Archive for November, 2010

Aluminum insulation, also called radiant barrier or reflective foil, is an engineering marvel, one every small-time farmer or backyard animal lover should know about.

In areas of the country where the winter season brings fierce weather, it can be a real challenge to keep animals like chickens and goats warm enough to survive the elements.  Sure, large-scale farmers have the kind of operation that incorporates special housing and heat sources to protect their flock.  Until now, hobby farmers have had little choice but to make big investments or hope for mild temps.

This ingenious material is lightweight and easy to handle.  It consists of a woven polyester scrim sandwiched between twin panels of 99% aluminum.  The result is a strong, reflective film capable of reflecting radiant heat back to its source.

Imagine lining your chicken coop with aluminum insulation.  That includes the ceiling, four walls, and beneath the wooden floor.  The product will contain the chicken’s body heat rendering the space warm and toasty.

The same approach applies to the little den you probably build each winter for your goats.  While there’s concern they may eat something they shouldn’t, again you can line the areas beyond their reach – ceiling and between stall walls.  For warm-blooded goats, this can be especially helpful.  You can even add a low-watt heat lamp to add in extra warmth.

I haven’t tried the product with other farm animals, but did decide to line the house of my two new puppies.  As you might imagine, they eat everything, so I had to be extra careful during the application to pull the roll very taught.  I used firring strips to help protect the seams and keep the dogs from getting purchase on the edges with their mouths.

This winter, consider installing aluminum insulation on your hobby farm.