Looking for a good Coop/run design that can double as a greenhouse.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nerdicus, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Nerdicus

    Nerdicus In the Brooder

    My family( extended included) is trying to really go green right now. Economics what they are plus our North American consumer driven mentality has lead us to wanting to do away with our consumer shackles and discontinue our wasteful ways.

    So, this means that not only do we want to have chickens for our own eggs( and possibly for food, but we haven't fully decided to dig into that bowl of soup until we get a better feel for poultry propagation) but we want to make the most of everything they provide. that means making the best of the chicken poop from the chicken coop, and the chickens natural desire to consume bugs.

    We already have quite a large garden area, but the soil is poor, it is full of wood bugs and other root eating vermin, and has gone a tad feral. So now we want to try and plan the chicken coop to aid us in our gardening endeavors.

    Any advice on how to best create a chicken coop that can either double as a greenhouse or, can be easily moved so that the area where the chicken coop was will have enriched soil and less bugs? We are planning on having 10 laying hens right now, but the number seems to keep going up( it started at 4 [​IMG])

    Also, if you have pictures of your successful chicken coop/green house I would LOVE to see them. [​IMG]
  2. lorihadams

    lorihadams Songster

    Sep 17, 2008
    Sounds like you need to look into tractors. It seems like that would be the best way to move them around to get at all areas of your garden. You just have to be careful if you let the chicks into the garden or you may not have anything left for yourself!

    There are wonderful chicken tractor designs on the coops page...everyone here is great so I'm sure we'll all come up with something.

  3. peeplessinNC

    peeplessinNC Songster

    Oct 23, 2008
    NC Piedmont
  4. Nerdicus

    Nerdicus In the Brooder

    Thanks PeeplessinNC! That is by far the best idea I have seen for a chicken coop/run/garden area. Now I just have to convince the rest of the family that this would be best.....[​IMG]
  5. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    We have a similar design for our chickens as in that article. In addition we allow the chickens free range of the summer garden in the winter month. We use a temporary fence around the winter garden to keep the chickens out of it. Our winter garden is small, whereas our summer garden comprises about 1/2 acre.
    The first year after we had our chickens on this property, we found a marked improvement of our vegetable and flower crops. We also had a substantial reduction in insect problems. Thanks to the chickens help, I have been able to convince my SO to stop using pesticides and use only fertilizer and compost produced with the help of our animals. Every year our plants grow better and taste superior. This year our pepper plants and tomato plants survived light frosts with minor damage without being covered. I am still picking tomatoes and peppers!!!
    I hope this will help you convince the rest of the clan....[​IMG]
  6. WestTexasFarmboy

    WestTexasFarmboy In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2008
    Wilson, Texas
    I stumbled across that same article the other day and thought it was quite interesting. It would seem to me that as voracious as chickens are (and I don't even have mine yet!!), you would probably have very few weed problems year to year, and a great, vegitative run each year for the chickies.

    I too, have decided that my consumerism is much too much. My initial plan to raise chickens is part of a much larger experiment. Once I have everything in place (bigger garden, egg laying chickens etc) I want to see if I can go 3 solid months without ever buying ANYTHING from the grocery store. If that goes well, I will shoot for one year...see ho wit goes. I want to use up all of my store bought canned goods..and I will start from scratch with only a few staples that I cannot myself create. I plan to allow myself 5 items...salt, flour, sugar, black pepper, and vinegar. I have a small herb garden which I will enlarge, and I grew a great garden last yr, with plans to enlarge it as well.
    Things I have learned to do so far:

    * I do a lot of deer hunting, we make our own sausage and I was able to sugar cure and smoke 2 deer hams that LORDY turned out good. Tastes like a gourmet ham, I couldn't believe it turned out so good. I have 4 more in the freezer and deer season isn't over yet. Plus a wild hog ham would be really good too. I have several rabbits in the freezer as well. Meatwise I am set on greenlight!

    *have been making my own sourdough bread this year, the starter just keeps going, and its relatively easy, altho more timeconsuming that buying it.

    *Put up tons of blackeyed peas and corn, this stuff freezes real well. And potatoes last a long time in a cool dark place.

    Things I have to learn yet:
    *How to can tomatoes
    *I will really miss cheese, and do not have any goats or cows, altho I am toying with getting a milk goat maybe...lots of stuff to learn there.
    *I havent lost my mind, I will still buy beer at the store, no sense in going CRAZY with this.

    I apologize for this getting way off subject. The bottom line is I have to get my coop in order before any of it comes to pass. I am thinking I can start "The Experiment" in the summer when the chickens are laying...which, like I said, still do not even exist.

    I want to get a website going to track and publish my attempt.
  7. Nerdicus

    Nerdicus In the Brooder

    That's totally awesome! You may want to consider finding a nearby member of your community who has cows or goats but needs eggs or produce and figure out a trade. I think a very big part of making green life work is working with your neighbors.
  8. mamaKate

    mamaKate Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    I am totally on board with this line of thought. [​IMG] My garden gets a little bigger every year, and next year I'm adding chickens. I live on a medium sized lot in town, so I won't be taking things as far as you will; I probably wouldn't anyway( no chocolate? God forbid! [​IMG] ). lol I have cut way back on the amount of trash I generate and I've always aimed toward home made everything. Not just food, anything I can make/do myself I usually do. I'll be using a modified tractor, with the ladies in a moveable pen during the day and securely put up at night.
  9. We built a greenhouse from some free glass inserts (from a window factory). Two of the walls are glass and two are wood. If we wanted to, we could turn one side into a chicken coop by adding some chicken wire walls. We have already built a small brooder in that corner. As the chicks grow, we open up the brooder. By then, the shelves on the window'd side are empty of the spring seedlings and the young chickens can use the entire greenhouse as a chicken coop until they are old enough to live with the adults. As they grow, we move them over to the chicken yard, clean out the greenhouse/brooder and get it ready for next year.

  10. WE have one and it is great. I can not take pics as my camera is still at the shop...long story there. Anyway we used the clear(for sides) and the smoke colored (for roof) ridged hard plastic that you buy at Home Depot or Lowes. Along with 2x2s for lighter weight. Simple to build and light enough that two strong people can move it. Put handles like cabinet handles and it makes it supper simple. The only thing is during the summer it gets HOT, so if you have chickens in it there the top will need a removable tarp anchored with bungies cords to keep it cooler. If you put shaving from your local saw mill in the bottom they will work it in along with their poop and make the best soil for raising tomatoes in. Our saw mill does mostly popular and hard wood there is not cedars cut around here for wood so no worry there. You may need to check and see if they sell or give away their savings. WE get a pickup truck load for 10 bucks used to be 5 but like everything it went up. However, for that price I will not complain as 1 bag of shavings is nearly that. Our is in the shape of a small shed large enough for me(5ft) to walk in with enough room to move around some but not a great deal but plenty big enough for over 50+ tomato plants starting. We have in the middle chicken wire that is covered during the winter months with heavy duty poly (the clear kind) for growing things. Starting seeds in December no later than January. I think we spent just under 200 dollars but for an already made green house it was much more so I felt good about the amount we spent.
    edited... Wow I was tired than I thought sorry for all the typos maybe now it might make sense
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: