Straw bale coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lobb40118, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. lobb40118

    lobb40118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if you could buy straw bales and a bit of plastic and make a warm winter coop that is cheap?
     
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    dad made a small coop within a coop growing up in northern ohio minus plastic
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    wausau,wisconsin
    cheap??
    that depends upon how much the straw bales cost and how big the coop would be, I guess..

    If the question is; can it be done?
    yes..

    would it be warm? If built tightly and not too large for the number of chickens being housed.. yes
     
  4. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    cheap (that aint no crap) used ta be in daddys day i remember when straw was alot cheaper then hay. then hay was cheaper and i guess now its all about the same
     
  5. Chiiiiiiiiiickens!

    Chiiiiiiiiiickens! Out Of The Brooder

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    We surrounded our uninsulated wood coop with straw bales this year and I'm concerned because the straw has absorbed a lot of water and it seems to be leaching through the wood siding and dampening the interior of the coop. I'm worried about the dampness combined with freezing temperatures, although so far, so good... Everybody seems healthy. I'm reluctant to remove it because I think it is doing a good insulating job. Anyway, that would be my concern, that the whole thing would get a little soggy, but I tend to be a worrier!
     
  6. redoak

    redoak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My biggest concern would be predators. Then again maybe I read The Three Little Pigs too many times.
     
  7. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

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    My grandfather lined the inside of his coop and the outside with straw bales when we'd have a bad winter. Never built one directly out of it, but don't see why it wouldn't work. People build bale houses and live in them. If you wanted it to be permanent, you could cover the outside with sod. Wouldn't be predator proof and you'd be up a creek if you ever had infection run through your flock because the only way to sterilize would be to burn the whole thing.

    Interesting, though. Keep us posted if you do it [​IMG]
    -Spooky
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The bale houses people live in are not just stacked strawbales, though. There is this whole rigamarole where you skewer them together with rebar and wrap with chickenwire and then plaster the whole thing well with cement. Also they are usually (not always) just straw infill on a timber frame, and have to be on a stout foundation or rotproof sill significantly above ground level so that travelling moisture doesn't cause problems.

    You *can* use straw for creating warm winter quarters for chickens, but:

    -remember that haybales can shift and it can be rather difficult to wire 'em so securely they won't shift at all (transl: it would be really sad to have your chickens squashed by falling haybales - this happens to other small livestock sometimes...)

    -the best you could do without an engineered roof would be a reach-in doghouse type affair (and it would be *awkward* to reach into and clean etc, too). For that you could securely wire on a half sheet or so of 3/4" plywood and stack a layer of strawbales on top. But for an actual coop you could walk into, you would need rafters and all that, and NO hay on the roof (because of load), and honestly I would never ever do it myself because it would be too hard to guarantee the walls would never collapse in/out and seriously injure everyone and everything involved.

    -straw molds. Bad. It is one thing to stack it around the outside of a n existing coop for exterior insulation; it is a whole nother thing to have it molding *inside* the coop. Mold is not good for chickens' respiratory systems, or anyone elses' either.

    -any predator worth its salt will just blow right in there and eat whatever it wants, should such a predator happen to be wandering by in a hungry mood. remember the 3 little pigs? <g>

    -plus you would have to re-buy and re-build it all every year, as opposed to a permanent structure that you just build ONCE (and don't necessarily have to pay for if you scrounge your materials).

    IMO, straw is ok to insulate the outside of a building (especially just for a month or two), and you can make a marginally acceptible emergency 'hut' out of it, but not a real effective building material for an actual coop.

    JM$0.02,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great place for mites, too, and rodents adore it for HUGE nests! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  10. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2008
    wausau,wisconsin
    Chiiiiiiiiiickens! :

    We surrounded our uninsulated wood coop with straw bales this year and I'm concerned because the straw has absorbed a lot of water and it seems to be leaching through the wood siding and dampening the interior of the coop. I'm worried about the dampness combined with freezing temperatures, although so far, so good... Everybody seems healthy. I'm reluctant to remove it because I think it is doing a good insulating job. Anyway, that would be my concern, that the whole thing would get a little soggy, but I tend to be a worrier!

    It could be that the moisture is coming from within the coop and condensing when it hits the cooler air..​
     

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