NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?  (Read 364 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?
« on: August 08, 2019, 12:00:34 pm »
This year, now our two terriers are too old, deaf and doddery to be interested in rats, has become the Year of the Rat.  We wrapped our 6x8 foot wooden hen house in wire mesh to stop the little horrors from getting in through the holes they have chewed in the walls, or chewing new holes.  The house is built on concrete. So now they are chewing their way up through the wooden floor - it must be a tight squeeze between the floor and the concrete.


I know all the options we have such as getting rid of the rats - we try and we try, but we daren't use poison near the hens, geese and wildlife; we can shoot some but it would be a full time job to get them all; we could have no feed in the house overnight but our hens eat their main amount of pellets first thing in the morning before we let them out as they are totally free range during the day; we could bring in someone with working terriers but we don't want to do that and disturb our own dogs; we could use traps but something else would be bound to end up caught; we could track where they live by following back their motorways/runs - we know exactly where they live, underneath the barn where we can't possibly get to them.
Oh Woe! 
So we were thinking of getting a metal shed and lining it with insulation and wood to keep the hens cosy in our very cold winters, with ventilation of course.  Has anyone used a METAL hen house?  The obvious problems are cold and condensation but I think the linings would solve that.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 12:43:53 pm »
We viewed a house with what appeared to be a metal hen house- turns out it was a feed store as metal gets too hot here. Our garage roof measured 55C inside last week. If it's in shade all the time I can see a metal coop working fine, but red mite in any insulation could become a problem.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 02:43:14 pm »
Thanks Chrismahon.  We use the metal lined with wood and insulation on larger sheds and they don't get too hot, even in 'summer' (we do get the occasional hot day), but a smaller structure would have to be carefully ventilated - in hot weather we keep the doors of our current hen house open in the day, and hitch the feed hopper up high, but there are no birds inside then.
For red mite, we use a mix of flame thrower gun and Creosote, which seems to have worked well for the past few years.  The flamethrower is fine on the wood, but I suppose it could melt insulation.  We use what I think is polystyrene.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

william_wt

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 03:42:13 pm »
Since we got our treadle feeder (cheaper version of the grandpa feeder) I haven't seen a rat in our wee chicken house. I'm sure there are some still about, but there is nothing for them to eat in the run, once the eggs have been lifted.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 05:13:51 pm »

I found this beautiful review of a treadle feeder:
<< My chickens seem to easily spill food out of the unit, so I have had to sit in a large tray to catch the mash>>
Would I  have time to spend all day sitting in a large tray? :roflanim: :roflanim: 

I think also that my hens would all want to feed at the same time, plus Gilbert the pheasant, Crow and various friends and rellies.  I will bear that one in mind thank you william_wt if it seems that the metal house idea will not work.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 05:18:07 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Does anyone have experience of a metal hen house?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 06:40:46 am »
how about repurposing an old caravan, as Rosemary has? she has the same sort of weather no?

 

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