Saturday, January 19, 2013

Insulating the chicken coop

We insulated the chicken coop last week and trust me, it's not for the reason you're thinking! We did it because of the moisture. When the cold air outside hits the chicken coop roof, the warm air inside causes condensation. These condensation drops then drip off the ceiling onto the floor causing the floors to quickly become soaked. 

Sometimes it gets so bad, even the wooden beams are dripping! This of course causes the coop litter to become soaked and the deep litter method quits working because of too much moisture. Have you smelled deep litter when it gets soaked? Yuck! Plus moisture is always bad for wood and all that wetness on the coop floor can eventually cause it to rot. We don't want that happening!

Coop insulation

Its' not just all about the coop though. Did you know that moisture is a huge contributing factor to frostbite in chickens? Many people think it's caused by cold but it's not just cold alone. Frostbite is caused by the combination of cold and moisture. This more then anything is a huge reason to try to cut down the moisture content in the coop air. So the condensation had to go!

We decided to put up some insulation. You can see we used the silver heat reflective roll type, but there are several different types available. We used a staple gun to fasten it to the wooden beams. Simply line it up and staple. Be careful not to overlap or the staples won't go into the wood all the way and may pull out easily. It went up quickly and easily and has made a huge difference in the moisture situation in the coop! For a DIY chicken coop insulation, it was really easy!

The birds don't seem to mind it, and this particular choice reflects the light from the fixtures making it seem brighter. It cost us under $100 to insulate this particular coop however as far as coops go, at 10'X20' it is pretty large. Each roll of this particular insulation was 2 feet wide by 25 feet long, so on my smaller coop I'd only need one roll.

Chicken coop insulation

I'm not sure what to expect as to any temperature change in the coop. The pop door is open all day long, which helps to equalize the temperature. There is still some ventilation, but I'll be keeping an eye on it and will add some if it seems there isn't enough. I can't believe the difference it has made already....no more water drips on my head. Yeay! Plus, I haven't had to change the litter since.

If you are looking for a more temporary solution, check out our post on temporary coop insulation.

~L

Looking for more information on what makes a good chicken coop for winter weather? Check out the post: Winter chicken coops. The good, the bad and the ugly


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