Chicken Coop Construction: Insulation, Walls, and Roosting

The exterior of our chicken coop may still look like a garden shed, but the interior has greatly changed since when we bought the property in July 2013.

Chicken Coop Construction Continued

My husband, Aaron, essentially did all the work of retrofitting the coop within the month of May 2014. The chicks had arrived eighteen days after our fourth child was born via an emergency Caesarean section, so I wasn’t up for much hard labor quite yet. …Well, see for yourself what I was doing while my husband slaved away. 🙂

Feeding Baby

 

Our chicks arrive as tiny little fluff balls in a cardboard box…

Chicks

 

…and in two weeks, they had become toddlers in a Tupperware container.

Chicks - Two Weeks Old

But soon they were month-old, gawky adolescents itching to be living full-time in the coop instead of in a plastic box in the basement. With the inside of the coop getting close to finished, we plopped them inside for more space and then continued to work on the outside.

Hens - 30 Days Old

Drafts and Cleaning

Funky panorama of the inside of the coop

Funky panorama of the inside of the coop

First, Aaron insulated the inside of the coop between the studs with expanded styrofoam. Next, he stapled plastic over the insulation then installed fiberglass shower panels on the walls and ceiling and caulked all the seams. He then painted the plywood floor white. Somewhere in there, he’d also cut the openings for the nesting box and for the guillotine door.

Insulated Coop
It gets really chilly in Minnesota (-40 F wind chill isn’t unheard of), and we were hoping to cut down on drafts with the insulation, plastic, and shower board. In addition, the walls are very easy to clean.

Roosting

Ladder

Originally I had wanted to install several broom handle or shower curtain rods across the top of the coop at the same height for the ladies to sit on in order to reduce dominance issues, but we were forced into scavenging for hen house parts from what we already owned. We had an old ladder that came from a neighbor back in Mount Vernon, Iowa, that we thought might fit the bill. At first, it just sat propped on the floor, but later Aaron cut it so that it’s completely off the ground. (Picture will be in later post) This allows for really easy cleaning because we just push all the litter out of the door without having to move the roosts.

We quickly learned, though, that there were going to be struggles for dominance as everyone tried to sit on the top rung… and on each other.

Roost

 

 

Ventilation

To date, the only ventilation that has been done is the trapezoidal cut-outs on either side of the stud in the above picture. Aaron lined the vents with hardware cloth and called it good. Eventually, we want to work on making the windows removable so that in the summer we can pop in screens instead.


 

20140708-IMG_5412

 

The chicken coop construction saga will be continued with future posts on: creating the run, guillotine door, and nesting box; how we survived our first winter; and a video tour of the coop now.

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