Straw bale coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by domromer, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got it in my head to build a straw bale coop. I'm in the research stage so I thought I'd check in here and try to clean some info from others who have built straw bale coops.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    We had one when I was a kid but there wasn't alot of light and ventilation wasn't that good.

    BUT it kept them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Straw has great insulation properties.
     
  3. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was planning to use straw in the winter to help insulate the coop. I was just going to cheat and stack it around the outside. I wish I had the room to build a bigger coop or I'd be doing straw bale construction.

    Like Mahonri said, the major concern would be ventilation. I'd probably do windows and vent holes. A way you could do vent holes is using pvc run through the bale or between making sure that it is wired off on both sides.

    PS. I had seen pics of a straw bale coop but I can't remember what the website was.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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  5. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Vermont
    We built a straw coop last fall for our chickens. It held up really well and kept our girls cozy-warm in our frigid VT winter. I will get some pics when it is a little brighter out.

    Basically we followed the design in Andy Lee's Chicken Tractor. We made the floor out of pallets, put a metal roof on four posts and the walls are bales. We had to frame a door and we used rebar and posts to reinforce the walls. We used an old interior door for the door and cut a hole in it for a window. an

    While there are some things I would tweak, it was a fun project and has proven to be much more durable than I thought it would be. In fact, I plan to use it again this year for the bantam chicks I have in the brooder.

    Things I plan to change:
    1. The floor. While the pallets are a good foundation, I would like to put playwood over the top to help reduce drafts and make it easier to clean/shovel.

    2. Overventilated. We left about 6" open on three side of the coop between the top of the bales and the roof for ventilation. I found this to be too much for the coldest part of the winter and wound up patching up with loose hay to keep out the bitter cold winds. We did use old welded wire fencing to wrap around this opening and secured it to the roof supports to keep out wild birds, etc. I'll also devise some sort of cover to put over the "window " (read hole covered w/chicken wire) in the door to keep out wind/drafts.

    I would also like to make it somewhat more predator proof. We have a fox around here but he has never attempted to get into the coop as far as I can tell. The pallet floor means that we're pretty safe from digging predators. So far we 've never had raccoon issues, but it would be pretty easy for them to get in if they really wanted to.

    I can say that I am extremely satisfied with our bale house and for the price, well it certainly can't be beat!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Do you mean straw bale coop as in "I stacked some straw bales and that's my coop", or do you mean as in "strawbale house construction" i.e. up on a foundation, stacks of bales covered with stucco, R40 type thing?

    I ask because they are two very very different things.

    Pat
     
  7. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mean a strawbale house.

    What's the difference between a coop and the house?

    I need something that keeps hens warm secure and dry.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Sorry, I was unclear, it is not 'house' vs 'coop' I was asking about, it is "just stacking up strawbales" or "doing the whole enchilada with a foundation and rebar and wire and stucco".

    They really are two different things, so advice will depend which you're thinking of.

    Pat
     
  9. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan on doing the whole enchilada. Stucco, rebar, load bearing walls. I want this to be a permanent structure. My present climate is perfect for straw bale construction. I've always wanted to build with straw bale and this is the perfect chance to start small.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Cool beans, doing it up properly [​IMG] I would dearly love to do that myself, just can't afford the foundation footings that would be necessary (b/c of our frost depth - not likely an issue for you [​IMG])

    There is a pic of a cordwood coop in Pangman's book but I've not seen or heard of strawbale coops actually being built (tho I'm sure someone somewhere has). No reason it shouldn't work though.

    Have fun, and post pics when it is done!! [​IMG]

    Pat
     

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