30X90 Greenhouse to be used to winter young pullets

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bluebellschicks, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Bluebellschicks

    Bluebellschicks New Egg

    Sep 21, 2009
    Are there any issues I need to deal with to use my working greenhouse as a "coop" for some new chicks I will be getting this fall. I am new to raising chickens so any help would be appreciated. How high can the humidity be without being harmful? I keep the temp in the greenhouse about 45-50 F at night. Daytime temps depend on sunshine - which can be lacking in the Ohio Valley in winter. Do I need lights? Do I need nesting boxes and roosts? There are tables (4X8 with hog fencing wire) that they can roost on. I was planning on making nesting boxes anyway. Thanks ahead of time for the info.
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    1st chicks need a temp of 98 degrees with low humidity. That temp should be gradually lowered for 12 weeks until they no longer need heat. You will need much less humidity or the chicks will get lung issues. Get a good book , maybe Storeys guide to raising chicks. It will have all the basic's in there. they sell them at Tractor Supply Co. stores. Also on this site there is info on raising new chicks you will find helpful. Check through the coop section also and the ventilation issues. Good luck with your chicks. And welcome to BYC. Gloria Jean
  3. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Humedity is very bad for chickens in general, all birds they need well ventilated coops with free drafts, so you have to make sure that your birds will have enough ventilations and thier new home will be draft free.
    If I was you I will read the whole page about ventilations written by one of BYC members, search for Patandthechickens home page, or website on the fourm she has indeed the best knowledge about this subject.

    Here is patandthechickens page:

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First, realize it will *stink real bad* in there if you try to keep chickens in the greenhouse -- chickens=stink and chickens+humidity=lotsastink.

    Second, humidity is Bad for chickens. Is this greenhouse going to be used over the winter (I assume so if you're heating it) or empty? If empty, it will be too humid for them without a lot of ventilation; if it will be in use for plants, it will be *way too* humid for them and that lot of ventilation will be impossible for the plants' sake.

    Finally, chickens simply do not need those kind of ambient temperatures. For chicks, who do of course need quite a lot of warmth as provided by a hanging heatlamp, build a hover-type brooder (which will work even in quite cold environmental temps). For older chicks/young pullets, prop the hover up on blocks so they can still get in there, and run a lower wattage bulb. So they have somewhere warm to go to, yet still have the use of the larger space (coop, or wherever else you have them). Here is a link to an old pamphlet on building such a thing (http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml); Bob Plamondon's book on raising chicks gives additional directions for building one. I made a 2x4' one according to his design and it works *great*.

    By the time the chickens are like 4-5 months old they will be pretty much hardy to 'whatever' temperature you're likely to get inside a coop; if you are still concerned you can offer them that hover, with a *small* bulb in, on the coldest nights.

    That would really be a much better plan than trying to keep them in the greenhouse.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    First of all, how many chickens were you planning on getting? That's a very large greenhouse, so if you're only planning on a couple of chickens the smell/ventilation issues mentioned by others here would be easy to deal with.

    Secondly, what are the daytime temperature ranges of your greenhouse? Chickens have a harder time dealing with high temperatures than they do cold temps.

    I'd be less worried about the humidity, myself, unless you keep it steamy. We have to remember that chickens are descended from jungle fowl. It gets pretty humid in the jungle.

    You'll have to consider predators, though. Is your greenhouse hard sided, and if so, are there any gaps that predators could slip through? If your greenhouse is only covered with film, that's pretty much a no go.

    Finally, anything and everything green in your greenhouse will be considered food by your chickens. So you have to consider whether any of the plants you have in there are toxic, or whether you mind your chickens gobbling them down to the roots.

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