Green Roofed Chicken Pen

Decoyman

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 30, 2010
190
764
261
Central Virginia
I did this project in 2011 and it makes a nice addition to the landscape. This chicken pen is suitable for a pair or trio of my breeder bantams and is also excellent for a broody hen with or without her chicks. It is roughly 2 feet x 2 feet x 4 feet with part being totally enclosed and part having wire mesh as the floor, sides and top. The planted green roof areas total three in number and each is 4 square feet so that makes a total of 12 square feet of living roof. It is portable and can be moved across lawn areas for grazing or it can be placed on a frame for easier access at a better height for your back.

The plants are hardy succulents in this case, but other plants can be used. The planting medium is made up of 80% expanded shale aggregate and 20% compost and is 4 inches deep. This is not a "no care" roof - it needs the same attention to water, fertilizer etc. as any garden area. It does have an insulation effect in that it is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Chickens might have a tendency to graze or scratch on a roof like this, but mine have never done this. They are always under a watchful eye when free ranging and the ground level distractions are so numerous, they do not fly up to the roof.

I hope you enjoy seeing this and might consider building one or several for your chickens.


 

ralleia

Songster
8 Years
Mar 22, 2011
477
41
151
Omaha, NE
Very interesting!

I am a civil engineering student and took a course in sustainable building design a year ago. Green roofs were one of the topics discussed, and since I'm an avid gardener as well, I've always been intrigued by the possibility of using a green roof on a future home project. We usually keep quite a few chickens though (40, give or take), so at a larger scale the load of growing medium and water on the roof might become an issue.

Quite beautiful and a neat idea!
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
10 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,950
346
361
Colmesneil,TX
If I might ask, what is the roof made of under the growing medium? I have seen those but have thought that with what it would take to keep the growing medium from rotting the roof, plus all the water something like that would need, they're surely end up a lot less "green" than my tin roof.
 

Decoyman

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 30, 2010
190
764
261
Central Virginia
I have a green roof nursery and we grow thousands of square feet of living roofs.

In this case, the container that I used is a plastic one - 2' x 2' x 4" deep and it has drainage holes in it. This pen is actually just a retrofit of one that I used with a regular shingle roof before.

The support underneath each of the sections is 3/4" exterior plywood painted with several coats of exterior paint. A piece of butyl rubber liner underneath the plastic planter would help to prevent water from irrigation or rainfall from ever getting to the plywood. To check on the condition of the wood, it is easy to lift the planters out.

To do a much larger roof, you would have to take into consideration the proper calculations of weight from planters, planting medium, plants, water and potentially snow load.

Hardy succulent plants (Sedums, Sempervivums, Delospermas etc.) are extremely low care and are often the standard for the industry. The roof looks good year round here in central Virginia and the colors of the foliage actually intensify in colder weather. It is as pretty in the baking summer sun as it is with a blanket of snow.
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
10 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,950
346
361
Colmesneil,TX
I have a green roof nursery and we grow thousands of square feet of living roofs.

In this case, the container that I used is a plastic one - 2' x 2' x 4" deep and it has drainage holes in it.  This pen is actually just a retrofit of one that I used with a regular shingle roof before.

The support underneath each of the sections is 3/4" exterior plywood painted with several coats of exterior paint.  A piece of butyl rubber liner underneath the plastic planter would help to prevent water from irrigation or rainfall from ever getting to the plywood.  To check on the condition of the wood, it is easy to lift the planters out.

To do a much larger roof, you would have to take into consideration the proper calculations of weight from planters, planting medium, plants, water and potentially snow load.

Hardy succulent plants (Sedums, Sempervivums, Delospermas etc.) are extremely low care and are often the standard for the industry.  The roof looks good year round here in central Virginia and the colors of the foliage actually intensify in colder weather.  It is as pretty in the baking summer sun as it is with a blanket of snow.


So, would it be fair to say it's basically a normal roof with a planterbox on top?
 

BirdWalkFarm

Songster
9 Years
Sep 12, 2010
283
47
134
Newcastle , Tri-City area Oklahoma
I think this is a great idea , and so lovely to look at !!
thumbsup.gif
 

MANNA-PRO

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