New Design and Alternative techniques

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Klorinth, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Looking for input from everyone... Please.

    I'm writing from the very cold north in Manitoba. Over the last few weeks we have had most of our temps in the -20 to -30 celcius range. With this is a wind chill down to -45. Cold but still livable for us. [​IMG]

    We breed northern hunting dogs so I have some experience with building appropriate housing. I also had chickens, pigs, and goats as a kid in southern BC (-5 to -15 celcius temps). I also have enough construction and house design experience to understand most of the issues relatively well.

    I am in the process of working on a coop design. I had thought about a portable one but have decided not to for a few reasons. I will instead make the fencing either movable or devided into several areas where the flock can be rotated through.

    My thought is for a small coop that includes a "sun porch". What i am looking at is an area that would be warmed during the day by the sun. This gives the birds access to the outside and sun but still be sheltered. The coop would also benefit from this by receiving warmed air that would circulate the stale air through venting. Think of this like having a greenhouse on the front of the coop.

    I use solar heating panels on our dog houses to warm them during the day. This is actually very effective on a sunny day. I can get an increase in temp by as much as 10-15 degrees even with outside temp down to -30 celcius. Seems to me that I should be able to get an even better gain with a "sun porch"

    Venting is the key of course. Summer would be a problem if venting and shading was not done right. Proper shading my require a vertical wall design as opposed to a standard tilted roof as seen in most greenhouses.

    Have I lost people? Sorry. I will post pics as soon as I can figure out how.
     
  2. Catalina

    Catalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2007
    Minnesota
    I think that's a great idea!
    I'm drawing up coop plans for next year, too and I want to put a greenhouse on the front of the coop somehow. I have the greenhouse kit, but I just haven't gotten around to putting it together.

    The only problem I can see would be summer. Venting would be important. And shade, but it would still be awfully hot. [​IMG]
    That's a tough problem.
     
  3. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Success!

    Here are a couple of rough pics of a slanted roof.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ventilation and shading are the key here. It is possible to make the small sloped roof hinged. This would give you maximun ventilation of the "sun porch" area. The coop needs to have adjustible vents both to outside and to the "sun porch". Being able to control the airflow is a great thing.

    My initial plans were to have solar heating panels only, but I decided that I wanted the girls to be more comfortable in an outside area.

    In order to help with shading and excessive solar gain, a straight vertical wall with a 24" overhang roof would give the same solar gain in the winter but decrease the summer gain. If you do the design right you can shade the entire wall of window for almost the whole summer but have complete exposure for the winter.

    I want to be able to start work on this in the summer. I want my girls soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  4. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I love it! Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Thanks.

    Here is the other option to help deal with summer temperatures. The roof over hang shades the whole front. Keeps the inside as cool as possible as long as you set up the air vents to pull air in from the ground and discharge out the top.

    [​IMG]

    These pics are of a small coop. I haven't settled on the number of girls to be in the flock so I'm not sure how big I want to go.
     
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    okay, here's thinking out of the box. How about making the slanted roof so that it can be lifted up and level during the summer, with the windows covered and provide a wonderful shaded area for the summer months?
     
  7. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    onthespot,

    Interesting thought. Possible... I would need to do a fair amount of thinking for the hinge/pivot point. I think I can make it lighter than what is in the pics though. It would need to be polycarbonate roofing on 2"x2" frame. That would minimize the number of 2"x4"s and weight. I'll look at that. I was already looking at how to use shade cloth for part of the runs. I use it for the dog runs.

    Thanks
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Much more technical than my humble "coop with a sunporch" - which you can see by clicking "My BYC Page."

    I also have a greenhouse in the backyard. Actually, it would be better called a "sunshed" but my backyard is just a few miles from your old BC home. Manitoba!! I want you other BYC'ers to think "north of North Dakota" here . . . [​IMG]

    I think you are really on to something with this, Klorinth! What you are showing us is that with glazing materials like glass or UV-resistant plastics, a controlled environment is possible most anywhere.

    You are taking the angle of the sun into account. This is a huge issue for us folks in northern latitudes.

    My greenhouse is a sunshed because it has a fully insulated roof and north wall. Half of the east & west walls are also stud-frame insulated walls. The Summer sun is so high here that my experience has been that there is a great deal of shade within the structure by late June.

    I actually had 35 chickens in that 9' x 20' greenhouse one Summer. It was only necessary to place a tarp on the lower part of the south wall (plastic glazed). It really wasn't that hot in there and I don't even remember running the exhaust fan during those months.

    Tarp? - yeah well, you see my low-tech approach. Shade cloth would work well.

    You have shown your floor as green in the 1st pictures. Of course you realize that chickens will eat any and all plants growing in that sunporch. With my little coop, the insulated half and the open porch half have a common plywood floor. The sunporch is there to allow the birds fresh air and morning sun. And, they get a little exercise.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and your skill with graphics. Keep us posted, please [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Give me a while to mess with Photobucket (dialup, grrr) and I will post pics of my small run which is set up pretty much like you're proposing.


    Pat
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Ok, two dropped connections and one computer freeze-up-and-reboot later, grrr, here are pix:

    Here is what the small run (only 4x7, b/c of space limitations, but it's only serving 4 chickens) looks like when it's not winter:

    [​IMG]

    And here is its current, mostly-winterized state (wrapped with 6 mil plastic), as photographed yesterday:

    [​IMG]

    The melange of junk you see there is propping up a piece of plexiglas (basically invisible in the photo) against the lower part of the door. I really, really need to make a PROPER panel for that, hinged on so that it can be latched shut or propped open for ventilation... but, not gonna happen right now, and the junk leaning against the plexiglas *works* [​IMG]

    I am fairly pleased with how the 'greenhousified' version works. It heats up pretty well on a sunny day, especially now that the days are getting longer. When it's warmed up, I open the chicken door and also the window (with the plexiglas closed), and get a semi-reliable circulation of warm air going in the window to the building, and cool air going out the chicken door into the run. It would be more reliable if I would get around to stuffing feed sack scraps into the gaps between the frame and the wall, so that there were fewer air leaks, especially on the very top part <shrug>.

    When snow has drifted in, I've left the plexiglas off for a few days when we have dry weather without winds to blow *more* snow in, and it seems to dehumidify the run pretty well.

    It's an experiment in progress, really.

    I can't really say anything about its value for solar heating -- the building to which it's attached is 15x40 [​IMG] so, you know. I *suspect* that for a small coop you would get real heating value, at least with a more weathertight seal, if you ran it with the run sealed up; or you could at least get amelioration of incoming air temperature by running it with the run partly open.

    (e.t.a. - I built it after the hottest part of the summer, but for next summer my intention is to put shadecloth over nearly the whole run, to keep it from getting too too hot)

    HTH,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009

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