using hay bales for winter warmth inside coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Angiebubs, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Good morning!

    I've read here and there of people using hay bales to make a lil extra cubby hole for warmth inside the coop for winter. I was thinking about this last night and wondering how it works? First, I know they will want to roost at night-so do the bales need to be stacked pretty high? I would imagine the bales would also get pretty nasty in a hurry? My coop is kinda big for the # of chickens I have and am trying tofigure out the best way to give them as much warmth without adding heat as possible.
    Has anyone used hay/straw bales tunnels?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    wondering how it works

    It doesn't work​
     
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, it does not work, it gets nasty when wet, and makes the entire coop disgusting smelling after a few days. THen, imagine them having a party using the straw as confetti.
     
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Don't do it you'll soon regret it.

    As long as you provide a draft free coop your chickens will be just fine in the cold. They have down coats. Another thing that is a must in the winter is access to unfrozen drinking water and proper nutrition and full crops at roosting time.

    Chickens do quite well in the cold and if the wind isn't blowing 90 mph mine are out and about even when the temps are in the teens.

    I typically loose one or two birds in the heat but in 45+ years of raising chickens I've never had one freeze to death.
     
  5. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    It must depend on your area for the bedding and insulation of choice. I've seen bales of straw stacked two high in a u shape inside a cold drafty barn (each course included one bale on each side and two across the back) with a sheet of plywood over the top. There was a 2X4 across the middle (resting on the first course) for a roost. My mom talked about growing up in Nebraska and how they stacked three bales all around the outside of the lathe barn for insulation. Straw is the bedding material most often used here in Minnesota winters, but we stay below freezing for months. I do agree if you have wet conditions, straw will get moldy.

    I take a bale and fill my coop with a good foot or more of straw. During sub-zero weather my hens dig little nests into the straw and avoid the covered run. This usually only happens when it is < 20 below.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  6. Evernf

    Evernf Out Of The Brooder

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    how about around the coop on the outside of the coop staw bales
     
  7. Eris

    Eris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think using straw would be kind of like the deep litter method. I don't know how it would become any dirtier using it for warmth as apposed to floor covering and bedding. I think straw, or hay which is easier to come by in my area, is what we are going to pile in our coop for our girls to have fun in this winter and stay warm in it to.

    I agree though, if your in a very wet place, I wouldn't suggest it, or at least make sure that no moisture gets in the coop. So definitely don't put it outside of the walls. Keep it inside.
     
  8. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Quote:Hi"neighbor" I work in the cities and live an hr NE in Amery, WI. So same cold weather. I have been working on the deep litter method (pine shavings), not sure if this will be enough. I have sectioned off a 1/3 of our mini horse barn for the chickens...so 3 cement walls and one wall which is upper half wire and lower half plywood. As it begans to cool down further, I plan on covering the interior wire/plywood wall with plastic to further insulate...so trying to figur eout if I should add the hay bales in addition
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  9. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Hi"neighbor" I work in the cities and live an hr NE in Amery, WI. So same cold weather. I have been working on the deep litter method (pine shavings), not sure if this will be enough. I have sectioned off a 1/3 of our mini horse barn for the chickens...so 3 cement walls and one wall which is upper half wire and lower half plywood. As it begans to cool down further, I plan on covering the interior wire/plywood wall with plastic to further insulate...so trying to figur eout if I should add the hay bales in addition

    Hi back atcha, neighbor! I was wondering where Amery was! Straw has great insulating properties due to the hollow air filled center and makes a great sub-straight for deep litter method in a cold/dry environment. As far as the walls, if you have a cement barn you are probably already draft free. I use 3 ml. plastic to cover my run and it keeps the wind and snow out. I think the next question is what is the breed of chicken(s) that you keep. If they are cold hardy breeds they will not need more than dry and draft free. I do keep one 100 watt reptile night bulb hanging from a brooder cone, but the hens just go under it occasionally to warm up. They really do adjust to the cold.
     
  10. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,331
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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Quote:Hi"neighbor" I work in the cities and live an hr NE in Amery, WI. So same cold weather. I have been working on the deep litter method (pine shavings), not sure if this will be enough. I have sectioned off a 1/3 of our mini horse barn for the chickens...so 3 cement walls and one wall which is upper half wire and lower half plywood. As it begans to cool down further, I plan on covering the interior wire/plywood wall with plastic to further insulate...so trying to figur eout if I should add the hay bales in addition

    Hi back atcha, neighbor! I was wondering where Amery was! Straw has great insulating properties due to the hollow air filled center and makes a great sub-straight for deep litter method in a cold/dry environment. As far as the walls, if you have a cement barn you are probably already draft free. I use 3 ml. plastic to cover my run and it keeps the wind and snow out. I think the next question is what is the breed of chicken(s) that you keep. If they are cold hardy breeds they will not need more than dry and draft free. I do keep one 100 watt reptile night bulb hanging from a brooder cone, but the hens just go under it occasionally to warm up. They really do adjust to the cold.

    Amery is half way between New Richmond and St Croix Falls.:) Yes the barn is cement walls-3 sides-the other is open into the rest of the barn which is VERY drafty.
    Chicken breeds: blk orpington, dorking x iowa blue, blk orp x dorking, top hat, cohin bantam mixes, barred rocks, and one ?black sex link". Ages 9 wks to 1 yr.
    If using the bales as an "extra" jsut wondering how dirty the bales would get and if thats a concern? The space is jsut so large for the amount of chickens I have, worried the "chicken heat" will escape.
     

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