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Critique Greenhouse/Coop Design  RSS feed

 
Posts: 31
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Hi All,

I'm looking for some feedback on my greenhouse and chicken coop design that I modeled after the "Introduction to Permaculture" sketch that I've attached. It will be approximately 14' north-south and 16' east-west, sited on a north-facing slope (no flat ground or south-facing option unfortunately). I'll use the greenhouse half primarily for growing peppers in the spring, summer and fall then as extra foraging space for my chickens in the winter.

What I'd like to know is based on the winter/summer angles of the sun, what angle should I use for my greenhouse wall and what angle/distance should the overhang be? Also, would an automatically-actuated vent at the top of the greenhouse wall be the most cost-effective way to ventilate or would a solar chimney be a less expensive but equally effective means of ventilating?

I should add that I live at approximately 44* North in Zone 6a.

Thanks!
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Posts: 2239
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hi Jay, will the roof be solid or transparent?  If solid, there won't be any direct sun entering the greenhouse in the summer so your peppers may get grumpy.

I like the chicken wire so the birds get light in the winter.  Would they be allowed outside in the summer to get sunlight?

The sunniness/cloudiness of your climate in each season may affect the design. 
 
Jay Colli
Posts: 31
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Thanks for the response Mike!

I wasn’t going to use clear roofing for the overhang but I could eliminate the overhang entirely if the midday summer sun wouldn’t be too intense for the peppers, which it probably won’t be given the eastern Canadian climate!

The chickens will be outside daily all-day. I’ll be adding a run to the back side of the building that isn’t shown.
 
Jay Colli
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
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I should add that I want to split the coop space up into four 7.5' x 4' pens that I can access from the central walkway. I've started looking for old storm doors that I can install in the center partition that'll give me access to each of the pens separately with the added bonus of being able to control the air flow through each of the pens, into the greenhouse and out the vent as well as being able to choose which group of chickens I want to give access to the greenhouse for the day. The greenhouse will only be used by the birds in Jan/Feb when the weather is at it's coldest and the greenhouse won't be in use anyways.

Just in case anyone is interested, three of the pens will be used for breeding quads (3 hens and a rooster) of Coucou de Malines and the other will be for a meat bird project that I'm hoping to kick-off this year. The plan is to cross the Malines, Bresse and White Cornish (not commercial Cornish X) to create a bird that performs better than any of the contributing pure breds, which was inspired by a successful Bresse/Malines cross that a local fellow did last year.
 
Mike Jay
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I guess to optimize the front angle I'd draw the shadow lines for each month of the year (or at least the equinoxes and solstices) so that you make sure you are getting enough sun during the greenhouse's growing seasons (including summer).  My hunch is that you could flatten it out until it almost interferes with the door and remove most of the overhang. 
 
Jay Colli
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Thanks again for the suggestions Mike!

I'll play around with the angles a little bit and see if I can get the summer sun angle just right so that it won't beam into the coop section but will cover the bed entirely. I've had another fellow comment on these drawings elsewhere and he says he has a superior design that doesn't have the coop and greenhouse spaces working against one another when it comes to ventilation so we'll see what he's got and I may be back with edits.
 
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