Greenhouse/coop design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mommyof4littles, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. mommyof4littles

    mommyof4littles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2009
    Am I crazy? We have an eat in kitchen and with our 4th baby on the way we are planning on doing a banquette wrap around deal. We have to change the window set up so I thought wow I can get a 10 foot long by 2-3 foot deep window greenhouse at the same time (we are replacing our aluminum windows and will reframe the panes for it) Well THEN I realized I really did not want to use the 160 sq foot shed for 4 chickens. Seemed way too big for them. So I will make that a playhouse I guess. Back to topic (sorry my brain just wanders lately) I still need a coop for said chickens. I do not think I want to keep them inside next winter. The smell is not a problem it is the noise. They cluck for close to an hour while they lay and they all lay at different times of the day (this may be because they are inside but still) basically 3 chickens stand around the 4th and cluck. So, I was thinking well if I expanded the floor space of the greenhouse to four foot deep I could build the coop under it and do a separate summer run that was free flowing air wise and a winter run that incorporated water storage for heat, an angled roof (this is the south wall) of glass and a vent of some sort of course. I am not sure how big I would make it but anything would give them more room than their current winter setup. They each have exactly 4 (the big ones) 2.5 for the seramas sq foot. They also come out to play when I can watch them in their pen in the basement. So is this crazy. Do they need more than about 4-5 foot of head room? Or could I put a cupola type thing on the winter run for roosting if needed?
     
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    i am building a greenhouse, and i am attaching a winter coop on the north side of the green house(so they wont block any sun)and when its real cold but sunny they can natully warm up, the bigget problem i could for see would be ventilation but i have plenty of vent, make sure th chickens are some what seperated from the plants of course, because they kick up a whole lot of dust, but the co2 the chickens breath is really good for the plants, plus there fertilizer
     
  3. mommyof4littles

    mommyof4littles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2009
    I am planning my coop under the greenhouse. Do you think it will still work?
     
  4. 98 gt

    98 gt a man of many... chickens

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    Jan 14, 2009
    Marshville NC
    we are thinking of building a green house to use as a coop for our chickens in the winter, it stays nice and warm...
    [​IMG]
    of course we have been painting it and just scraping the glass, still a work in progress
    just used a bunch of old windows and built a frame and attach windows, seal with expanding foam and viola.. green house. (we actually put a wood stove into it to help maintain temp throughout the night see the firewood in front? i didnt notice but 2 hens wanted in the picture too...
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I am generally a big fan of greenhouses, ok. Grew up with one attached to the house and full of houseplants and orchids; currently mulling the idea of constructing a small one attached to the front of our garage. And I have a lean-to chicken run that is winterized with clear plastic so that it is kind of like a greenhouse (and am hoping to grow spinach in it in a month or two)... but it requires careful management to get desirable rather than undesirable results out of it.

    A couple things to keep in mind:

    First, there aren't very many geographical locations where having a greenhouse attached to the house doesn't mess with your electric or fuel bill. (Unless it is just an empty sunroom and can be closed off real well during winter nights) In nearly all climates, they will cause SERIOUS heat problems during the summer, even with ventilation of the greenhouse; and in at least the upper half of north america, and that's really an underestimate of the area, you will have to spend money to heat the greenhouse at night if you want anything living in it besides spiders. (With clever design and well-placed thermostatically controlled fans throughout the house, my parents in SE PA figure that their greenhouse, maintained at 55-60 F at night, is roughly break-even... it contributes about as much $ in daytime heating as it consumes in nighttime heat requirements)

    So you want to make sure you've looked into that verrrry carefully, for your PARTICULAR location and your PARTICULAR greenhouse construction type.

    Second, have you worked out how this "coop under the greenhouse" thing is going to work from a structural and functional basis. The greenhouses I am familiar with -- which I admit is more the older style glass ones than the multi-ply rigid plastic panels available now -- need a really solid firm foundation throughout, and it would be a CONSIDERABLE extra expense to design an occupiable space underneath (again, at least iwth older glass greenhouses). Also, what is the dividing floor going to be made of -- thermal mass issues aside, greenhouses are serious humidity traps (even unplanted sunporches have significant humidity problems, just b/c of the temperature cycling) and you could not just build a 'normal' floor without it rotting out in short order. Also, how will you access this 4' high coop (4-5' high is PLENTY tall enough for chickens, though) and how hard is it going to be for you to work in it, like cleaning and catching chickens and so forth. I hope you have no preexisting back problems <g>

    Finally, anyone thinking of combining hens + greenhouses needs to seriously consider all angles of the humidity issue for the chickens, as well as temperature swings.

    I'm not saying it can't be done but that there are some basic incompatibilities that would have to be overcome and are not necessarily *easy* to overcome.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. mommyof4littles

    mommyof4littles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  7. mommyof4littles

    mommyof4littles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2009
    Basically I am thinking to build a raised deck platform with treated lumber, build the greenhouse on that and insulate underneath. There is a huge tree right near there and another couple nearby which shade that area during warm months and in the winter I was hoping to work out a curtain on slides at an angle for night time heat loss. I do not think I want to fuss with it during warm months though now so the run would be something I could take apart enough to attach to summer coop at other end of property I think. I want them warm in winter but cool in summer and it seems like in Iowa I really need separate coops(or just want them) The summer coop would mostly be a open run with hardware cloth everywhere up down and sides and a small shack to brave the storms.
     

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