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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We bought a house with a nice, big coop in middle Tennessee where the winters are not too bad (very rare snow and temps generally around or slightly below freezing overnight). The coop sits on the back side of a hill where there is a lot of protection from wind, however, it was built like a tobacco barn with spacing between the boards. It's been great through the summer with lots of ventilation, but I'm worried about winter. Should we line the coop inside with plastic or other insulating material? Do we need a heat lamp or other source of heat? The idea scares me as I can just picture my coop up in flames.
 

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We bought a house with a nice, big coop in middle Tennessee where the winters are not too bad (very rare snow and temps generally around or slightly below freezing overnight). The coop sits on the back side of a hill where there is a lot of protection from wind, however, it was built like a tobacco barn with spacing between the boards. It's been great through the summer with lots of ventilation, but I'm worried about winter. Should we line the coop inside with plastic or other insulating material? Do we need a heat lamp or other source of heat? The idea scares me as I can just picture my coop up in flames.
You don't need to insulate or heat the coop. You can take some cardboard and tack up over the cracks located around the roosting areas but I wouldn't get too enthusiastic about it blocking off all the cracks.

What you can do~and your coop sounds ideal for it~is to use deep litter in your coop to keep your bird's feet warm and create a warmth from the composting process. The good ventilation you have in your coop would be excellent for this method.

There are threads here about the process that can give you more info on it and you will be glad you tried it. It keeps down smell and flies, as well as making a healthier coop environment for your birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I work in Nashville at Value Vet on Nolensville Rd and live in a tiny town East of Carthage (East of Nashville) called Elmwood.
 

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Ha! Small world. We are in Madison now(rivergate) but I started in Lebanon just across the bridge from Gallatin then I lived in Hartsville for just over a year got married and moved to east Nashville and then Madison. We got our chickens from a farm in Carthage
 

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No need. We're in central Wisconsin here, got down to -40 last winter and everyone survived without insulation or heat.
 

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No heat and no insulation here in Va. To be honest they are a rather hardy breed that can do well for themselves. (till we as humans think we know what is best for them. ;))

Best of luck...
 

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You're not kidding! That is real cold. Lately I've been on a kick reading about all those in the 18-1900's seeking the north or south pole and living in weather that's frequently -40 or so. I cannot imagine.
 

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Nm,I have cold winters,too,but I put lights out in the coop.I know the cold is more of an inconvenience than anything but it makes me feel better.It's still cold,the water would freeze if I didn't have the heated waterer,but the chill is off.If it's 10 degrees or colder in the daytime,I don't let them out and at 20 degrees,I put out 2 lights.Like I said,they probably don't need it but it makes me feel better.And on those really cold nights,they get extra treats right before roosting time so they have full bellies and digest it it all at night,keeping them warm and cozy.(I hope!)
 

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I forgot that that coop(8x10 metal shed) did have insulation.It was used more to block drafts than to trap heat.
 

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Do you end up with condensation dripping from the roof? I did in mine down in TN during the Winter time and had to cover the ceiling to prevent it getting everything wet.
 

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We had some Styrofoam sheet insulation thatwe put on the ceiling just to stop condensation. No heat in our coop either, but we don't get nearly so cold as Nm.
 

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I use a metal shed also,but I don't recall moisture on the ceiling.I will watch for it this year and take necessary precautions.I may even get some styrofoam this week and put it up anyway.If nothing else it's extra insulation.So far it's warmer than usual and would be a good time to do it instead of waiting until I have a problem and have to address it in freezing temps.
 
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