As a backyard chicken keeper, you may be interested in learning how to turn your greenhouse into a chicken coop. Read on for some pointers.
What is a Greenhouse Chicken Coop?
Chickens can be kept warm in their own “greenhouse coop” by capturing sunlight and using it to heat their coops. The structure also serves as a shelter from rain, snow, and high winds.
Many seasoned homesteaders have mastered the harmonious coexistence of the sun, hens, and plants.
We all know what a greenhouse is, but few of us have ever heard of a chicken coop. The greenhouse chicken coop is what you get when you combine the two. Plants are no longer being grown in any greenhouses. Some of them are nothing more than chooks. But the universal denominator is the region that receives sunshine.
The “greenhouse” is a section of the building on one side. Translucent walls and a transparent roof are used on this side of the building to let in natural light. The nesting boxes and roost are located on the other side of the building, in the actual coop.
On the south side, you have the greenhouse, and on the north, you have the coop.
The “Greenhouse Effect”
The greatest advantage of a greenhouse is that it is completely transparent. The inside of the house has a lot of natural light, which is great for the plants. Gardeners enjoy greenhouses because they provide additional protection from the elements and pests.
When you enter a greenhouse on a sunny day, you’ll notice right once that the air is warm. The earthy scent is really noticeable. These events are the result of the sun’s influence.
The soil and plants inside the greenhouse absorb the sun’s wavelengths as they pass through the greenhouse’s exterior and transform them into heat. The “greenhouse effect” is what we’re talking about here.
The “greenhouse effect” keeps the plants warm even in the winter. In the winter, it will do the same for chickens!
Greenhouse Chicken Coop Designs
Whether you have backyard hens or rural free-range chickens, there are countless options for designing the ultimate greenhouse chicken coop. Everything depends on the amount of room you have, how much money you have to work with, and what you want to achieve with the final product in mind.
What kind of chicken coop in a greenhouse are you looking for? Dual-purpose design is an option if you’re a gardener. A design with solely hens is your best option if you don’t want to blend vegetation and animals.
Do Chicken Coops Need Sun or Shade?
A lot of it is determined by where you live because the climate in your area influences whether or not you should put your chicken coop in direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, or partial shade. A chicken coop should be sited so that it faces south, according to experts. For those sweltering summers, this will allow them to stay cool while getting more sunlight in the winter.
Can Chickens Freeze to Death?
If they don’t get the care they need, they can.
Can Chickens Tolerate the Cold?
Some large soft-feathered types of chicken can withstand temperatures of -18°C or 0°F if they are shielded from the wind and the elements.
Despite the fact that chickens prefer a warmer atmosphere, these resilient critters are capable of coping with temperatures that fall below the freezing threshold. Even while hens are naturally hardy, you should still take steps to ensure that your flock is well-cared for during the winter months.
Why Should Anyone Put Chickens in a Greenhouse?
A chicken coop in a greenhouse can suit the demands of both your plants and your chickens. In temperate climes, it’s almost impossible to cultivate your favorite fruits and veggies in your own backyard.
A greenhouse in your backyard can be used to grow hardy plants like Brussels sprouts and lettuce that can survive the colder months of the year. Parsley, sage, and cilantro are just few of the cold-tolerant herbs that can thrive in this area.
The shelter your chickens require to maintain a healthy body temperature and improve their egg production in the winter can be constructed at the same time as your greens are being grown. Placement in your greenhouse, however, does not imply that they are allowed to roam the entire space. Wire fences and netting should be used to keep your hens away from your seedlings unless you’re ready to put them at risk.
How Can You Convert an Old Small Greenhouse into a Chicken Coop?
Greenhouse gardening is a popular pastime among those who live in locations with cooler climates. When it comes to backyard chickens, you may easily transform your greenhouse into a chicken coop if you’re a greens fan. As a result, it will keep your chickens warm throughout the winter.
As a first step, board up your greenhouse’s sides for at least two feet. Add a 4-foot fence to protect the plastic bedding if you want to leave it in place. It’s also possible to utilize an old bookshelf and add a few boards to its front shelves to make it more suitable for nesting material.
Carbon material, such as leaves or wood chips, can be used to absorb manure. It is necessary, however, to ensure that the carbon you have is sufficient for around 100 days at a square foot rate of two chickens per square foot The dung may be kept well-circulated by dribbling food into the carbon material and allowing your chickens to scratch and mix it while they eat.
Can You Combine a Chicken Coop and a Greenhouse?
Yes, that’s correct. This method has a number of advantages, including encouraging waste efficiency, economical homesteading, and steady egg production during the winter season.. Combine a chicken coop with a greenhouse to reap the benefits:
It promotes waste efficiency
Waste management can be made easier with the addition of an existing chicken coop. You can feed your hens plant leftovers, for example, and give your plants compost created from a manure-and-chicken-bedding mixture. As a result, there is no waste as you cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship between your plants and animals.
A simple mathematician can figure out that combining two buildings to house chickens and plants is more cost-effective. For starters, building and maintaining a chicken greenhouse won’t require any additional resources on your part.
The more heat and CO2 your plants receive from your chickens, the more you may expect your plants to produce. Because your chickens get to eat garden waste all year long, this setup is also good for them. In addition, the greenhouse serves as a defense against attacks from predators.
Keeping chickens warm in a greenhouse eliminates the need for them to expend energy to stay warm. They’ll be able to keep producing eggs for the duration of the winter since they’ll have the energy to do so.
Thoughts on How to Convert a Greenhouse into a Chicken Coop
You should definitely learn how to build a chicken coop out of a greenhouse. Even if you try your hand at backyard poultry, you don’t have to say goodbye to your gardening days because you can do both!
Dual-Purpose: Plants and Chickens
Keep in mind that chickens eat, peck, and destroy plants when creating a greenhouse chicken coop. To keep the chickens away from the plants you wish to keep safe, you need to screen them off.
Do you know of any safe plants I can grow around my chicken coop? Your chickens will enjoy eating the plants you raise in and around your greenhouse coop.
- Plants that are poisonous to hens should be avoided. Make sure to conduct your research prior to planting.
- When combining plants and hens, ventilation is essential!
- The greenhouse should be insulated, whereas the coop should be left uninsulated because chickens are better able to withstand low temperatures than plants.
The Benefits of Dual-Purpose Greenhouse Chicken Coops
Having a permaculture chicken coop/greenhouse provides numerous synergistic benefits.
- Plants are a favorite place for chickens to rest.
- The CO2 (carbon dioxide) released by the hens is beneficial to the plants.
- The plants benefit from the chicken’s excrement.
- The chickens are stimulated and enriched by the presence of plants. They adore lettuce, kale, and other green leafy vegetables.
- Chickens are better off in a warm climate. Egg production is boosted because they are better able to regulate their body temperature.
Can Chickens Live In A Greenhouse?
The health and well-being of hens kept in a greenhouse is possible, but there are a lot of variables that must be kept under control. Depending on the type of plant being cultivated, the temperature in greenhouses can also be increased.
Make sure your chickens and plants are well-cared for in the same setting. In order to successfully keep hens in a greenhouse, it is essential to maintain this dynamic balance.
Greenhouse Conditions And Chickens’ Requirements.
Greenhouses have a high level of humidity and can get extremely hot during the summer months. Controlling humidity and temperature is an essential part of raising chickens. Even at 50% humidity, chickens don’t seem to mind.
When the humidity rises above this level, they get uncomfortable. The ideal temperature range for chickens is between 65°F and 75°F. Heat stress sets in when the temperature rises above 75% of normal.
Chickens can die from overheating if the temperature rises beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Chickens die when they are exposed to excessive humidity and high temperatures.
For chickens to thrive in the greenhouse, the temperature and humidity must be maintained at 75°F and 50%, respectively.
Keeping hens healthy in the winter can be accomplished by putting them in a greenhouse.
Heat Tolerant Chicken Breeds.
Some chicken breeds are better at coping with the heat than others. For the most part, heavier-feathered chicken breeds that have larger wattles and combs have an easier time with the heat. Compared to other chicken breeds, these birds are better able to handle the heat:
- Red Sox of New Hampshire
- A team from Rhode Island
- Leghorns, White
- Plymouth Rock
- In honor of Easter, we’ve put together a list
- As a result, Minorca hens are bred to withstand the heat of the Mediterranean.
- Fayoumis are heat-resistant because they were first developed in Egypt.
To avoid: Australorps, Cornish crosses, Jersey Giants and Silkies. Also avoid Wyandottes.
Symptoms Of Heat Stress In Chickens.
Unlike humans, chickens are unable to perspire, thus they must rely on other means to regulate their temperature. To stay cool, they’ll do things like pant and increase their body’s surface area to the air. Chickens can display a variety of signs of heat exhaustion, including:
- Breathing with the beak wide open is known as panting.
- Legs outstretched in a fetal position.
- Wings are hung or drooped to expose as much skin as possible.
- At first, the wattles and combs may turn a vivid red, but as the heat stress continues, they will turn pale.
- There will be a decrease in the amount of food consumed because the digesting process generates heat.
- A large amount of water will be consumed by the chicken, which may result in diarrhea.
- Seizures are likely to occur in extreme temperatures.
- The last phases of heat stress are coma and death.
The egg production of chickens who live in conditions that are constantly heated will be diminished. The eggs’ thin shells will fracture readily as a result of the calcium loss caused by the changed pH levels. This can lead to chickens developing respiratory illnesses if they experience heat stress frequently.
When hens inhale with their mouths open, the air is filtered out of the nose by the protecting structures. As a result, the chicken is sickened by the infection.
High Humidity Makes Chickens Prone To Disease.
Chickens suffer when the air is too humid. Frostbite on hens’ combs, wattles, and feet is more likely in the winter. An environment with high humidity is a suitable breeding ground for the spread of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
You can see this in action in this short video of a greenhouse that’s been transformed into an efficient chicken coop, with more details provided below:
Controlling Heat And Humidity In A Greenhouse.
The gardener must carefully regulate the greenhouse’s temperature and humidity if he plans to keep chickens there. A greenhouse’s opening vents must be adequate and effective.
The top of the greenhouse, these normally have holes at the ground level to let cold air enter. Ventilation may be adjusted by opening the top heat vents.
It is possible to utilize misters in order to assist cool the air. However, they must be utilized in moderation, keeping an eye on the greenhouse’s general humidity. Hot air is pushed out of the house via the vents by fans that circulate the air.
Attach An Outside Run To The Greenhouse.
As a general rule, most individuals who keep chickens in greenhouses find that an outside run is vital. To ensure that the chickens are comfortable in the greenhouse, this allows them to regulate their temperature.
- As a bonus, it gives the chickens access to sunlight and fresh air, both of which are beneficial to their well-being and enjoyment.
- It is possible, if desired, to provide the chickens with unrestricted access to the run by installing a simple flap or swing door in the greenhouse.
The Problem Of Ammonia.
There will be a buildup of chicken manure in the greenhouse due to the high concentration of ammonia in chicken excrement. Because of this, a composting system or regular removal of manure from the greenhouse is needed.
- Ammonia fumes damaged some gardeners’ plants when they kept hens in their greenhouse.
- It’s critical to figure out how many chickens you can keep and care for in your greenhouse before you begin.
- It will be much more difficult to deal with ammonia in the greenhouse if it is overcrowded.
Chickens Can Be Destructive.
A free-range flock of chickens will joyfully peck and eat your tender seedlings in your greenhouse. Your recently planted seed trays could be destroyed by their scratching behaviors. Raised beds or tables won’t deter chickens, who can fly up to three or four feet in the air.
It’s likely you’ll need to utilize wire mesh in order to contain your hens or block them from getting to your plants in some way.
- At night, several gardeners have discovered that let the hens into the greenhouse is the most effective technique.
- When the sun goes down, they’re allowed to roam free in the next run until being brought back in at dusk to sleep on perches.
- The chickens will create havoc in your greenhouse if you don’t let them out as soon as it’s light.
Chickens Help Warm A Cold Greenhouse.
When it’s cold outside, chickens can help keep a greenhouse toasty. It is common for gardeners to keep their chickens in a greenhouse during the colder months.
While their pen may be warmer than the greenhouse, their presence helps to raise the greenhouse’s temperature. Aside from that, chickens exhale carbon dioxide, which plants use to synthesize energy.
There are certain gardens where a greenhouse and poultry cage are located next to one another. There is a limit to how much harm the hens can do on plants, but they are still able to eat bugs and warm the greenhouse.
Fences, cob, or straw bales are commonly used to build a communal wall. At least in the Northern Hemisphere, the chicken coop is often found near a north-south corridor.
With its northerly orientation, it shields its greenhouse against frigid air and keeps it warm during the winter months.
Even if you aren’t much of a gardener, you’re intrigued by the concept of a chicken greenhouse coop. You may still give your chickens a warm and safe environment.
How Do You Turn a Greenhouse Into a Chicken Coop?
If so, do you have any plans for it? If you have a greenhouse, you can easily turn it into a chicken house! An excellent starting point is a chicken run constructed from a greenhouse frame. The greenhouse can be used as a run, and a coop with nesting boxes and a roost can be added inside.
If you like the way a greenhouse looks and feels, you may purchase one from a garden center near you or have one shipped to your home. Egg production will be at an all-time high thanks to the abundance of natural light!
This isn’t limited to the conversion of greenhouses to chicken coops, but may be used to almost any sort of shed. Check out our article on converting sheds into chicken houses for additional information.
To avoid wasting time and resources, as with any project, it’s important to go over the “who, what, when, where, and how’s.”
To get the most solar exposure, chicken coops in greenhouses need to be positioned in a specific way. The whole point of having this type of coop is lost if one is positioned incorrectly. It’s also important to make sure that the greenhouse coop is well aired.
For backyard chickens, where should a greenhouse coop be located?
- Towards the South, the Greenhouse Side is
- When the greenhouse gets too hot for the chickens, this gives them a place to cool down.
- Ideally, the coop’s nesting boxes should be placed along the far north sidewall.
No matter what type of greenhouse chicken coop you construct, it is imperative that adequate ventilation be included. During the hottest months of the year or on sunny winter days, the greenhouse side of the coop can quickly heat up. In a poorly ventilated greenhouse, mildew growth is also a concern. Mold can cause sickness and death in chickens.
Wall coverings made of plastic that can be rolled up are an excellent option. To keep your chickens from overheating, consider installing windows, entrances, or electric ventilation fans.
The Last “Cluck”
When you start on a new project, you’re the artist in charge of producing your own masterpiece. Just a few examples have been provided to get your creative ideas flowing.
In the end, they’ll come if you build it. Your chickens will love you for providing them a warm sunny shelter in the middle of winter!
“The crowds will come when you put it up!” In the thick of winter, your chickens will be grateful to you for providing them with a warm, sunny place to sleep.
Temperature and humidity levels can be precisely controlled in a greenhouse for chickens. Plants might be damaged and chicken feces can accumulate if the chickens are not properly controlled. For some individuals, keeping chickens in a greenhouse may not be worth the time and effort. The presence of chickens in a greenhouse may be seen as an advantage by others.