Using a commercial hooped greenhouse frame as a chicken coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catsbully, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. catsbully

    catsbully Out Of The Brooder

    55
    1
    31
    Jul 24, 2012
    ok so last spring, 2012, I acquired 43 chickens, one of them being a rooster, and away I went into the egg selling business for the first time ever. We had built our coop 15X10 feet to house what I hoped would grow to 50 birds but over the last summer I lost a few birds...1 beautiful EE ran away? the first night, then I found a few dead birds lying here and there over the next few months (one at a time so I know there was no predator involved) no feathers no trauma just looked like they keeled over dead. Anyway, I am now down to 37 hens still have one rooster and I have some very great egg customers...so I am constantly sold out of chicken eggs!
    Well, this wont do! My husband says I have to get more birds (he's seen how many times I have had to turn people away because I dont have any eggs left) so I found a fellow looking to get rid of his red sex links, 30 birds in total! great and I pick them up tomorrow...super!
    Now housing must be addressed...I have a commercial hooped greenhouse 50X20! that I could use for the new digs for my girls but I am looking for any info regarding the use of this as a coop...what do you suggest for keeping in heat for the winter? Should I, next spring enclose it with solid walls (sheet roofing?) or use some sort of fencing material over it to keep it open air for the summer months then wrap in heavy greenhouse plastic? or tarps?
    By using this structure I may even be able to section off an area and plant some greens for the hens for a good part of the winter.
    I also have 5 indian runner girls who lay fantastic eggs (but no one wants to buy them!) so we eat them here at the farm. And I am seriously considering the purchase of a couple of milking goats as I would love to make my own cheeses so they also could be housed in the greenhouse with the birds. Yes or no on this one?
    So there it is folks! give me any suggestions you might have, all ideas are greatly appreciated!!!
    Thanks...
     
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,516
    113
    211
    Feb 22, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    I wouldn't put anything gin the greenhouse. It would probably get to hot and humid in summer. Plus if it is plastic the goats would tear it more than likely because they find ways to break things that you didn't think would break. If you can get good ventilation and keep a decent temp. in the thing I don't see why not use it. If you can't get good conditions I wouldn't use it.
     
  3. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

    402
    9
    121
    Apr 26, 2010
    Staunton,Va
    [​IMG] I would say that what you are wanting to do can be done.I have seen curved frames on BYC and there are some good ideas out there.There are ways that you can place fans and even plant tress or shrubs to give shade.I am a scrounger and I look for ways to make my coops better.You can hang wire over top the frame and then place tarps over that.They make materials that you can put over top that would be permanent.Check on here for people that have built something of the same nature.Don't set anything permanent until you know what you want.Do a little at a time until you see what will work.You can use your main coop as their sleep area and use the frame as a run.There are a lot of things that you can do.Good luck and please once you get your set in up place put pictures on here so that some one else can see what you came up with.[​IMG]
     
  4. catsbully

    catsbully Out Of The Brooder

    55
    1
    31
    Jul 24, 2012
    Update on the hoophouse coop...
    Well its going up with pics to follow..I ordered a large tarp which turned out to be very economical! so the end product will be a 18x36 foot coop.
    The 30 birds dude was selling I didn't buy ... he couldn't answer basic questions like what breed and such and he wanted to meet me half way to pick them up and do the exchange in a Timmy's parking lot!? No i think not!!!
    So I have acquired several other birds from various sources...got a little ripped off in one of the buys most turned out to be cockerels! but thats actually working as my original rooster hasnt been doing his 'job' ... this I found out when I set 41 eggs in the incubator and 16 weren't fertilized at all! Seems he is very particular on which ladies he will service! So 2 of the new guys have staked out their new harems...one of the most adamant of them is a cochin bantie...he has claimed the Jersey Giant girls...go figure? can you say a little bit of a Napolean complex???
    So back to the coop... today we will finish the other end wall and put the tarp on...if I can convince my hubby and son that yes you can still tamp the limestone screenings with the tarp on! geez men! and the doors hubby had son build well are quite plainly crap! So back to my idea of reclaiming pallet wood for the doors! much stronger than 1/4 inch plywood ... don't you think?
    Then as I mentioned Monday will be screenings day...We have 4 more healthy strong backs coming in for this and will do it by running 3 4x4 trucks back and forth as the dump truck will never make it anywhere close to the coop and wheelbarrowing it over the ice and snow isn't a grand idea! (yes I know I REALLY NEED a tractor with a bucket) I keep asking but.....
    Then the tamping will be thrown into this process and the nesting boxes will be hung...we also have to get several bales of straw from our suppliers and all before Wednesday....why?....well on Wednesday I have 30 more ready to lay hens arriving and I am maxed out on coop space now as it is! Figures this year March is more like January weather wise! Last year we were in the high teens and low twenties (celcius) this year well below freezing and snow is called for every day next week ... aaarrrrrggghhh!
    Still to do...perches, a large gravity feeder, then source out a large poly water tank to hook up for watering the birds. Then fencing for and alternate outdoor run. But the tank and run can wait for better weather.
     
  5. Pinky Macgyver

    Pinky Macgyver Chillin' With My Peeps

    624
    14
    126
    Dec 31, 2012
    Sounds great :) can't wait to see pics :)
    Are your son's doors not usable at all? Could you put the two ideas together and strengthen the ones he made with what you want to use?
    Did you make your nesting boxes?
     
  6. catsbully

    catsbully Out Of The Brooder

    55
    1
    31
    Jul 24, 2012
    they made them single layer 1/4 inch ply with no frame on it! I think I will find some pallets and attach them to the plywood to strengthen them. then put the hinges back on and hang them.
     
  7. Pinky Macgyver

    Pinky Macgyver Chillin' With My Peeps

    624
    14
    126
    Dec 31, 2012
    Sounds good :) I've been wanting to make a whole small coop out of pallets, with ply or something on either side. I reckon it would an great for insulation and soundproofing.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by