1. The Practical Aquaponics discussion forum has been in operation for the last 5 years...

    We have enjoyed giving this service free of charge however ongoing increasing financial costs of running this service is making it increasingly difficult. Up until now we have resisted advertising as a means of a revenue stream to help run this forum but it has become inevitable that extra revenue is required to run this forum.

    We have introduced a donate button to help offset the cost of running this forum. It is completely voluntary, but if you would like to donate, all donations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Murray..
    Dismiss Notice

chicken coop greenhouse

Discussion in 'Greenhouse - Shade house.' started by Dave Bxl, May 28, 2014.

  1. Dave Bxl

    Dave Bxl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Hi everyone


    I'm planing on building a new set up. I live in Belgium so the main concern for an aquaponic set up is maintaining the temperature during the winter.


    So my idea was to build a passive greenhouse with an integrated chicken coop. There are two main advantages in this design :

    1. chickens will heat the greenhouse during the winter. I've read that 1 adult chicken gives 15w of heat, so 4 chickens give off the equivalent of one 60w lightbulb.

    2. There is also carbon dioxide release witch is beneficial for plants.

    The plan is to construct a GH facing south and have a chicken coop attached to one of the sides (preferably the north side). There would have to be a adequate air ventilation in order to circulate the heat trough the GH. I would insulate the 5 sides of the chicken coop that do not join onto the GH, so that more of the heat makes it out into the GH. When the temps get up in the summertime the two vents on top of the GH automatically open above.


    But I have several questions concerning installing a aquaponic system in a chicken coop greenhouse:

    1. Will the ammonia in the chicken manure kill the plants or harm the fish?

    2. I read that “birds are warm-blooded animals, so they frequently harbor E.coli and salmonella bacteria in their intestines. You will need to keep your birds away from your aquaponics garden to prevent these dangerous bacteria from contaminating it.” Although there will be no direct contact between the chickens and the plants is contamination possible though the air exchange?

    3. The heat transfer will happen in both directions, so on a sunny day the hot GH will overheat a well insulated chicken coop. Chickens get stressed in very hot conditions leading to health problems and death. If there is excessive summer heat in GH will I need to cool down my GH or are the automatic vents enough?
    Thanks in advance for your shared thoughts on the subject.




     
  2. Gratilla

    Gratilla Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    406
    First to be affected will be the chickens themselves. Birds are particularly sensitive to air quality. Note the old use of canaries for detecting methane in mines.

    There is a simple solution though - zeolite. This sucks up and sequesters the ammonia in the air. We regularly spread it on our chicken litter; in Japan they often suspend bags of it in their coops. Powder or prills are the most effective (large surface area per kilogram); sand or grit less so, but the chickens peck at this and it both acts as roughage in their crops and smooths out ammonia spikes (bad) in their systems.

    And once the zeolite is saturated it can be regenerated or used as a slow release fertilizer.
     
  3. Dave Bxl

    Dave Bxl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for the info. I will look it up.

    First, I will maintain a very clean environment for the chickens and make sure air circulate properly through the coop to prevent this problem. If I observe poor air quality I will get some zeolite.

    It would be interesting to know how to evaluate ammonia in the air without buying a ammonia monitor. Any tricks for observing ammonia overload? Effects on poultry?
     
  4. Robert123

    Robert123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    858
    Country:
    USA
    State:
    South Carolina
    City:
    Woodruff
    If it smells, then do something about it. Sounds stupidly simply, but I'm serious. Odor threshold is 5 ppm. Most people smell it pretty readily at 10 ppm. NIOSH and ACGIH twa limits are 25 ppm over the course of a shift.

    Bottom line... If it don't stink, you ain't got a problem. If it does, ventilate and clean.

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/81-123/pdfs/0028-rev.pdf
     
  5. Dave Bxl

    Dave Bxl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    thank you for the document and the advice Robert
     
    Robert123 likes this.
  6. Robert123

    Robert123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    858
    Country:
    USA
    State:
    South Carolina
    City:
    Woodruff
    You are quite welcome. Love to hear how it goes. Just another heads up...

    Chooks don't like large temperature swings. They can take the cold very well - much better than an AP system - down to the teens F quite easily. Below 5 F is where I get concerned. Just give them shelter from the wind and over their heads, keep their water thawed, and give them a roost so they can keep their feet off the ground when they sleep so they wont get frostbite. If your intent is to put them in a warm AP environment, please keep them in there. Sending them back and forth into the frigid cold of winter will weaken their immune system.

    Best wishes.
     
  7. Dave Bxl

    Dave Bxl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks Rob,

    Will keep this thread posted with pictures soon as we start the project this summer.
     
  8. Robert123

    Robert123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    858
    Country:
    USA
    State:
    South Carolina
    City:
    Woodruff
    Would be nice to see, thanks. On a side note, I lost another Wyandotte to what I believe was an Owl attack yesterday. :( She got hit while on the nesting box. I'll never get used to those murder scenes. :mad: Times like these make me question whether it might be better to confine them more? At least you won't have to deal with that issue.
     

Share This Page