigslist, etc. and see all the commercial made chicken houses made in our area, most have metal siding. I don't think of them as bad people, but more like they have not done their homework. They like it because it is cheap, durable, fast to build and looks good. But I doubt any of them have spent the night in one during the winter when it's -10F and blowing like stink outside. Or some day in summer when it's 95F outside and 110F inside. The deal is metal is a great conductor of heat....meaning it radiates heat in when it's hot, and radiates it from inside to outside when it's cold.

You can help that somewhat if you at least line the interior of the shed with OSB to isolate the metal from the birds, and hopefully install at least the bubble stuff or even 1/2" of the polyiso board under the roof tin. Insulating all sidewalls and roof with at least 1/2" insulation board would be better.

Of the two, insulation under a metal roof is most critical. Without insulation, a metal roof housing livestock will literally rain inside from condensation of moisture given off by the livestock.....or in our case our birds.
Unless you are adding heat to your metal coop an insulated building actually gets colder and stays colder longer than one without insulation.
You live in Alaska and I have no real knowledge of the cold you endure (holy crap cold)...but in the lowerish portion of the lower 48 we don't see that kind of cold. Holy crap what you must do to keep your birds warm! Insane...
It also helps to know that the two temp extremes that place birds in great danger from temp stress are 0F to the low end and 95F to the upper end. With some bird breeds and under moist conditions, frostbite starts becoming an issue as low as +10F....or even higher. And birds can't sweat, so their only cooling radiator is by panting hard......so they are air cooled. Hot humid air does not cool well.

So metal exaggerates and amplifies the temp extremes to make it worse on both ends. Insulation isolates the birds from the metal. Not needed if you never get near those extremes, but a good idea if you do. Or switch to a different building material.

Or on the hot side, you can also buffer it a bit by selecting light colors that reflect light and heat vs. dark colors that absorb it.
Hey there @Alaskan grew up and lived in Texas .. ventilation can be solved in the pitch of the roof but must run hardware cloth to warrant off predators..
most frostbite is an issue of not enough ventilation
The deal with chickens is that the birds themselves are the source of heat.....each giving off about 10BTU per hour.....about the same as a 10 watt night light. Given off as radiant heat. If that stops at the house interior wall, and is reflected back, the interior of a house in winter will be warmer than outside by as much as 10F or more. With bare metal, that is radiated on outside.

I have a tack room in my horse barn that has a dark red south facing wall, with uninsulated metal siding on the outside wall. Not unusual for it to be 70F plus in in winter when the sun is shining on the metal siding........when less than 20F outside. That soloar gain goes away in a hurry when the sun goes down and the heat then flows out.
We turned an old metal shed into a coop. Roof and 3 sides are corrugated. No insulation. It's shaded on summer afternoons after 3 pm.
Floor and front we made of wood. We've been using it since 2015 with no issues. 2 windows in wood side, 2 pop doors, one people door. These pics were of the construction.
coopa.JPG coop.png

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