• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Cattle Panel Greenhouse / Winter Chicken Shelter

 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We started building a cattle panel greenhouse (based on TexasPrepper's design) which will serve for winter housing for our expanding flock of chickens.  I am making a video series about the project (among many others). 

This video shows the material sourcing and wood cutting:


In this one, we start putting the pieces together:


Part 2 of the build will be posted soon!

(we had the door swing inward so we can open when there is snow piled up outside)
 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Finished (mostly - a few tweaks are still necessary)

 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I added a roosting bar to the greenhouse for the soon-to-arrive pullets.  Some other modifications are still needed though...


 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We brought our pullet home and got them into the greenhouse.  We got two lavender ameraucanas, black ameraucanas, black copper marans, a blue copper maran, and 3 rhode island reds. 

 
Bill Erickson
garden master
Pie
Posts: 789
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
75
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looking good there.

I built a pretty similar cattle panel design for a chicken tractor, only did two panels and it is basically 81 square feet. I did wire on 2 foot high hardware cloth all along the bottom edge of the whole thing and used chicken wire for the ends in addition. That is for predator protection more than anything else. I leave one end open to the air so they have plenty of fresh air, with the half of the panels covered with the tarp and the rest has 6 mil plastic reinforced with chicken wire to keep out the climbing predators. I did two of the 2x4s across the top on either side of my door openings, although only one has an actual door, for the same reason you did, snow load.

I just moved it around the yard all summer long and the girls did a fine job of eating the grass, bugs and other growies - giving us some awesome eggs. Soon I'll be moving it to our "Zone 1" area to make it easier to feed and water them, also using deep litter for the winter. They'll be going onto the garden this spring to do all the prep work for me.

The magic water and fermented feed really does a great job for their health during that initial move in and then during the season changes as well.

Good job and look forward to seeing more.

 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Bill, thanks for the feedback!  It's good to hear from someone else that has used this concept for chickens.  I put up the hardware cloth around the interior perimeter a couple of days ago, I just haven't posted the video in this thread yet.  I'll do that now:



Also, I put up a chick net and attached it to the surrounding electric poultry net so I can let the pullets out and get fresh air.  I did the magic water, too, for the immune boost.



Is this coming winter your first winter using the greenhouse?  I'm really  curious about snow load.  Using two 2x4s should be more than sufficient.  I probably should have added a second beam.
 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I added a interior door handle to the greenhouse so I can attach a spring lock to keep the door propped open.  It has helped tremendously with ventilation for the greenhouse.

 
Bill Erickson
garden master
Pie
Posts: 789
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
75
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
All those additions should do the trick for you. The condensation is one of the reasons that I left one end "open" and put chicken wire and hardware cloth along it without any covering or tarping. I just make sure it is facing away from the winter winds. Chickens are amazingly heavy breathers, especially in a damp environment.

This will be my first winter with this concept. I have just used a large tractor, with deep bedding and hay bales around three sides for insulation at chicken height, and kept it covered with a tarp and some metal roofing.

Here's a couple pics:

Backside



Frontside


This is without the plastic on it. You can see how I did mine a bit different from yours, although I am thinking about building a second one and using it dual purpose like you did. Greenhouse for early spring, and then using it as a place for pullets to get a start.
 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for posting the pictures Bill! Very cool! I like it a lot.  Do you have any pictures of how you did the nesting boxes?
 
Bill Erickson
garden master
Pie
Posts: 789
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
75
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry for the delay in answering, Dan.

Because of the way I was running the tractor through the yard, I didn't do nesting boxes yet. The stinking thing is "fun" to move as it is. Once I get it to the winter location then I'll build a nesting box that I can move out in the spring. I really don't want them nesting and laying in the deep litter if I can help it. I'll also add a couple of roosts for them that will give them someplace to be off of the deck. I like Justin Rhodes' nest box system where the bar can be put up to keep them out when they should be foraging, winter may be a different critter here than it is for western North Cackalacky where he lives, so we'll see how that one goes.
 
Dan Ohmann
Pie
Posts: 46
Location: Inland Northwest
16
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden rabbit toxin-ectomy trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No problem!

I made the Justin Rhodes Chicken Tractor and it has the swivel bar to prevent access to the nest box.  My birds, however, just pushed it down and went in the boxes anyway.   I used a bungee cord to keep the bar up and they managed to still push the bar down just enough to get in.  I gave up on it and started turning the nest boxes so the openings were facing each other instead of in the tractor. 
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic