Greenhouse to coop/run conversion?

melv514

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
5
4
14
I have an 8' x 12' hobby greenhouse that came with my property. There seems to be wiring, maybe even pipes for water. The whole thing sits on a concrete base and it has a drain in the middle. It's about 4-6 inches to step down into the greenhouse. I had every intention on starting a nice garden in it. Then I decided to try out "Rent the Chicken" and I like everything about having chickens (except the chicken tractor they came with) but I want a nice permanent, large coop to house them in for when I get my own chicks next spring.

Here is where I need opinions:

I thought it would be great to remove the panels of the greenhouse, leave the frame and attach hardware wire and a metal roof instead. Then cover the drain and get a truck full of sand to fill in the concrete slab. The former greenhouse would be the run and there would be a coop in there too for laying and roosting at night.

Or there is another area of my yard where I could start from scratch having to dig out and predator proof the area then build a coop and run right on the ground.

I don't think I'd miss the greenhouse. I'm not much into gardening. If I wanted a garden I have plenty of space for raised beds.

I am trying to convince my husband that we should take advantage of the concrete foundation as it's predator proof. I'm in New Hampshire and know our winters will make the concrete cold but it would be covered in several inches of sand.

Thank you for reading and offering any advice. Here are some pics. Remember, all the panels would be gone so there'd be no greenhouse effect - no cooked chickens.

IMG_1991.JPG


Here is the inside view, you can see the depth of the cement
IMG_1990.JPG


Drain in the middle would have to be covered
IMG_1989.JPG
 

Wishing4Wings

Isn't it Amazing?
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
May 7, 2012
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Haha! I have two coops and no greenhouse. Would love a greenhouse!

I think your plan would work. I would try to keep the plumbing and electric intact and working if at all possible. Comes in handy!
Sand may not be the ideal base for you. Look into "deep litter method," where the poop composts itself and there is much less cleaning involved. I have used sand under the roosts in a small henhouse. It gets very smelly if not cleaned frequently. I will be switching to something else this summer. I'm not an expert on deep litter (my warm weather coops are just for night roosting, not living in, so have never used it) but I would use soil instead of sand in the set up you are considering.

Also, depending on the direction of your winter winds, you may want to leave some panels up, and wire over them. It will help keep the rain and snow out of the run and keep it dry. A wet run is very unpleasant. Maybe make them removable, so they can be taken down when the weather is good.

No matter what you choose, read through the coops forum... there are tons of great ideas.
 

ChickEchick

Chirping
Jan 28, 2016
66
6
71
I say use what you have! The green house would make an Excellent Hen House.....

Would you have to truck in sand for the floor? If the drain is working, why not leave it bare or part of it anyway for easier cleaning....

Could you leave to roof as is and just swap out the side panels for wire mesh?

If you built a roosting area and some nesting boxes - would you need a coop on the inside?

I'm jealous, you have a great starting place..... my retro fitted tractor supply coop will pale in comparison.
 

Kiki

🙄🤚Less is More
Project Manager
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5 Years
Jul 31, 2015
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it would make a great coop but boy would I love to be in your position right now...
I'd LOVE to have that green house.
 

jolly wattles

Songster
Apr 27, 2017
552
514
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West Tennessee
Haha! I have two coops and no greenhouse. Would love a greenhouse!

I think your plan would work. I would try to keep the plumbing and electric intact and working if at all possible. Comes in handy!
Sand may not be the ideal base for you. Look into "deep litter method," where the poop composts itself and there is much less cleaning involved. I have used sand under the roosts in a small henhouse. It gets very smelly if not cleaned frequently. I will be switching to something else this summer. I'm not an expert on deep litter (my warm weather coops are just for night roosting, not living in, so have never used it) but I would use soil instead of sand in the set up you are considering.

Also, depending on the direction of your winter winds, you may want to leave some panels up, and wire over them. It will help keep the rain and snow out of the run and keep it dry. A wet run is very unpleasant. Maybe make them removable, so they can be taken down when the weather is good.

No matter what you choose, read through the coops forum... there are tons of great ideas.
DLM doesn't work well for a concrete floor.
 

melv514

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
5
4
14
Haha! I have two coops and no greenhouse. Would love a greenhouse!

I think your plan would work. I would try to keep the plumbing and electric intact and working if at all possible. Comes in handy!
Sand may not be the ideal base for you. Look into "deep litter method," where the poop composts itself and there is much less cleaning involved. I have used sand under the roosts in a small henhouse. It gets very smelly if not cleaned frequently. I will be switching to something else this summer. I'm not an expert on deep litter (my warm weather coops are just for night roosting, not living in, so have never used it) but I would use soil instead of sand in the set up you are considering.

Also, depending on the direction of your winter winds, you may want to leave some panels up, and wire over them. It will help keep the rain and snow out of the run and keep it dry. A wet run is very unpleasant. Maybe make them removable, so they can be taken down when the weather is good.

No matter what you choose, read through the coops forum... there are tons of great ideas.

I say use what you have! The green house would make an Excellent Hen House.....

Would you have to truck in sand for the floor? If the drain is working, why not leave it bare or part of it anyway for easier cleaning....

Could you leave to roof as is and just swap out the side panels for wire mesh?

If you built a roosting area and some nesting boxes - would you need a coop on the inside?

I'm jealous, you have a great starting place..... my retro fitted tractor supply coop will pale in comparison.

it would make a great coop but boy would I love to be in your position right now...
I'd LOVE to have that green house.

Ok you've given me a lot to think about here. I very much appreciate the responses! I probably wouldn't leave the drain open since it's smack in the center. Also wouldn't leave the roof pieces as they might make things too hot in the summer, though might be nice for the winter to absorb the warm sun. I'd put a coop inside for shelter from weather/temperature. In New Hampshire we can get heavy snow storms with blowing snow.

Ah, decisions, decisions!
 

RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
130
196
D/FW
First question I would have is where does the drain go? I think sand instead of DLM on the floor. Being you are in New Hampshire I think making the panels removable would be a good idea too. At least on the north and maybe east sides and mesh covering the rest of the sides.
 

melv514

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
5
4
14
First question I would have is where does the drain go? I think sand instead of DLM on the floor. Being you are in New Hampshire I think making the panels removable would be a good idea too. At least on the north and maybe east sides and mesh covering the rest of the sides.

It drains to a lower area of my property. i was thinking of removing all of the panels but now you have me thinking that leaving some up for winter would be a good idea. The panels are not predator proof, they could easily be pushed in if something wanted to get in. Maybe the mesh on the inside of the frame so panels can still be removed and replaced. Hm..
 

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