metal greenhouse frame for a winter run in the snowy winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by blueseal, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. blueseal

    blueseal Songster

    Jul 3, 2008
    was thinking of useing a old greenhouse frame covering it with plastic . so my chickens can have more acces to outside in winter. anyone try this

  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Will you be able to provide sufficient ventilation? When I think greenhouse/ plastic, I think high humidity which is bad in cold weather.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Make sure it will bear a snow load = suffocated chickens if it falls
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First you should contemplate what the track record is of that type greenhouse in your exposure of site and your region. Serious solid commercial-farm-quality hoophouses with the proper covering generally do fine, but cheaper things, or re-covered in inferior plastic, go "splat" with winter wind and snow in many areas of the country. And if this is just a little garage-type frame, all the moreso.

    If you ARE comfortable that the thing will not go splat (or whoooosh-hey-look-its-in-the-neighbors-cowfield) over the winter, the other thing you need to consider is ventilation. It is a bad idea to try to use a CLOSED greenhouse-style structure for chickens over the winter. You would want to leave a substantial amount of space open for ventilation. Otherwise you get really bad frostbite-producing humidity problems. The best or easiest way to accomplish this will depend on exactly what structure you're working with, but at a MINIMUM I would say convert the people door to an all-mesh door, and in even a modestly-decent sized greenhouse that will still be insufficient. If you can make one whole end open (mesh), that would be really really good; but then you have to worry about wind issues more.

    Good luck, have fun,


  5. jmagill

    jmagill Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    In our area of the country lots of people let the chickens have free run of the greenhouse tunnels during the winter.
    They clean up the left over greenery and fertilize for the spring.
  6. One covering that might be more secure is proper greenhouse plastic, even the used kind that you might get from a professional operation that is shutting down for the season. More costly would be vinyl panels from the hardware store, or snow boards on the side and clear material overhead. Pre-installing a vent or two might be an idea, and don't forget to make it secure enough for predator protection. But yes, your birds will do better with more time in a secure outdoor area like a greenhouse frame.

    You climate is much like ours, some ideas in the links below this post. [​IMG]

    Do you have pics of the frame?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  7. blueseal

    blueseal Songster

    Jul 3, 2008
    basically i just want something that they can go out into in the winter when the regular run gets snowed in. they have a 10x12 wooden barn coop now and i was just thinking of putting together a covered metal frame run like a greenhouse frame so they can have some more space when there snowed in. was thinking a 10 or 12 foot long greenhouse frame covered. with vents on each end . this wouldnt be there main coop just a run for the day time when they want to stretch there legs and wings.

  8. Well if it's metal it should be strong. I like that your hens will have more time outside, ours are out in a covered run all winter unless we get a bitter spell of -20C, which we usually do for 10 days or so each year. Even then I put them out for a little while as I'm cleaning the coop so they don;t get overly antsy. [​IMG]

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