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chicken coop/greenhouse

chickenhag McCoy


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 4
Can some one please e-mail me apicture of Mollisons greenhose/chicken coop that is in his book. I would like to try to duplicate it . PLEASE send to floymaeken@yahoo.com.I woud buy the book but cant afford it right now
edgegardener Hatfield


Joined: Nov 01, 2009
Posts: 13
email sent
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
I know that Joel Salatin says that sunlight is what keeps a chicken house sanitary. No moist dark corners.

Chelle
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14191
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
By "duplicate it" I am assuming that you mean "draw something similar".  Because if you were going to copy it and use it for some other project, then that would be a copyright vilolation and somehow my forums ended up being a part in something not right and I would be mad at myself.

So ... I guess I'm hoping you will reply and say "oh yeah, I want to draw something similar" or "actually, I'm just gonna build one for myself!" or something like that.

(and yeah, I know this post is a downer, but I am consumed with the need to do what I perceive is the right thing)


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Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
paul wheaton wrote:if you were going to copy [the drawing] and use it for some other project, then that would be a copyright vilolation and somehow my forums ended up being a part in something not right and I would be mad at myself.


Oh, interesting...I took chickenhag's wording to mean duplicating the physical structure, rather than the representation of it.

Even still, I bet exact duplication won't be as appropriate as adapting the general idea in your own special way.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
i have considered doing this but for two reasons haven't yet..one..hubby wont' allow me to have chickens (i beg and beg) andtwo...cats catch and eat large birds..probably stupid to try chickens..

Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
This concept interests me....

Is it merely a greenhouse in which chickens are kept? Or are there special modifications for the chickens?

Chelle
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Cyara wrote:
This concept interests me....

Is it merely a greenhouse in which chickens are kept? Or are there special modifications for the chickens?

Chelle


The chickens help regulate the temperature, by adding body heat at night but also maybe by moving out of the way of the air intake when it's too hot inside for their comfort.

It definitely is designed from the outset to be a better coop than one with no plants or windows, and a better greenhouse than one with no chickens would be, in as many ways as possible. "Modified" may not be strong enough.
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
I can understand the set-up working for the chickens.... but would the plants not just be decimated by the chickens?

Chelle
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 666
Location: Zone 5
I like the idea of quail in the green house.  I am thinking the funnel doors from the johnny house idea (they can get in but not out). 

But then again I may need to keep my my quail out in the woods with a bird dog around....
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
Cyara wrote:
I can understand the set-up working for the chickens.... but would the plants not just be decimated by the chickens?

Chelle


Here's one example:

http://transitionculture.org/2008/10/20/in-search-of-the-fabled-permaculture-chickengreenhouse/


Gary
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Thanks. Can't seem to get the link to open for me. Will try again tomorrow.

Chelle
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
After reading this and having had a greenhouse/hen house which housed 25 ladies comfortably, think I speak on this at least a little bit. And yes, I will be building another one, but for a few more ladies than the last one at my old place.

Downer, feather dust. It can get everywhere. I liked the Solviva answer to that and will implement that in my next incarnation. What she did was put a filter between the two parts.

Mine was oriented North/South. Did not have sufficient insulation to maximize the benefit from the poultry, although it was rare for things to freeze. When it did happen it was -16F with a wind at 40+ mph.

It was 16 x 16 with a central 1/2 wall of cement blocks in the middle. Not enough mass storage for the space. Also just used  corrugated poly sheets for the south face. Besides they got damaged easily when cold or with hail would not use them again. Would use a twin or triple wall polycarb for south face.

Will also insulate as heavily as possible including the underfloor, on both sides and under the roof.

There are a few other things I'm going to change, but more for my convenience.  Did like having a dutch door for the main entrance. Would put in an inside door, but that is more to assist in keeping hens predator free, likely to be a door of expanded metal.
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Just can't seem to get that link to open... no matter what I try.

Just get... Network Error (tcp_error)

A communication error occurred: ""
The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.


But other pages open fine and easily.

Chelle
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Hi Cyara,
    It worked for me yesterday not long after he posted it. Think the server it is on is busy with all the new hits. Might have bogged it down.
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
Cyara wrote:
Just can't seem to get that link to open... no matter what I try.

But other pages open fine and easily.

Chelle


I just tried to cut and paste the drawing of the chicken/greenhouse from the article but it wouldn't allow it for some reason.    It shows a 2 room building with the chicken roost underneath a portion of the back of the greenhouse side which is covered I think with chicken wire to allow chicken body heat and their exhalations of carbon dioxide to migrate into the greenhouse.
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7


Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
gary wrote:
I just tried to cut and paste the drawing of the chicken/greenhouse from the article but it wouldn't allow it for some reason.     It shows a 2 room building with the chicken roost underneath a portion of the back of the greenhouse side which is covered I think with chicken wire to allow chicken body heat and their exhalations of carbon dioxide to migrate into the greenhouse.
Thanks Gary.

Pat Maas kindly copied the page and sent it to my regular mail. Very interesting! I am going to look more into this as a possibility.

Now I have to figure why I couldn't get to a page that everyone else can!!!

Chelle

Patrick Freeburger


Joined: Nov 09, 2009
Posts: 51
Depending on what you're  trying to solve, Mike Oehler's Earth Sheltered Greenhouse may be a better bet.  The ground will regulate temperature better than the chickens and a couple of chickens, ducks, or rabbits (Mike's favorite) are useful for generating co2.  If you're trying to produce a lot of eggs, feather dust becomes an issue (based on Pat Maas and comments on other sites) and a more complicated ventilation/filtering system is required. 

If anyone builds the Taj Mahal of an earth sheltered greenhouse/ chicken coop please let me know.

Patrick
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
PatJFree wrote:If anyone builds the Taj Mahal of an earth sheltered greenhouse/ chicken coop please let me know.


I'd say it's more like this generation's Spirit of St. Louis.
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Mike Oehler's Earth Sheltered Greenhouse is what I'm looking at for combining with the poultry house. You nailed that right on the head Joel.

Part of what I'm doing is setting up a large divided pasture for the hens, permie style, but there has got to be improvement on air filtration in the hen/greenhouse.

I do a lot of baking for charities and organizations and have a good rep for yummy stuff. We also have several organizations that need eggs for those not so fortunate-so a few hens is not an option. These are the same people that helped me when my children were small- when we needed help-they are not forgotten.

I'm looking at 100 hens of 4 different breeds(sorry, but do like naturally colored eggs) that will cover year round production. This has been done this before, so it's no big deal. What is- is the housing being dual purpose in heating a greenhouse area and being humane for the hens.

The greenhouse will provide fresh greens, so a cool house is ok. Have access to some really good HVAC techs so will pick their brains on air filtering. Being sensitive to that dander, that is a priority for me. For the ladies doing the work, roosts that are easily cleanable and in position to be useful for drawing moisture and warmth.  That and more than enough room to spread their wings when everybody is inside. Water and feeding are also considerations as hens have a tendency to make a mess, not as bad as waterfowl, but enough to wet/soil clean bedding rapidly.

Insulation is key as I've found out previously. It's putting things together in a way that will make sense and work. The chicks will be here in the next couple of months so am getting my thoughts together on the how to design what is needed. Also need to keep in mind ever present predators and what they are or can be. Then doing it.

Because much of this is done alone, ease of work load is also a consideration for design. It needs to be replicatable and reliable. It also needs to be done with what is at hand- neither an eye sore but also not a Taj Mahal.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Pat Maas wrote:there has got to be improvement on air filtration in the hen/greenhouse.

....

Have access to some really good HVAC techs so will pick their brains on air filtering. Being sensitive to that dander, that is a priority for me. For the ladies doing the work, roosts that are easily cleanable and in position to be useful for drawing moisture and warmth. That and more than enough room to spread their wings when everybody is inside. Water and feeding are also considerations as hens have a tendency to make a mess, not as bad as waterfowl, but enough to wet/soil clean bedding rapidly.


Three notions:

A solar chimney can produce a good flow of air. Make sure each of your HVAC techs is familiar with the idea before you put in a blower.

I think a system that pulls chicken house air through a compost pile, then through the growing beds, and up from the bottom of the greenhouse (i.e., the greenhouse has a negative pressure vs. outdoors) might be the way to go, as long as the compost pile and growing beds both have a very large surface area and good percolation (which you want anyway). Cf. New Alchemy Institute's compost-heated greenhouse

A space the chickens can't reach, in which black soldier flies and web-building spiders are bred, and which has good air circulation with the chicken house, might get you a self-renewing dander screen. Most of the fly larvae should be directed to the chickens, but some could be channeled into a pupation habitat to feed the spiders.
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Hi Joe,
    I'm a big fan of the New Alchemy Institute. Have been working on the design, do a lot of sketching and manipulation of design.  Thank you for the solar chimney suggestion. Have seen that used in some greenhouse designs in Arizona. Here have to pay attention to sturdiness-winds can top 70mph and be at 55mph+ day in and out when fronts are sliding through. Familiar with air pressure and flow from earlier experiments which taught me about stratification.
    Spiders are a fact of life here. Lots of big daddy long legs and black widows, brown recluse and orb weavers. Mostly Daddy long legs fortunately, not counting the jumping spiders which love flies.
    I'll finish playing with the design in a day or so and post what I've come up with. Like your ideas. Have played with a fair amount of underground heat storage after seeing a Mother Earth News article years ago when a kid(Joe Orr's Mud Heat Storage Solar Greenhouse) and seeing some other designs from Idaho, Colorado and Northern NM in more recent years.
      Have a lot of rock to work with also, some of it is volcanic and very dense. A "b" to work with as it can be brittle, but if I can get it carved into convenient block sizes may have that to work with also. Lots of flat rock several inches thick and sturdy and better than 2' across just might get used also as a floor material. Rock floors can be dusty, but if I do this right, it won't be an issue.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Pat Maas wrote:Spiders are a fact of life here. Lots of big daddy long legs and black widows, brown recluse and orb weavers. Mostly Daddy long legs fortunately, not counting the jumping spiders which love flies.


Ah, cool. I think daddy long legs have a finer web than orb weavers, more suitable for clearing dander from the air, yes?

I understand brown recluse and black widow are both very averse to light. A well-lit room seems tolerable to daddy longlegs...I wonder how to favor them over the other two species you listed. I guess a smaller species of flying insect would feed them better: any local ideas that would be easy to cultivate? Also, many of the possible jumps would land a spider within reach of a chicken...
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Hi Joe,
From my observations, daddy long legs like corners. You also don't see them outside much other than in sheds and such-again in corners. Top and bottom.
    The two mentioned poisonous spiders do prefer dark, although I have had one family of black widows reside next to a milking stand for years now. I try very hard to live peacefully with those others fear and try to find ways to do so-no matter their form.  They have a purpose, even if I can't conceive it.
    Have you worked with aqua-ponics in  a greenhouse setting? I'm looking at a possibility of raising duckweed using some of the poultry litter as a fertilizer. Algae is prevalent in this environment in any water located in sunlight, but can't remember ever seeing hens eating it after dredging it out of stock tanks.
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 666
Location: Zone 5
More work I know but...

My chickens will eat things like onions or squash ends if they are cooked.  I often fry in oil or boil in salted water to make "chicken soup" or "chicken stir fry"  for my birds.  I use any and all scraps and extra eggs, old dog food what ever.  They love it.  I have learned some new tasty ways to use my garden harvest this way...some of the scraps smelled so good....

I was cooking duckweed in scrambled eggs to feed before my hens got lazy.  So dark and cold here they like to roost at like 2:00.  I have one hen I will see still around and I figure she is my only layer right now. 

Many of my hens are old pets.
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Thank you Jennifer,
    Thought the hens might like it. Thank you again. Looking at providing them with all their greens raw and direct from the greenhouse. Trying to keep things so they work in a cycle and benefit all participants in cycle.
    I've raised many thousands of hens and broilers on pasture, using different feedstuffs including hydroponic forage to supplement their diets.
Do a fair bit of gardening and between the goats, pigs and what have you, have it well broke out who gets what from the produce or dairy making processes-depends on how well it benefits them.
chickenhag McCoy


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 4
[Thank you all so much for yor replies,esp Gary. This was exactly what I was looking for . I just needed to see a clearer picture of the green house  so I could dream of building one my self without having to buy the whole BOOK. I have 3 chickens and thought may this might work,cause I would LUV to have a greehouse! You guys are the BEST . Im glad I found this forum. I live in N. FL close to Destin. Anyone else?
chickenhag McCoy


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 4
Brenda ifyou get the right kind of chickens,trust me the cats wont bother them. I dont have a rooster, and my neighbor hood is full of wild animals and pets!LOL I live on a major river To!
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
A solar chimney can produce a good flow of air.
Thank you for this Joel. Very interesting concept.

This whole idea of a chicken greenhouse is fascinating. I can see enormous benefits when snow piles up outside.

However, I live in very mild winter temperatures and hot temps summer. My main interest in a chicken greenhouse would be the sterilization the sun brings to the chicken dwelling. I would only use it secondarily for plants in mid-winter I think. Joel Salatin seems to favour no dark and dank corners in a chicken house... for obvious reasons.

Prevention of Overheating and adequate Ventilation would have to be built into the unit. The solar chimney with a built in passive heat exchanger could well make it viable.



The earth cooling the air... how long/short should that underground pipe be to ensure the air keeps rising?..... or is it a given that no matter how cool it gets that the angle will keep the air rising as it is pushed from behind by hot air?

Is it possible to cool the air enough while relying on the sun to sterilize the bedding? The chickens will not be left in during the main heat of the day but the concern is that it not get too hot before all laying is complete. Maybe have the nests to the east and shielded and shaded by rock walling set into an earthen bank.....

Summer temps can get as high as 38 * C but not usually higher. Winter temps could even get too warm in a greenhouse midday for the chickens. Is this practical at all for my kind of climate? If this was sunk into earth at the back and  sides would it moderate temps enough while still effectively sterilizing the bedding? Presumeably the heat exchange can be blocked in cold mid-winter and only the solar-chimney left to increase ventilation alone without the added cooling.

Chelle
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
That's a great idea Cyara.
    Been playing with that the last few days in designing my new one and your input might just have pushed things over the top.Almost all the solar chimneys I've seen have been significantly taller than the building they were assisting in cooling.
      Was talking to Chris Meuli yesterday afternoon ( bought Volume 2 of Brad Lancaster's Water Harvesting Earthworks from him-great book! ) and we were talking along the same lines. Will have it posted in another day or two, just have been keeping focused on getting things designed and the area cleared and ready to start working on.

Thank you again
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Saw the diagram on the link that Joel posted. Also got me thinking.... 

Looking forward to you posting your ideas Pat.

Chelle
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Maybe in my climate I should build in more than one passive heat exchanger....

And for winter close them off ..... and have a higher entry ventilation point to feed the solar chimney exit. So build entry ventilation grilles at more than one height to effect some temperature control in the differing seasons.

Chelle
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Cyara wrote:
Maybe in my climate I should build in more than one passive heat exchanger....

And for winter close them off


Does the air temperature fall below the ground temperature in winter? In that case, your heat exchanger would stop functioning as a cooler at the change of seasons, and switch over to becoming a pre-heater.
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
I had assumed that the ground would be colder than the air in winter but you are right! It doesn't change in temp as radically as the air...  This is going to be interesting.

Does this system work only if no other ventilation?... like windows that open. Is it enough ventilation?

Chelle
Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
Just read this whole thread and wanted to point out that in the drawing that was posted it is important to notice that the chickens and the greenhouse are sharing thermal mass, not necessarily air.

Without the air exchange the humidity, chicken dust, and related problems do not occur.


Check out my Primal Prepper blog where I talk about permaculture, prepping, and the primal lifestyle... all the time!
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Finally have some time today to finish one or two drawings. It's rather "brown" and windy with the neighbors bare lots happily dumping what's left of his topsoil across the front of the farm. Thank you sir! All that seed you planted will happily grow here.

Anyway, here is my design for the soon to be green/chicken house. It's going to be 60' long and around 20'wide with a berm across the North side of the greenhouse part. Will be taking advantage of the solar chimney, just have incorporated it into the design.

Am using some of the rock or dirt present here to fill the chain linked(if just rock) and insulated box under part of the greenhouse. Also using some ideas from an old Mother Earth News from "Joseph Orr's mud heat storage solar greenhouse" and some really cool ideas from Rocky Mountain Permaculture Center in Colorado.

This is something I've been working with for some time. The location has a natural bench which will allow for another 4'or so to be dug out allowing for the rock/dirt box, but still give the area needed for this design. That will make the straw yard in front nearly level with the floor of the chicken house side(just above).


[Thumbnail for green and chicken house.JPG]

Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
tamo42 wrote:
Just read this whole thread and wanted to point out that in the drawing that was posted it is important to notice that the chickens and the greenhouse are sharing thermal mass, not necessarily air.

Without the air exchange the humidity, chicken dust, and related problems do not occur.
Good point. The thermal mass is shared and air can be through a filter.

Pat, help me understand.... that grey area with a grid over.... is that the gabions? .... rocks held in chain link. What is the purpose of that? A dark wall in front.... heat capture and storage in the rocks?

Are you doing the whole front part glass? 2 stories of glass? I am assuming the top part is for the chickens with steps leading from the GH up to them. Ah... no.... just figured that it is actually a double storey in front.... not just 2 stories of glass. What are the yellow things below?

Everything that is painted green .... is that planted foliage? Is there foliage up by the chickens too?

The brown must be the berm... is that a broken wall in front of the berm? ... windows?... how does that work with the berm? Sorry for being blonde  but I know you have planned something really good here .... just from how you post .... and I want to understand where you are going with it. Hope that is OK.

Chelle
Pat Maas


Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
Hi Cyara,
    The top part is greenhouse, the bottom the chicken house. The front is going to be whatever I can cobble up that will endure our conditions that is clear or close. The really important part is the angle of the faces. One will be 54 degrees and the other 45 degrees, both I have already tried  here and work.

The grey area under the greenhouse I'm not sure will be using dirt or rock yet. If rock it will be chain link surrounding, supporting it. If dirt just the insulated walls and rock or cement blocks to frame it.

Am using ducting through either rock or dirt mass to carry heat collected at the top of the structure into the thermal mass. Am also using a thermal mass area on the wall in the chicken area. There are ducts in that wall(with removable filters) that can be opened or closed for improved ventilation that lead to the upper story.

The green will be forage for the chickens. This is something I've done before and depending on what type it is will determine it's location in the greenhouse. Some things like a 50% light for germinating and growing, others needs 75% or more like sunflowers. Some of the grains like Barley like 50 % or more. Otherwise they sun scald. The grains grown will come from the farm eventually as soil conditions improve here. Herbs and veggies will also be grown for the chickens.

The upper story North side does have a berm. The berm will wrap around to the doors. The brown area in the greenhouse are work areas with worm beds underneath. The top of the work bench slides allowing easier access. Green areas are growing areas. Yellow is for laying box accessed from out doors.

I'm going to make sure there is enough ventilation all around as I think this design will give the humidity needed for the forage.  Just need to make sure there is enough air flow to counter the mold that loves the higher humidity.
 
 
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