Insulation... better think about it.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CARS, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    This spring (09) I had a great idea for a room within my barn just for brooding and my rabbits. I had some fiberglass bats left over from a previous building project and I insullated the room with them. I then covered it in plastic till I could get around to sheeting the walls with paneling.

    It really kept the temp cool in summer, which is great for my rabbits. And the room kept the cats away from my seamingly endless shippments of chicks (dang chicken addiction). After brooder season was over, it made a great place to raise my newly aquired silkies till I made a breeding set up for them.

    How ever I started noticing the kraft paper that was attached to the insulation (vapor barier/something to staple to the studs) was getting holes in it. Then one night, after my timed lights went out (14 hours for eggs), I peaked in the room. The floor moved!

    Well, the cats can't go in there (I found out the hard way that they like quail, so I assume a silkie would be a target) and I can't poison them because of all the animals... what to do.

    I pulled all the insulation down after I temporarily re-located the silkies and rabbits. I let the cats and even my golden retreiver in the room when I did it. Literally HUNDREDS of mice behind every panel I pulled down!!!! I have never seen so many mice in my life.
    The dog and cats kill hundreds of them, but most just found a hole to get out asap.

    So, the reason for this is a warning. Just putting up insulation with free offer feed is obviously NOT the right thing to do.

    What did I do wrong? Would ridged foam work or would they just tunnel through it??

    I really feel bad. Those poor fuzzy birds just sat on their roost and watched the little creatures eat all their food. Ishhy
  2. newdock

    newdock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2007
    British Columbia
    I think the mistake is just covering it with plastic. If it had been covered in paneling, perhaps they wouldn't have been able to get to the insulation. I am surprised that your chickens didn't peck through the plastic and eat the insulation.....I learned that one the hard way! My insulation is now all covered with wood panels and I don't have a problem.

    Also, I assume the food was on the floor if the mice were getting into it? Try hanging it from the ceiling at the height of the backs of the chickens.

    Good luck! It is -18 here this morning so my chickens are loving their insulation and heat lamp today [​IMG]
  3. jqs birds

    jqs birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2009
    Western Colorado
    You really have to stay on top of mouse control. I use the Victor repeating mouse trap, it doesn't take ant winding or baiting. Just place it along the wall and in the morning dump all the mice into a bucket of water. If you use a couple of them they will just about take care of your mouse problem in a week.
  4. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Leaving exposed batt insulation is a great way to provide nesting material for mice as you have obviously discovered. Batt insulation provides a much higher R value than foam but either can easily be chewed into by mice. You must completly enclose the wall with some kind of paneling to insure they can't get into it. Even then you need to check periodically to insure they aren't trying to chew their way into the wall. If you can't make the room mouseproof then the walls must be completely enclosed. Until then you are better off with no insulation at all. They chewed right through the drywall covering I had in my outdoor deer blind in no time flat. I would recomend floor underlayment or 1/4" plywood.
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    They are persistent. I had one eat thru sheetrock from my attic to my pantry. Trapped him same day. I walked around the house to see where he could have gotten in, and decided a gap between the soffit and the conduit that the 240V comes in to the meter box was the place. I caulked it and never had another mouse in the attic. He was a one-timer in our 21 years here. he did not climb the conduit, but he did climb the brick next to it. [​IMG]

    Have had them to chew thru the rubber weather strip at base of garage door to get into either of our two attached garages. I sometimes set a trap in there just to see if one has gottne in during the winter. Often as not, I catch one at least. [​IMG]
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's true you need a rodent proof interior to use insulation. Sheathing will protect it from the chickens and vapor seal will cut the drafts and assist in moisture control but all of this depends on rodent control- hence our cats...
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Mice are less apt to set up condos in rigid foam as opposed to batts... but they still can if they want to.

    This is why it is good to use actual plywood to cover the insulation, with *tight carpentry* if you suspect rodents around. Don't leave gaps, and they won't even know what they're missing. LEAVE gaps, or omit sheathing, and yes, it can get kind of amazing.

    I am thinking of a (horse) boarding barn I once knew that had extra-thick fiberglass insulation batts on all the ceilings until rats started *literally* falling down onto the horses left and right one winter... [​IMG]


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