Hey y'all! We recently bought a small homestead that was owned by an elderly gentleman. In it's glory days it used it's barn for chickens, goats, rabbits, peacocks and other unusual fowl. Right now the coop is a scary place with decades old poop, spider webs and peeling, falling apart walls. The bones are definitely good but I'm trying to figure out what to put over the walls. It looks like some type of insulation was in place on certain sections. What can I use? There is also peeling white paint from forever ago (There barn itself was built in the 1800's) Can I/should I repaint? I was going to use a pressure washer with vinegar to sanitize everything. Any other suggestions??
Hi Celinda, welcome to Permies! That looks like a nice building. Unless you live in the far north, I'm guessing you don't need the insulation stuff. If you live in the deep South maybe that would help the birds stay cool in summer but maybe a tree and good ventilation would do better.
I'd test that paint for lead. Not sure what you need to do for that, hopefully it's just whitewash.
Ignoring the paint/lead bit, I'd pull the insulation, remove any unnecessary pieces, pressure wash the crap out of it, let it dry out and try a whitewash.
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
I'm not in favour of housing a variety of animals in a shared enclosure simply for cleanliness, disease and pest management.
Similarly, the cleanliness and possible disease history is an unknown. Since the coup has seen a lot of use, I'd:
1. strip the walls and any old insulation, built up muck, manure, etc and re-sheet the interior with whatever is available and easy to clean/maintain.
2. Hose and scrub the concrete floor with detergent then a strong bleach solution, discard the old perches and make new ones - paint them with a few coats of oil (I like linseed oil) to reduce mite infestation. Ditto with nesting boxes.
3. White wash all exposed timber. It looks like it is well ventilated and sunlit, so that's a bonus.
4. The photos show some very old electrical wiring? If it's still functional, important to renew that to prevent an unplanned BBQ!
A bit of labour now will deter a lot of regret later if disease affects the livestock.
No doubt the new tenants will be grateful for the renovation.