Oblio13s Underground Chicken Coop

By Oblio13 · Jan 11, 2012 · ·
  1. Oblio13
    Oblio13's Underground Coop

    I've been intrigued by colonial era bank houses and Anasazi pit houses for years, and I figured this was as good an excuse as any to build one. Hopefully an earth-sheltered, sod-roofed coop will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer than our conventional one, and muffle the rooster's crowing for our neighbors. Even though my long-suffering wife is accustomed to my eccentricities, she was mildly appalled when she saw the hole in our yard.

    After three days with a pick and shovel this is what I had accomplished.
    A neighbor with a little backhoe took pity when he saw the blisters on my tender pink hands and speeded things up. Now I have a ten-foot by twelve-foot hole. There's still a tremendous amount of dirt to move to level and square it, hope I can get it done before the ground freezes. My tentative plan is too leave the floor dirt, and use pressure-treated 4"x8" timbers to build up the sides, notched log-cabin style to resist the pressure of backfilling. I'll put a gently sloping sod roof over it, and a window in the south-facing door. [​IMG]
    It's become a neighborhood project - I bribed them with a boat ride to the pizza parlor. [​IMG]
    What's now become locally known as "The Chicken Hole" is progressing slowly. This may become a race with freezing weather. Inside dimensions are about 10' x 11'.

    After delays attributable to winter freezing, spring rains, economic shortfalls, and a period of contemplative conceptualization that my wife mistakenly characterizes as laziness, WORK ON THE "CHICKEN HOLE" HAS RESUMED!
    I'm about ready to start planking the roof. I've got 4 x 8's spanning about 11 feet between walls, and the longest gap between them is 40". I'm going to use pressure-treated 2x lumber for decking, then cover that with a couple layers of thick black plastic and about 6-8 inches of soil. I have a feeling I'll have to use a screw post or two under the beams to prevent sagging, but we'll see.

    View from the southeast​
    View from the northeast​
    View from the northwest​

    I had some concrete left over from another project, so I used five-gallon buckets as molds (is there anything five-gallon buckets can't do?!) and made footings for them

    Finally nearing completion. Still need to put more dirt on the roof, a deep layer of leaves on the floor, cover two of the openings with chicken wire, and build a door.



    Share This Article

Recent User Reviews

  1. Nats Chickens
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 8, 2019
    This would be a great coop out here in Aussie, coze of the cool coming from being underground! Excellent job!
  2. Anonymous
    "Love it"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 1, 2018
    Love your idea and that you went through. With it


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. Alaskan
    Any new updates? I love this!
  2. BantyChooks
    Lovely coop.
  3. Jesusfreak101
    I want one [​IMG][​IMG] i doubt my husband will do it through we have lots of clay and giant rocks that make fencing a pain. On good days even the auger has problems we have to let water sit in a hole over night and even then it doesnt always work[​IMG]!!
  4. Jesusfreak101
    I want one [​IMG][​IMG] i doubt my husband will do it through we have lots of clay and giant rocks that make fencing a pain. On good days even the auger has problems we have to let water sit in a hole over night and even then it doesnt always work[​IMG]!!
  5. Christin
    Thank you for the great idea! My husband says he likes digging holes and I could build the chicken coop I designed.......I may throw him this idea and see where it goes!
  6. fordguy
    Very good chance it turned into an underground lake when the rain came - hence no update. I was astonished at the contstruction, and it appears to be perfect for a root cellar as long as drainage is accounted for in the perimeter of the structure. I also feel this person may have used the leftovers for a log cabin kit. 4x8 posts are tough to come by here unless log cabin kit.
  7. Dandelioness
    This looks great! How has it been working out for you?
  8. Mister B
    I just saw this. I know its 5 years later, but I just wanted an update. Is it still being used? did you have to modify it any?
  9. Gypsi
    I think it would be practical in West Texas, but yes it would have to be virtually sheathed in hardware cloth. I wanted to try it here, but our clay soils tend to push against underground structures when it rains, even damaging house basements, so not many houses have basements here. We go months without rain then get 6 inches, that is also an issue... still a great idea for higher stonier ground, with a jack hammer of course
  10. fiddlechicken
    I just LOVED reading this! Witty and well written, with such a cool coop concept. I'm not sure we could do something like this here in the Pacific Northwest... so much rain! But, I bet it would be perfect for someone in more arid situations. Another reason I don't think work (aside from the fact that my sweetie would tell me to go kick rocks if I drew up plans like these- I also suffer from "contemplative conceptualization") is that here in Portland, OR, we have a pretty serious rat problem... Being a port town, the rats are everywhere, especially in all the century-old cracked sewer lines. We'd have to swaddle the whole thing in hardware cloth, and THEN set it in the ground. Have you had any problems with digging predators?

    Anyway, great coop! Bravo!
  11. Gypsi
    Beautiful job, great idea, how do you keep rain runoff OUT?
  12. Banriona
    That is AWESOME!!! I too am curious how it's holding up. I'm betting it would be great to have around here to help the girls "beat the heat" in the summertime. I would love to build something like this. With a hobbit door of course. :)
  13. fath765
    soooo cool
  14. SillyChicky
    amazing work, what a clever idea. They must stay nice and cool in the summer :)
    What breed are those beautiful girls with the darker wings and peachy colored bodies??
  15. Tigertrea
    If I didn't live on a marsh I'd take your idea and run with it! Wonderful coop!!
  16. suncatcher
    Very nice! Could not find any updates on the themp inside. How is it? I love the earth berm houses! Cool coop!
  17. tdhenson86
    OH MY GOSH!!!! WOW! That is AWESOME! Looks very nice too!
  18. Horseychicken
    wow. thats stinkin awesome!?,,,,
  19. LoveChickens123
    sooooooooooooo cool cute
  20. ALRwild
    great concept!
  21. Earthologie
    "she was mildly appalled when she saw the hole in our yard."
    LOVE IT!
  22. YokohamaZeke
    That is so cool!!! I love the design and want to build one for my girls!
  23. rsleghornchicki
    ehat breed were those hens
  24. Urk-ah-urk-ah-urr'
    Cool concept. I didn't see a response in reference to moisture and drainage situations. What about cleaning? I can see this concept used in hilly/sloped areas where the 'run off/out' could be uilized as grey water for garden usage.
    Peace and blessed be.
  25. Scooter&Suzie
    Oh wow, I would love to have that! The only problem for me would be making the hole...
  26. chloechickens01
    looks like chicken paradise!
  27. tinamommy727
    wow, i want to build something like that!
  28. MobyQuail
    nice work sir! well done. your buddy in contemplative conceptualization, TD
  29. freerangeladies
    amazing idea!! like the underground homes and that one in a cave. very cost effective!
  30. GhostRider65
    I think all the coops are great but yours is my favorite!! I plan to build an underground house and barn for my critters if I can ever sell the place I'm in.
    Anyway wondering how this coop is holding up and if you had any moisture problems, or leaking .Great Job on the coop too.......awesome!!!!!!
  31. ChickensAreSweet
    This is awesome!
  32. shocksystems
    Wow, very interesting coop. I like the look a lot. How is it working out?
  33. zrambo
    This looks great.
  34. CluckyJay
    Dang!!! Talk about nearly soundproof! lol
  35. jbourget
    wow, very nice work
  36. red hen in the rain
    Beautiful! Well done.
      NanaKat likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: