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Temporary straw bale shelter - Will it attract mice?

Jonathan Combs


Joined: Oct 07, 2012
Posts: 24
Location: McKee, KY (zone 6a)
I am considering putting up a temporary straw bale shelter for the winter. The shelter will be used to store some outdoor power equipment. I have a design in mind. My reason for wanting to go with straw bales is that I need to buy straw anyway for mulching, and like the idea of going ahead and using it for the temporary structure instead of using some other material which I may not be able to re-use as readily. My one concern, however, is with mice. Will mice find the straw bales, since they will not be plastered, an inviting place to make a home for the winter? If so, and this is my bigger concern, how likely is it that having mice attracted to the shelter will result in them chewing through wiring, gas lines, etc on my equipment? The last thing I want to do is set my equipment up to get damaged my mice in an attempt to protest it from the weather.
Dennis Mitchell


Joined: Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 48
Mice love straw bales.

Eric Thompson


Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 239
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
    
    1
Mice will be attracted to any shelter, but if you have nice straw bales around, they will prefer those to holing up in the equipment (as they would be more likely to do if you just threw a tarp over the equipment..)
Sounds like a good way to go to me!
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6570
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
Perhaps you could attract some owls.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/nestinginfo/downloads/Barn%20Owl%201%202%2045.pdf
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1063&context=extensionhist

Irene Kightley
pollinator

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 340
Location: South West France
    
  15
My OH's grandfather put up a straw bale sheep shed (Probably temporarily ) about 45 years ago and it's still doing the job.




La Ferme de Sourrou : Nos projets avec PHOTOS
Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    8
Gosh Irene, that has stood the test of time! What is it roofed with?
Irene Kightley
pollinator

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 340
Location: South West France
    
  15
Corrugated iron.
Peter DeJay


Joined: Aug 10, 2011
Posts: 104
Location: Southern Oregon
I agree that there is a 100% chance the straw will attract mice, but I also agree that there is slim to none chance that they will mess with your equipment. I've had mice make nests in my lawn tractor and they didn't bother the electrical or fuel lines. Do you not have a cat? A cat will love the cozyness of a bale shed with a free snack bar!
Jonathan Combs


Joined: Oct 07, 2012
Posts: 24
Location: McKee, KY (zone 6a)
We currently only have an inside cat. While she does spend a fair amount of time outside, she mostly stays inside during the winter. We've always planned of getting a couple of barn cats, but the house cat is very territorial and we don't think she would tolerate another cat on the premises. It is an option we are considering, however.
Spud Smith


Joined: Oct 23, 2012
Posts: 10
Hi all,
Depending on the location; sun and shade. You could build the straw bale structure
and put some trusses on and cover it with plastic for a winter green house; although
the added humidity might not be the best for your equipment. The equipment would
surely be drier than parking outdoors.
Think of the food you could grow. You might even become the veggie magnet of the
neighborhood. How about fresh home grown veggies in January??
Irene Kightley
pollinator

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 340
Location: South West France
    
  15
I often just put old windows over a few bales to make a mini-greenhouse to get plants started off. The straw rots down just in time to be used for mulch around the plants.

Jonathan Combs


Joined: Oct 07, 2012
Posts: 24
Location: McKee, KY (zone 6a)
That is a great idea Irene.
Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
Straw bales shouldn't attract mice but hay bales may. Straw has nothing edible to attract mice but hay has grass seeds that provide good winter provender for mice families. Straw bales stacked for supporting walls and structures have no holes in which mice can tunnel and no spaces in which to build nests, but hay bales stacked in a barn have many. Two different things and two different uses. Get a cat or two for insurance.
 
 
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