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Green/hoop house alternative heating by use as a barn

 
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I’m curious what you guys think of putting stall in a greenhouse/hoop house so that you can keep animals in it during winter to help supplement the heat so that it’s growable internal temperature?
 
pollinator
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Two downsides I can think of right off the bat:  It may become too hot for the animals, and the ammonia from their urine may injure the plants as well as the animals.  To provide the proper amount of ventilation would defeat the purpose.
 
gardener
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The Swedish Homestead YT channel shows pigs and chickens working in a greenhouse, without plants.
Joel Salatin does something similar with chickens and rabbits.
No plants, but warm animals in an un-insulated space, doing quite well.
Cows make a lot more methane, but I think it could be managed.
Compost pile heating of a hoophouse is a thing, so having a steady supply of compostables being created could also be a thing.
Keeping the fresh turds mixed with carbonous material could be a lot of work, if we did it our selves.
But we could assign that duty to some  chickens, or to a couple of pigs, or some of both.
It's getting kind crowded in the hoop house at this point, and that might be the real drawback of this idea.
Making room for plants and animals, and keeping the animals from destroying the plants, could be a challenge.

At my own home I'm trying to build a green house with provisions for chickens to come visit.
By provisions, I mean things that keep them from wrecking the plants.
This will probably consist of curtains made of mesh and weighted at the bottom.
 
steward
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I'm thinking it depends on the volume of the greenhouse relative to the volume of farts/burps from the animal.  I'm assuming you're talking about a few cows but maybe you have other critters in mind that don't fart as much.  I've seen mention in many books (including the Designers Manual) of chickens to help heat a greenhouse.

Even building a greenhouse on the sunny side of a barn can provide some heat.  
 
Hank Waltner
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So what are your views on using a greenhouse as a solar work shop for wood working and the sort
 
Mike Haasl
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I think there are a number of views and it depends on a lot of things.  My greenhouse gets toasty but stays under 100 in the summer.  But it has condensation and there are drips falling all the time.  So I wouldn't want to have woodworking tools in there getting dripped on.

But, I have plants in mine which are probably making the humidity.  If it was an empty sun space, it might be much drier and might be perfect.  Ventilation for the summer, and/or shading options, will be important.  
 
Hank Waltner
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So what if it wasn’t a green house but a clear hoop house with like a barn ventilation
 
gardener
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This whole video is worth a watch, but if you want to skip to the part relevant to the thread's question, go to 7:75 and watch for a couple of minutes.  This is in Normandy France.  The people wrote a great book called Miraculous Abundance and another new one that I have not read yet and there is a permies thread based on the first book as well.


 
 
pollinator
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I built some wood framed greenhouses ten years ago and put them on skids.  I then put about 18 inches soil into them and used them as chicken coups in the winter and in the late winter early spring I kicked out the chickens and used them to start plants for the garden.  It actually worked out quite well...

I would make a couple warnings though, the humidity level will go over the moon when you have animals in a sealed enclosure, this leads to mold, mildew and the potential of disease for the animals.  One particular concern for animals in winter in a system like this is pneumonia and influenza.  

You may wish to consider a good ventilation system to help reduce respirated moisture levels in the system.

I initially started doing this because I had old used greenhouse plastic from a commercial greenhouse, enough to cover about 4 very large greenhouses and I needed to break flock into 10 different flocks as I had about 150 chickens.  I also wanted to try and keep the water thawed during winter as the thawing water each day was taking a lot of time.  So I built the wood framed (pallet) greenhouses with the plastic, to help absorb moisture I put in the soil in the bottoms of them.  During the first winter I was noticing that even when the temps were -20 F outside I still wasn't freezing in the buildings I got to thinking these would make great greenhouse in the late winter early spring...  And voila a new idea was born...

The really cool part was that as seeds sprouted in the soil the chickens at them the sprouts, as bugs were hatched from the soil the chickens ate them.  The chickens also tilled the soil quite well and filled it with chicken manure.  Kind of the perfect setup really...
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