Converting a green house into a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by katepaws, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. katepaws

    katepaws Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a green house in my garden. Two sides are concrete and two are glass. The roof is also glass. The floor of the green house is soil.
    I was thinking of replacing the glass roof with wood and felt and replacing one of the two glass sides with wood. The one side I would leave glass has windows and a door on that side - though the sun never shines directly in there. I thought the wood would keep them warm in winter and give them shade in the summer.
    As I said the floor is soil, but I would put hay on top of it. I would put roosting poles in there and nesting boxes. Would this be suitable for them or is the soil not suitable?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might work real good....soil shouldn't be a problem with some bedding over it.

    What is your climate?.....putting your location in your profile can help folks give answers and suggestions.

    Can you post some pics of the GH with the geographical directions noted?
     
  3. Biologrady

    Biologrady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you find the greenhouse gets too hot, maybe you can remove (and use wire) for select panels or just block some light with a tarp or plastic roof panels. I just bought a 20 dollar remote thermometer which lets me keep an eye on my coops temperature from the comfort of my kitchen. It might save you a lot of grief. And soil can be a great choice, if the location isn't wet...check out some of the postings about deep litter method over soil.
     
  4. katepaws

    katepaws Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Ireland. Mean daily winter temperatures vary from 4.0 °C (39.2 °F) to 7.6 °C (45.7 °F), and mean daily summer temperatures vary from 15 °C (59 °F) to 20 °C (68.0 °F). The only side I'll be leaving glass faces east, but there are lots of trees around that create shade. They won't be in the coop during the day if they don't want to anyway. I don't have any pictures because it's dark now sorry. My main worry is the soil and if it's damp?
     
  5. katepaws

    katepaws Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks a million. How would I know if the soil/dirt is damp?
     
  6. Biologrady

    Biologrady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There were some recent posts from people about using sand in runs and coops...some swear by it, others complain it's s problem if it can't dry well. If you search those threads, you might figure out how "damp" is acceptable. Deep litter method might work well over dirt, especially if you have extra material around to add (leaves, grass). Just be sure to have enough ventilation between clean-outs.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wow temps don't range more than 10 degrees F, ever?!!


    Go out and dig a few shovefulls of dirt up off the floor and check it out, see what it feels like.
    Is there any venting? You may not even have to remove the glass, monitor the temps inside and see if it gets too hot?
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My coop started life as a fiberglass greenhouse. It's now shaded by a nice sized tree to cut the heat down in the summer, other than than I left it alone. I would replace the glass, though, on at least one wall. That just sounds too warm.

    My coop had packed dirt with pea gravel on top. I just started using deep litter and never looked back. I can't imagine how your soil will get that damp if the coop is enclosed? Shavings, straw, some leaves, grass clippings, etc...there are several posts on the deep litter method. I'd never use anything else. My hens rarely get to the actual soil level, there's several inches of broke down organic matter in the coop. Here's what it looks like, and the hens having spa time

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see how lose and dry the litter is. these pics were taken in the winter, in the summer they bathe in the run outside.

    If your greenhouse has shelves, I'd say leave them in. The majority of my birds sleep on the waist high shelf that runs around the coop. I have a few in the rafters, and some on a branch I put up kitty-corner, but for the most part they like the shelves.

    My nest boxes are simply rubbermaid totes laid on their sides in the corners of the coop. Easy to clean, and easy to move if a hen decides she wants to lay somewhere else.
     
  9. katepaws

    katepaws Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info. I looked for a thread on the deep litter method and I couldn't find one that actually told me what the stuff you put down is?
    Also regarding the venting, the windows hang down and they don't shut properly. A predator couldn't open them but they're open about a centre meter and about a meter long each. Would this suffice for ventilation along with the door being open all day?
    Also the soil in the green house is the same soil that's in the garden, its divided by a long piece of concrete that's attached to the frame. I wonder with all the rain we get here could it affect the soil in the green house?
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    For deep litter my mainstay is pine shavings, with straw my second choice (more in the run than in the coop, personal preference). Any organic material is fair game, you want more "brown" materials than "green" materials as the chicken poop is high in nitrogen, so the "brown" things help balance things out. But I've used leaves and grass clippings when I have them, just scatter them well so they don't clump. Folks use pine straw/pine needles, pretty much whatever organic material you have easy access to.

    Sounds like decent vents. If you have a problem with condensation or a lot of ammonia smells, you'll know you need more.

    I've never had a problem with the dirt in my coop drawing moisture from outside. My run is attached, and the coop is simply on a wooden frame. I've had an issue with a mud puddle in a corner where the water built up outside the coop and leaked under, but it stayed contained in a small area and was easy to repair.
     

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