Barn chicken coop restoration

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gettin' Ready, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Gettin' Ready

    Gettin' Ready New Egg

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    I am in the process of fixing an old 24*36 barn. It had previously had a chicken house in the back 24*12 section. In order to replace the lower structure I have had to remove the plywood paneling that had been nailed to keep out critters and keep insulation in. Behind this plywood paneling is what used to be the pink insulation. I say used to be as over 50% has been processed into rat bedding. The rats have used the space between the plywood and the wall of the barn as their personal refuge and have chewed at least hall way through the 2*4 verticals to allow them to move from bay to bay. Their is also plywood on the ceiling. I can only imagine what will be behind there..........

    I raise this to question the need for insulation and hence the wall cavity approach. I figure the rats have held court with impunity because they have had such a nice place to live and that their presence must of been more detrimental to the chickens that lived there than the benefit gained by the insulation. We are located on Vancouver Island which has a pretty temperate climate.

    The repaired barn will hold chickens in a similar area to that used previously, but I do not think I will put any insulation. Looking for thoughts, opinions or ideas.....
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    IMHO, especially in a large barn situation (like yours), it can indeed be more of a liability than a benefit, if you are not able to have really tight carpentry and thus end up ranching up a gazillion rodents.

    On Vancouver Island you don't in any way shape or form *need* insulation anyhow, although if you were planning (for some reason) on running electrical heating it would save you money.

    I would suggest that if you're not going to heat (and truthfully I think it'd be pretty 'special' circumstances in which you would in any way "have" to), just remove the old insulation and double wall, make sure the outer wall of the barn is weathertight, and call it good.

    If OTOH you for whatever reason that I can't talk you out of (LOL) are determined to run significant amounts of electrical heating in there, rebuild things so that the coop area is freestanding, NOT sharing an outer wall of the barn. Then insulate it properly, with tightly-constructed stud walls that you fill with insulation. Emphasis on tightly constructed.

    I would think you are more likely to be in the former rather than the latter situation tho.

    WEAR A REALLY GOOD MASK AND GOGGLES when you remove all the old nasty insulation from walls and ceiling, not just b/c of the fiberglass fibers but because of all the mold and rat-poo-dust in there. Ask me how I know [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm on the Island as well.[​IMG]
    True, our winters in general are pretty mild, but we have had the odd time where temps have been down to
    -10 C or more for a week running. My coop is un-insulated, and the hens seem happy and healthy, even through the colder times.
    Biggest issue for me, is the hens drinking water freezing up. A heated waterer may be a good idea for those few times it may be needed. I've been using a heat lamp, which does the trick for the few days it's needed. I give the hens a little scratch before they hit the roost, to help them through the older nights. Apparently the corn in it helps them build internal heat.

    Initially, I would work really hard at getting rid of the rats on the property. To prevent future invasion, I wouldn't bother to re-insulate, but perhaps spend a few dollars on hardware cloth instead, to block the rats access to the coop.

    Where are you located?
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Huh, my chickens are in a metal-sided slab-floored very well constructed building that is in very tight structural condition, and I *still* get a few rats wander in every Autumn and try to take up residence. (I think they wander in thru popdoors during the day or late afternoon, but am not positive of it)

    I "discourage" them, in a fatal kind of way, but I don't think it's really possible to keep rats from getting into a coop (unless you are very serious about it and have *deep* pockets)... the best you can do is make it easy for you to discover they're there and evict them. Meaning, no junk piles or double walls or other inaccessible areas.

    Pat
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is a way to keep rodents out and have insulation, but it involves suporting a feral colony as many of us do here...

    [​IMG]

    But in your beautiful climate, I see no need to insulate...[​IMG]
     
  6. Gettin' Ready

    Gettin' Ready New Egg

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    Thanks for these replies, @ Bills, I am in Sayward Valley. The barn has been unusable as a barn for a number of years, so the rats are long gone. Barn cats can keep the population under control provided they can get at 'em.....Soon it will be functional again and I can learn how to keep chickins....[​IMG]. Thanks for the heads up on the nasties in the rat poop. Had a D'ohhhh moment when I read that!
     

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