Winter-only lean-to coop attached to permanent hoophouse?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ralleia, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    We have a 20' x 24' hoophouse that is used year-round. This summer I plan to install electricity and perhaps a frost-proof hydrant.

    Our old wooden coop needs to be retired so we need new housing. I plan to use a three-season mobile "hoop coop," and for winter only, a stationary coop. The rationale here is the hope that the mobile coop will give us healthier chickens since pests will have a harder time establishing, as well as spreading the chicken "fertilizer" around, and supplementing their feed with grass, weeds, and bugs.

    My main question is the practicality of a winter lean-to hoop design attached to the permanent hoophouse. Below are winter and summer photos of the hoophouse, I am thinking of attaching the lean-to hoops along the long axis to the right of the door, which is the west side of the hoophouse. Prevailing winter winds here (zone 5, Nebraska) are out of the north, northwest, and west. The area is mostly sheltered from the north by human house, so main winter winds to deal with would be out of the west.

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    Below is an image of what the attachment would look like when complete. The main hoophouse has roll-up sides, so chicken wire would have to prevent the chickens from raiding the winter vegetables, or else they could be allowed partial run of an area of the hoophouse not in use.

    [​IMG]

    Can anyone comment on the feasibility of this idea? My main concerns are if it would be sheltered enough for the chickens and if airflow into the hoophouse would be sufficient ventilation. The hoophouse itself is close to 500 square feet, and the lean-to addition would be something on the order of 100 square feet. The intended number of chickens to be sheltered could be from 15 to 25 layers.

    Thoughts? Warnings?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How humid is it in the GH in the winter?

    1/2" hardware cloth everywhere, or solid sheathing, (that plastic sheeting will not keep the out) for predator determent...including anti dig aprons around bottom.
     
  3. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    In the winter, humidity is low in the hoophouse. Any rise in air moisture during the heat gain of the day becomes condensation on the plastic, which then "rains" back down to the earth. So the humidity ends up being essentially the same as the outdoors, since each night the hoophouse eventually reaches the same temperature as the outdoors, and cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air. Watering in the house during winter is very sparse since plant growth is very slow.

    Any fencing for predator protection would have to be outside the plastic. I was thinking perhaps even electric fence?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Humidity in the coop being the same as outdoors is the best you can hope for without full on HVAC in the coop(few folks do this).

    Electric fence could be great in this scenario, depending on predator type/load and placement/type of electric fence.
    Hopefully none will try to get into GH to get to the chickens.
    Lots of different types of electric fence/wire...just don't skimp on a charger.
     

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