Hay Bale Chicken House

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It's me again,

Anybody have any experience or comments about housing made with hay bales as mentioned in the book "The Chicken Tractor"

Looks like a great inexpensive and warm building for a maine winter.

Thanks, Todd in Maine

-- Todd Leeman (todd.leeman@colehaan.com), March 14, 2002


Todd, I built a strawbale chicken coop in the summer of 1999 and it is still looking good. I built it as an experiment and a learning tool as we built our strawbale house the next summer. I didn't put any stucco on either the inside or the outside and have only about a 1 foot overhang all the way around. The weather has not bothered it-- no rot or mold. The outside of the bales have darkened but are still sound.

Good luck

-- Doug in KY (toadshutes@yahoo.com), March 14, 2002.

We have made & used hay bale houses for chickens,duck,geese & even goats. I didn't know about the article in Chicken Tractor, we've been making them for almost 20 yrs!! They have kept all their inhabitants warm,dry & happy through west central Wisconsin winters. We are now in Ky;I just made one down here and it's been raining and it is keeping the chicks dry & warm. I really like making them, plus when you finally want to remake or dispose of them the hay is great for the compost pile! Peace,Kathy

-- Kathy Aldridge (beckoningwinds@yahoo.com), March 14, 2002.

Straw, not hay.

-- snoozy (bunny@northsound.net), March 15, 2002.

Thanks to all who have reponded and to all that will respond,

I am haveing trouble finding Straw in my area that is cost effective $3.00+ per bale.

What is the concern with hay bales? I can get fresh cut firm bales for $1.50-$1.75 per bale in my area.

Any comments?

Thanks, Todd in Maine

-- Todd in Maine (todd.leeman@colehaan.com), March 15, 2002.

Hay is more prone to mold than straw.

We had a straw house as a play house in the winter when we were kids. It could be minus 30 c outside, but we were always cozy in there.

In the spring when we took it down to mulch the garden with, we found 5 different kinds of snakes hiding in the bales (we don't have any poisonous varieties here).

-- Chenoa (ganter@primus.ca), March 15, 2002.

Kathy (or anyone else!)

Would you kindly share how you construct your straw bale chicken houses? It would be greatly appreciated!

Every thing I have found on straw bale construction gives directions for more alaborate buildings, more suited for human use than what is needed to house chickens/livestock.


-- dottie - in E Shore MD (mother-ducker@webtv.net), March 15, 2002.

I would also be very interested in getting a description of how to construct one of these hay bale houses... I mean straw. We live in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and will be ordering chicks soon!

Any info would be greatly appreciated!

-- Shelley Welchner (swelchner@ican.net), March 17, 2002.

Thanks for all the info.

I am going to try my hen house w/ good quality hay bales. Straw is cost prohibitive in Maine.

Base row will be set on halved hard wood pallets to keep them off the ground and the bottom layer will be covered in plastic to help prevent the hay from rotting.

I will then stack the bales like bricks tied together with sticks going from 1 row down into the row under it.

The roof will be a shed roof with 18" over hangs with solid corner posts.

Doors/Windows/Nest Boxes will be sized to replace a bale in the stacking process.

Thanks, Todd in Maine

-- Todd in Maine (todd.leeman@colehaan.com), March 18, 2002.

=== Base row will be set on halved hard wood pallets to keep them off the ground and the bottom layer will be covered in plastic to help prevent the hay from rotting. ===

Two things can happen to hay when covered with plastic ~ it will collect moisture and mold and it can get hot enough in summer to catch fire.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), March 19, 2002.

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