How to Convert a Greenhouse into a Chicken Coop

If you’re a backyard poultry owner who has a greenhouse set up in your backyard, you might want to learn how to convert a greenhouse into a chicken coop. To get you started, read on.

How to Convert a Greenhouse into a Chicken Coop

Do Chicken Coops Need Sun or Shade?

It all depends on where you live because the usual climate in your geographical location dictates whether you should place your chicken coop in the sun, shade, or dappled shade. Experts say that its best to place a chicken coop in a location that’s facing south. Doing so will allow them to be in the shade during those hot summer days and get more sun during the coldest winter months.

 

Can Chickens Freeze to Death?

Yes, they can if they don’t receive the care that they need.

 

Can Chickens Tolerate the Cold?

To give you an idea, cold hardy breeds such as Silkies, Barnevelder, and other large soft-feathered varieties can handle -18˚C or 0˚F as long as they’re protected from the wind, as well as the elements.

Although chickens would readily choose a warmer climate than a colder one, these hardy creatures can tolerate temperature drops that reach below the freezing point. However, their natural resilience shouldn’t keep you from making sure that your chickens are kept comfortable despite the cold.

 

Why Should Anyone Put Chickens in a Greenhouse?

A greenhouse chicken coop can effectively meet the needs of your plants and your chickens. If you live in areas with temperate climates, you know that it would be virtually impossible to grow your favorite vegetables in your backyard.

However, if you have you have a greenhouse set up in your backyard, you can use this to grow your cold-hardy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard, spinach, chard, and Brussels sprouts. It can also be a great place to plant cold-tolerant herbs that include parsley, sage, and cilantro.

While you’re growing your greens, you can also provide your chickens with the shelter they need so that they can keep their body temperatures up and increase their egg production during the winter season. However, it’s important to note that placing them in your greenhouse doesn’t mean that they can run freely around the entire greenhouse. Unless you’re willing to put your leafy seedlings at risk, you need to keep your chickens away from your plants with the use of wire fences and netting.

 

How Can You Convert an Old Small Greenhouse into a Chicken Coop?

Most gardening enthusiasts who live in areas that experience colder climates tend to try their hand at greenhouse gardening. However, if you’re one of those greens aficionados who decided to shift your focus on backyard poultry, you can easily convert your old greenhouse into a chicken coop. Doing so will keep your chickens warm during colder months.

The first thing you need to do is to board up the sides of your greenhouse for at least two feet. To hold in deeper bedding, you can add a four-foot fence to keep the plastic protected. You can also choose to use an old bookshelf and add some boards to the front parts of the shelves to make it hold in nesting material.

To help absorb the manure, you can add about one foot of carbon material such as leaves or wood chips. However, you have to make sure that the amount of carbon you have is enough for approximately 100 days at two sq. Ft. per chicken. When it comes to feeding, you can dribble your poultry’s food into the carbon material to keep the manure well-circulated each time your chickens stir and scratch the carbon.

 

Can You Combine a Chicken Coop and a Greenhouse?

The answer is yes. This option offers a lot of advantages because it encourages waste efficiency, thrifty homesteading, and consistent egg production throughout the winter season. Check out the advantages of combining a chicken coop and a greenhouse here:

 

It promotes waste efficiency

Integrating a chicken coop into an existing greenhouse can allow you to effectively manage waste. For example, you can feed your chickens with plant scraps while your plants can be fed by the compost that’s made from a mixture of manure and chicken bedding. In other words, no waste is produced as you foster a symbiotic relationship between your flora and fauna.

 

Thrifty homesteading

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the financial advantage of combining two buildings to serve as a shelter for poultry and plants. For one, you won’t need to use more materials in order to construct or even maintain your chicken greenhouse.

Since this type of arrangement allows your plants to get more heat and CO2 from your chickens, you can expect them to produce more. Likewise, your chickens also benefit from this arrangement because they get to feed on garden scraps all-year-round. Plus, the greenhouse protects them from predator attacks.

 

Egg production

Chickens who are kept warm inside a greenhouse won’t need to expend their energy in order to keep themselves warm. For this reason, they’ll have enough energy to maintain their egg production throughout the entire duration of the winter season.

 

Thoughts on How to Convert a Greenhouse into a Chicken Coop

Learning how to convert a greenhouse into a chicken coop is great. However, you don’t have to say goodbye to your gardening days while you try your hand at backyard poultry – because you can do both!

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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