Raising Livestock and Crops Simultaneously in Unheated Greenhouses

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2007: $12,089.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
John Socolofsky
Antelope Creek Ranch

Information Products


  • Animals: swine


  • Animal Production: housing, manure management
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal summary:

    Antelope Creek Ranch in Larkspur wants to test whether raising animals in an unheated greenhouse during the winter months will produce enough heat energy from livestock and their composting manure to keep the greenhouse above freezing.

    The ranch will use its Farmer/Rancher grant to compare two structures, each 32 feet by 72 feet. One will be divided lengthwise with temporary fencing, one side growing vegetables, the other finishing hogs. The second structure will be used only for growing vegetables. The impact on temperature and humidity with livestock present will be compared with the control structure with no livestock.

    The project will also test the feasibility of on-farm composting of hog manure and bedding to be used as fertilizer for the growing crops.

    Should this project prove successful, Antelope Creek Ranch plans to test the hypothesis of combining vegetable production with production of poultry and lambs.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.