Must we paint old wood in a new coop? Please advise.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ninabeast, May 8, 2011.

  1. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    We're in the midst of making a coop (our first) inside a beautiful, historic 1890's barn; you can see pics on my page. We'd rather not paint the old parts of the coop (two walls, the ceiling, and two doors), unless it is advisable for the health of the chickens. We pressure-washed the coop today, and are preparing for painting.

    Q: Are we risking our chickens health in any way if we don't put a fresh coat of paint on some very old, but recently cleaned, wood construction?

    Your thoughts and experience very much appreciated.
     
  2. colonel sander

    colonel sander Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    Wood is wood if it did not have anything on it to begin with it will be fine. If there is old paint maybe lead paint?? Might be a problem for you also. Alot of people used re claimed lumber and do nothing with it. I am building a coop now and wanted a few old barn boards from a near by barn well turns out they ae just going to burn it and not re use any of it.
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    You can see pictures of our coops on "my page" and my "barn/coop" page, links in my sig. We never paint any of ours although an odd board might have been painted when I got it.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    If it's bare wood, not been painted, but hasn't had any chickens in it for a long time, I'd move forward with the build after power-washing, as you have done. Do make liberal use of DE (diatomaceous earth, food grade only) and scatter it around AT LEAST at the base of all walls and then liberally in the pine shavings bedding. Poof some into crevices.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    No, you don't need to. HOWEVER unpainted wood that gets chicken poo on it will be difficult to clean, basically-impossible if it is old rough-cut and/or weathered stuff. Also the coop will be darker with unpainted wood walls, which can have some effect on how long your winter "lull" in laying is (or what wattage light you ahve to use if you'll be using artificial lighting to get around that; lower wattage bulbs are safer)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Upstate New York
    Thanks, everyone! Yes, I'd thought that keeping the wood natural would make the coop even darker. (It's going to be pretty dark as it is and supplemental light is on the menu.)

    I was worried because, although no chickens have ever lived there before, the barn is open much of the time, and goodness knows how many birds have lived in there. As it is, we had to smoke out a wasp nest in the coop space. But DF loves the wood, and so do I, so we'd rather keep it unpainted if we can. Two of the walls will be painted white, including the roost wall, so that should bear the brunt of the poop. She said.

    Thanks again for your thoughts!
     
  7. Dunkopf

    Dunkopf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    Kiowa, Colorado
    You could put some melamine covered hardboard sheeting on the walls. Just screw it on with some size 8 constructions screws. Drill holes for the screws in the melamine first. It comes in 1/4" thick 4' x 8'sheets. Around 20.00 each at HD. Bright white and non porous so easy to clean.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    You know, whitewash is a perfectly-traditional old treatment for walls inside barns, and looks quite attractive ... [​IMG] Can be either real whitewash, or "I diluted some primer down with a bit of water and slapped it around"

    I wouldn't worry about it from a disease perspective, you probalby haven't got a germ problem anyhow, and even if there are Bad Chicken Germs permeating the barn, painting a coupla walls ain't gonna prevent problems (dust from the rest of the barn will get into the coop and inoculate the chickens with whatever germs they are). So I don't think you're likely to have a problem and if you did you couldn't DO anything about it anyway [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Pat. Hey, I'm from Ontario, too!
     

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