The Cornish Cross chicks are full grown chickens now. We have moved them into a portable greenhouse and let have supervised outdoor time. The greenhouse makes for a decent temporary chicken coop, but there are some drawbacks to it which I will elaborate on later. This will be the last time we purchase Cornish Crosses.
Why a greenhouse
Part of homesteading is using what you have on hand. The chicks quickly got too big for that little 40 gallon tub. To the great pleasure of my son, we moved them outdoors. The greenhouse made sense. It would keep the chicks warm and secure. Doors could be opened completely to give plenty of air and sunshine until we could build secure fencing for them.
The greenhouse is a Flower House Pop-up types that easily fold into a storage bag when not in use. It has a few poles, stakes, and cord to tie it down. I added more stakes and ropes. We live in tornado country and there are days on end where the wind blows at 20-30 miles an hour for the better part of the day.
Inside the greenhouse we put up a chicken wire pen. We added a cardboard box for the chooks to feel secure in at night. Food, water, grit and dried mealworms are put up on cinderblocks. The floor is a thick layer of pine shavings. This gave the 9 chicks a 6 x 5 foot enclosure. Every couple of days, I turn over the shavings, remove any that are really wet, and then add another bag of shavings if necessary.
Why I like this greenhouse:
- It protects the chickens from the weather. Rain cannot get in unless the doors are open. The chickens are also out of the wind.
- There is no floor so I can use a deep litter method of keeping the chickens.
- Hawks and other birds of prey cannot get to the chickens.
- I can easily control the temperature by adjusting the doors and the two small openings for cords and hoses.
- I already had this so it made for a quick and easy chicken house.
- When the chicks were smaller, the greenhouse was able to keep them safe and warm.
- In my particular situation, the greenhouse is predator proof.
Downside to the greenhouse:
- It can get very warm quickly. If the doors are not open and the greenhouse is in direct sun, chickens can overheat. I found this out first-hand when I lost 3 of my Cornish Cross chickens to heat stroke.
- If you have a large number of chickens, this particular setup is too small.
- The greenhouse holds moisture, so if water spills you have to ventilate it well.
- Purchasing one can be expensive.
We have 4 hens and one rooster remaining. They will be ready for processing in about two weeks. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
Hope you enjoyed this
A city chick gone country.