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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by speckledhen, Sep 29, 2015.
I'm curious as well
You were right, it was going to be the floor, based on what the guy who did the dozer work said about how he used it for his chicken barns, however, after research, I decided it might not be what I wanted. It's fine for the base of the building, tons cheaper than concrete, much smoother than crusher run/gravel, but after thinking about possible dampness factor coming from the ground, the number of elderly birds I have with severe arthritis and how that might affect them, and researching online about dampness in metal buildings, we decided it might not be the best choice. If we changed our minds, no big deal to cut it out around the perimeter. Needless to say, nothing is set in concrete yet, pun not intended. We could put stall mats on top of the vapor barrier but it would take quite a few to cover the entire 480 sf. and if we only did it in the pens, how much moisture would wick up through the rest of the building? Still thinking but we had to put down the vapor barrier so they could sit the frame on it.
Some articles I read during the research:
From what I've read, there are a few basic things that cause moisture problems in pole/metal buildings.
1. Inadequate ventilation.
2. Lack of vapor barrier under floor.
3. Lack of insulation, or proper type and method of insulation.
3. Building is placed on a site with inadequate drainage or high water table.
We have plenty of control of ventilation, the roof and walls will be insulated and the site will drain fine. The only thing in question is the floor.
I have gravel, and some hay as bedding, I haven't had any moisture problems, but mines not totally sealed up either, but I don't live where you are either, definitely would recommend a barn exhaust fan that's on a temperature control.
I think more will become clear once the barn is sitting here and we can see it and not have to just imagine things. Wisconsin would be a real difference from Georgia, though I am in a completely different climate than mid or south GA or even just 3 hours south of me. It will take long enough to get going on it that I think we'll see the building through rain, sleet and snow before we get very far into the interior project.
I'm having company this Sunday, one of my nephews, his wife and 4-5 of their kids. The youngest just turned 8, the oldest in his early 20's if he can get off his job. They've never been here at all and they'll see the newly "planted" barn. They're really wanting to see the chickens. Sadly, I have no eggs to send back with them. Only 3 of my hens are laying and two of thoseare not every day due to their advanced ages. I really need to hatch some new blood next year so I'm hoping to get this interior done, or mostly done, by late spring. May be wildly optimistic but hey, one can dream.
Sounds like a fun time, you could buy eggs and tell tall stories about who layed them, and dreams are important, what else do I have to do in our forever winters here in Wisconsin, I'm so excited to see the inside done.
It surprises my how often your weather and ours way up here are similar.
I see you're a U per, hello neighbor, nice country up there.
I realize that I'm going to have to leave off the vapor barrier or put down plywood for their ladders. They'll puncture the plastic.
Thinking about sand as bedding. How will it be in winter? We do get down to single digits on a few nights in winter and we do get a few occasions of snow, some years, we have several more intense snowy days of up to 8 inches but those are pretty rare. We have sleet on occasion, too. Summer would be fine, but winter is what makes me hesitate to use sand. What do you think? If sand, we might could keep the paver base since no raking would really be required. It would be a couple steps better than a dirt floor, of course.
I know up here sand freezes solid and becomes a cold, hard substrate, but it gets really cold for months on end. Might be for your older girls a stall mat may be less cold.
Could be we could try the sand, with added stall mat for the old ladies, and see how we like it. If not, we could then add the vapor barrier back and build up wooden floors, I suppose. Might be worth trying something different for at least a time. We are nowhere near as cold as you are up there and there will be some heat in the coops since the older, arthritic hens have heat lamps all winter long, but the barn won't be heated, per se, just heat spots for the ones who need them. I've been reading articles by folks, including the Chicken Chick, who use sand in their coops. Many are up in New England and they still think it works for them. I guess you could use hay/straw over the sand in the really bad cold snaps then rake out the poopy matted hay. I'm having such a hard time with this floor decision. And the floor determines the bedding.