Questions, questions, questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nickschick, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. nickschick

    nickschick Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    I don't have chickens as of yet, but am kind of a compulsive planner so I'm doing tons of research, lol. So I've been looking at the coop designs page and had and noticed that a few consisted of pre-fab sheds/playhouses etc. So that led me to looking into pre-fab sheds, and then to greenhouses.
    So my questions are as follows:
    Can I house chickens in a greenhouse? (The ones I'm looking at have rigid plexi sides, not plastic)
    I am in MN, if add screens for ventilation and provide an outside run (necessary no matter what, the farm dog has a high prey drive) as well as a fan, and place it in the shade, will it get too hot for chicken in a greenhouse?
    Would a couple heat lamps be sufficent hear for wintertime
    Should I just scrap the greenhouse idea and look at wooden structures?

    Any other pertinent info you have to offer will be very appreciated.

    If it matters I am looking into keeping Easter Eggers and Cuckoo Marans.
  2. nickschick

    nickschick Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    Oh, also, how tall should I make a run? I will want to put a roof on it of some kind to keep the chickens contained.
  3. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    I would scrap the greenhouse idea. It will be an uphill climb to keep it warm enough in winter and cool enough in summer, but the most pressing reason is durability or lack thereof.Your run doesn't HAVE to be more than a couple of feet high for the chickens, the reason most of us have taller ones is for people access, to clean, collect eggs if necessary, and various other pursuits. No matter how tall your run you will need a top on it, for predators and to keep the chickens in. Don't use chicken wire, it won't keep predators out and isn't durable. Good luckand have fun.
  4. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't tried using a greenhouse, but I would worry a lot about things getting too hot in there. They're designed to concentrate light and heat, after all. If you replaced or covered the clear roof and south wall with something completely opaque like wood or tin, then it might work OK. But my instinct would be to use a wooden structure with a front that has large windows covered with wire. Since the dog loves to chase, make sure that either the open areas are above his/her ability to see in, or face them into the run. For winter, you can make shutters to cover some of the windows and push the air flow up over the birds' heads when they are roosting.

    We're using a metal shed barn whose open face unfortunately is aimed due north. I've already discovered that I built the perches too high. We have a system of hanging baffles to reduce draftiness around the perches, and during winter we have to put plastic up over most of the wire. During the summer it gets blisteringly hot in there, and we're going to cut windows next and cover them with wire and sliding shutters. It's a work in progress. [​IMG]
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    As others mentioned, scrap the greenhouse idea and go wood. Much sturdier and well shaded for the hot months. Your chickens will want the security and out of view area that a coop can provide. The big box stores have sheds that can be built on our site if you are not on a tight budget. If you have a few tools then you can make a similar shed/coop for much less. Good Luck!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by