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Our chicken coop/greenhouse combo - Page 2

post #11 of 14
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This is my first time with the chickens just pooping right onto the soil, so I'm not sure how it will work out. I'm definitely going to mix the soil. I may lock the birds out of the greenhouse about a month or more before I plant anything in there. It's all new to me. Last year I was using 5 gallon containers to grow in and I let the birds into the greenhouse for the winter. They dug all the dirt out of the pots and mixed it all in with the pine shavings. It was too much work to separate, so I dumped everything outside and started over with fresh soil... lesson learned!

The temperatures and ventilation have not been an issue where I live. It's so dry here. In the summer we keep the door closed between the coop and greenhouse. The door is insulated and the coop has all the vents at the top,so it stays quite cool. After building my planter in the greenhouse this summer I found it to be a great thermal mass. It has a lot of soil and there's a reserve of water in the bottom of it. It kept the temperatures from swinging too much. Before, when I had small containers in there, I found it difficult to keep from getting too hot during the day and I had to put a heater in there at night. This year I didn't use a heater and my tomatoes never froze.

I have never used a heater in my coop even when the temps were well below freezing. I have a small fish tank heater set on a timer in a 5 gallon bucket of water with horizontal nipples. It keeps their water from freezing, but I think it also helps the temp in the coop. That and heat from the birds themselves keeps the coop comfortable. I have 11 chickens now....chicken math. Lol!
Edited by highrockieschic - 12/14/15 at 1:02pm
post #12 of 14
Oh chicken math is horrible! !

I love your setup. We just started on Easter with day olds. Hubby got a load of rough cut lumber and built a cute little coop. It is 5×7×8 ft tall. It has 10 nesting boxes and 2 roost poles. A big door for me and a 12×12 door for the girls. We bought 10 to start which was cute and easy. Then hubby went and bought 10 more day olds 25 days after the first group. Eeek! !! What a mess of birds. All was great during summer while they had free range available all day. Now it's winter . So 2 months ago I invaded hubbies barn. He only used it for storage and in all fairness a barn is for animals right? So now the have a 8×16 coop with 4 nest boxes and 30 feet of roost. They also have a fenced in area of 16×16 to play in when weather prohibits free range. Haha , joke is on hubby, no snow no nasty NY winter yet.

Do you by chance have the plans you used to build your feed box? I love that and it would clear up floor space.

As for your chickens mixing the bedding with the soil last year, that's a great thing. The bedding helps "fluff" the soil . It both holds water in turn slowing evaporation, as well as helps move oxygen more redily to the plant roots. As for the poo, let the girls play in the greenhouse until about a week before planting . Then find a corner of your yard and when you clean the coop toss it there, also add all garden, yard and any other organic matter. It turns into beautiful soil in about a year.
post #13 of 14
Oh and back to chicken math.

Come spring we are taking our original small coop and turning it into a meat bird coop. Only 25 every 8 weeks until weather makes us stop.

Spring we are also going from 20 to 50 layers. Gotta love chickens.
post #14 of 14

Just thought I'd say Hi from Bailey, CO.  I'm in the process of completing my Coop/Greenhouse build (at least phase 1).  Yours is gorgeous!

Carolyn

http://www.ruffrowranch.com

 

Ancona Ducks, Aussie Dogs, Calico Cochins and Katahdin Sheep

Reply

Carolyn

http://www.ruffrowranch.com

 

Ancona Ducks, Aussie Dogs, Calico Cochins and Katahdin Sheep

Reply
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