Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crazy Idea: fowl greenhouse swim center complex

For the area behind the garage I think I may have too much stuff I am trying to fit in:
  • Chicken henhouse
  • Duckhouse
  • Quailhouse
  • Space for endless pool -- exercise, thermal mass
  • Outdoor shower -- use the rain water to clean up after a swim, use gray water on site
  • Rain water storage -- provides lots of thermal mass
  • Greenhouse -- passive solar and source of light for winter growing
  • A composting toilet -- for infrequent use, gather humanure.
There are a lot of musings about chicken greenhouses on the internet in the permaculture crowd.
These are a lot of functions to stack, but I don't see why they couldn't play well together.

Since most of the use of the greenhouse will be from equinox to equinox (Sept. - March), we only need to capture light when the sun is below 45 degrees above the horizon. We also don't want too much solar capture in the summer when the sun is more like 68 degrees high.
This makes me think of using clerestory windows facing south with 1:1 roof pitch behind in sort of a saw tooth pattern (a little like this).

We could install solar water heating on the garage roof for the pool, though we will likely need auxiliary heat in the winter.

All of the rain from both structures could be captured and kept inside the envelope for thermal mass, and for use watering plants, the poultry, duck pond, and for showers. The composting toilet would be nice for pre/post swim "emergencies" and while working out in the yard. And why waste perfectly good waste?

From the coops I've seen it doesn't seem like a couple hens, ducks, and quail are going to take all that much space, especially if we stack them somewhat.

So, how much room will my crazy complex take?
How much water should I have storage for? In what shape?


  1. A couple of things: Ducks like water, but don't NEED it (I use a small kid pool, ugly but serviceable)....and my ducks were mellow enough that they shared the chicken coop with the chickens.

    NOTE; make space close to chicken coop for compost. Lots of straw/bedding and poultry poo, which is too hot chemically to go directly into a garden bed.

  2. So if chickens sleep in a henhouse, do ducks sleep in a duckhouse and quail in a quailhouse?