Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tightening up the chicken coop

We have some cold weather moving in.

We haven't had a cold snap in a couple of years, so in anticipation of this, Don did something he's been meaning to do for quite awhile: finish insulating the chicken coop.

Two walls of the coop are insulated, but two are not.

Neither is the door.

We have a bale of insulation that's been sitting in the shop, so Don decided to use some to finish insulating the coop. First he cut pieces of OSB left over from building the barn awning, to fit over the insulation (otherwise the chickens will peck at it).

Usually we just leave the big coop door open, but earlier this fall Don built a hatch door where the birdies can have access directly into the barn. (They've learned to go OUT this hatch but not to come IN. Chickens aren't big on brains.) But it will help keep heat in to only have the hatch door open.

Don unrolled and cut the insulation to size...

...and started fitting it into the framing.

He originally built the door so insulation could be fitted in. Now he worked to complete that task.

He buttoned up all the insulation with custom-cut OSB and now the coop is much cozier. I added a fresh layer of bedding and an additional heat lamp, so our ladies will be a lot happier through this cold snap.


  1. That Don. He's handier than a shirt with two pockets.


  2. Don't make it too tight or it will get hot and humid and yur chickens will get pneumonia and the coup will become mouldy and unhealthy for the birds and you. Some ventilation is essential. A sliding opening at the top and bottom of the wall works well as will an opening window

  3. We don't get anywhere near as cold as you guys do, but it can go below freezing here (and has already this year, weird) and we needed something to keep the wind off the birds. Finances are tight, so we ended up wrapping the brooder house in plastic dog food bags, opened up and stretched out. It looks rather redneck chic, but it does the job, and as long as they are warm, the chickens don't care.

    We've actually started a trend. After we did this, one of the neighbors down the road, wrapped his doghouse in similar fashion. I think we'll change the road name to Dog Food Bag Lane.

  4. "Dog Food Bag Lane"

    I love it! I suspect that much of the warmth from the bags is due to blocking the tiny cracks and gaps commonly found in construction. This is why these days it is common to see buildings wrapped in Tyvek building wrap before the outer building surface (paneling or brick) is installed.

    We are way South of you Patrice in Colorado, but tonight is supposed to get down to -10 degrees F. Monday is supposed to be our first night above 0 degrees F.

    Thank God for a warm house!

  5. The Lewis Homestead yardbirds are some of the most fortunate chickens on the planet.
    A. McSp.

  6. One cold tip that made sense to me was to cover the perch rails with old carpet. Something you could just tear off in the spring. a little insulation for the Chickens "Nether Parts" and feet.

    Nice job on the insulating, Keep warm and winter well!

    1. I really like that idea, will look around for some carpet scraps to nail onto their rail. Thanks!

  7. Our chickens haven't wanted out of there coop since Monday
    evening. We don't have insulation, but we were able to get free
    straw last year. Maybe will never get it again. So we have straw
    all around the coop.And a heat lamp. This cold snap isn't any fun
    We have had a sick chicken since thanksgiving. It finly died yesterday. I guess that those things happen. I tried to clean out the coop blow 0 weather so the other chickens don't get sick.
    So far so good
    Blessings to you alll

  8. You inspired me to add a heat lamp to my coop. We're also having a cold snap, although not like yours!!! Temps here are high of 35, low of 18. I don't want sick birds, plus my RIR recently completely molted, poor girl.

  9. - 17 this morning on my front porch. (ambient temperature) Brrrrr. I'm kind of concerned. This is really cold for this time of year. I wonder what January will be like when we are SUPPOSED to get cold weather?

  10. - 17 this morning on my front porch. (ambient temperature) Brrrrr. I'm kind of concerned. This is really cold for this time of year. I wonder what January will be like when we are SUPPOSED to get cold weather?