Straw bale, anyone?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by swatchick, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. swatchick

    swatchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2011
    Have any of you built a straw bale coop? I built a temporary brooder coop with bales, and I designed (and will hopefully be building next week) a full sized coop but I'm wondering if anyone who has built one has any "I wish I'd thought of that" or "I wish I hadn't done that" advice about either the building process or chickens in straw bale structures....
  2. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    I haven't heard of that but if someone did I sure would like to see some pics!!!!
  3. Kyle241

    Kyle241 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    I have built a straw bale house so why not!!!
  4. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    I wanted to do this for my goats and chickens, but husband does not. [​IMG]
  5. swatchick

    swatchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2011
    I'm loving the brooder coop -- it only took a couple of hours to put together on an existing concrete slab (the front porch!) and the chicks LOVE it. It is really holding the heat from the heat lamps well, and protects them from the wind, reduces ambient noise so they aren't startled constantly, and they love picking the rambling bugs off the bales. I also realized that with the full size version, the noise will be seriously muffled, which doesn't much matter where I live (except to the degree that the lower their volume, the less they advertise themselves to our predators), but seems like it could be real benefit for those who have or want to have chickens in town but worry about noise...
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You would have to protect it from moisture but otherwise it might be a good idea
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I built a straw bale coop earlier this year and its working great. The first few weeks the chooks pecked and scratched at the straw quite a bit and I was afraid it wasn't a good idea but once they got used to being surrounded by the straw, they left it alone. In "interweaving" the bales for solidity, I ended up with a couple of half bales that project into the coop. At first I was concerned about the space these take up in the coop until DH suggested we could turn those into nest boxes. The chooks didn't need to be asked twice. They dug a nest into one of those half bales and started laying in it even while the coop was still under construction!
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    My friend made one every winter for her 4 ducks. She stacked the bales in a U-shape, almost a complete circle - but with one bale missing for a door, then put a sheet of plywood on that, then covered with more bales of hay. It was a total of 2 bales high. They survived -20 degrees with that style house, until the neighbors new dog discovered them. [​IMG]
  9. rarely bored

    rarely bored Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2011
    Central California
    Are you planning to make the structure permanent with plaster on the bales or temporary? I did a temporary one several years ago, then used the same bales for the garden, and the main thing I would do different would be to raise the bottom course off of the ground higher than the 2x4's I used. When I tore it down, I had mice in the bales, and gophers had pushed dirt up. But as I said, it was temporary with the end product being a happy garden.
  10. swatchick

    swatchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2011
    The plan is for it to be a permanent structure, with a full rubble foundation. I know moisture from the ground is a major concern, so I'm hoping that the rubble foundation, with a layer of plastic and roofing felt between the foundation and first course will be adequate. I haven't decided yet about plastering -- I can see the benefits of it in terms of moisture protection and longevity, but I know there are some folks who have left their straw bale homes unplastered and didn't have major problems, so I'll see how much money, energy and time I have when the time comes. At a minimum, the lower course of walls will be wrapped in poultry wire to protect it from being picked apart. And if I really get motivated, I have a plan for a (at least a partial) green roof, too!

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