a question of height...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mudpaw, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. mudpaw

    mudpaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    West Point, GA
    Ok...I'm starting to construct a new outdoor coop and I'm stuck on a point...can't decide. I see many coops that are raised of the ground and others that are on the ground. Now, I had originally planned on doing a raised coop, but I keep reading about people who have chickens that won't use the ramp to go up and as a result some that just don't go in the coop, that worries me. Then I thought maybe I should do a coop that's on the ground...hoping no chickens would be left out due to the ramp learning cure [​IMG] Now I read that rodent invasion may be more of a issue with a ground level coop... Hope that made some sense :p So, is there a general school of thought on which would be better? This will be housing 8 hens (6 standards/1 silkie/1bantam) in a city backyard...all surrounded by privacy fence and the yard is prowled by pest killing dogs (24/7 dog door to the yard access-2 opossums down so far!) and 6 cats :3 So, help/ideas/opinions?
  2. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I built mine off the ground for a couple of reasons. One is that I think Chickens like being up off the ground, I think they feel safer. Also I figured they could utilize the underside for shade . I read that chickens are creatures of habit, that they will return to their roost if they have been there before. When I first introduced my girls to their new home I locked them in for the first week. Then I opened the pop door and they didn't venture out for a few hours. Then at night time I went out and they had found their way back in via the gang plank that they had walked out on. My gang plank is long so that the angle isn't too steep. I notice they usually jump about half way up the plank rather than approch it from the bottom. Here is a link to my coop if it helps.


    Good luck, we'll all be looking forward to seeing your finished palace.....p
  3. mudpaw

    mudpaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    West Point, GA
    Quote:absolutely love your coop! I'm definitely leaning more towards building it up off the ground (that was my original plan-first instinct is the best they often say).
  4. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    ours is off the ground.. we get snow and i didn't want it up against the sides.. wet=warped siding.. also they use the under part for shade and dust bathing.. took 3 days for them to figure out where the bed was at night. it works great.. no flooding...

  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    i don't think one is overall any better than the other in general -- it depends on the particulars of your situation.

    Raised floor:
    PROS fairly floodproof
    automatically fairly predatorproof with no extra precautions needed
    nice and flat and hard, easy to clean etc
    some or all of the underneath part can be used as a roofed/shaded portion of run, if high enough, which chickens like.
    CONS rodents and predators can lurk (or breed) underneath if not raised *enough* or not blocked off well
    don't have benefit of the ground's thermal inertia

    Built on ground (dirt, gravel, sand, paver or slab floor):
    PROS cooler in summer, warmer in winter, at least for first half of season (more of an issue in large coops than in small ones)
    Cheaper to build (except on slab); sometimes easier, depending on methods used
    No need to build steps, ramps etc for you or wheelbarrow or chickens
    May be more hurricane-proof, if comparing pole-built dirt floored coop vs stud-wall coop set on cinderblocks
    CONS requires additional predatorproofing if not paver or slab floor
    you can till in some lime but otherwise harder to disinfect than wood or vinyl floor
    unless pavers or slab, holes and unevenness readily develop, which can be annoying
    had better be built on ALWAYS HIGH AND DRY spot of ground

    For a large coop in the north, I would say a coop directly on teh ground is clearly superior, assuming a high and dry location.
    For a coop somewhere with chronic, or even just occasional, water pooling on the ground, I would say a raised coop is clearly superior.
    For all other situations, it depends on the situation and is largely a matter of whatcha feel like building and maintaining.

    JMHO, goood luck, have fun,

  6. captainmoose

    captainmoose Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 5, 2009
    SE PA
    I built a raised coop, 2ft off the ground. The chickens have a place to go when it's hot and there is less of a chance for anything getting in the coop. I have a long ramp and they don't have any problem with it the pop door opens down to a connecting ramp and when I open the pop door in the morning one of the chickens is pouncing on the door. Gotta be real careful where your hand is.
  7. mudpaw

    mudpaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    West Point, GA
    Quote:haha...I can imagine [​IMG] I live in the deep, hot south, so all extra shade is good (the coop will be built in the shade of a dogwood) 2 ft sounds just about right...and pretty much the height I was thinking. It's good to know that someone has it that height and it works! [​IMG]
  8. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I built mine on the ground. I put in a hardware cloth floor and leveled with deep white sand. They love the sand and do dust baths in it. The sand is absorbent and dries out any poop that might fall away from the poop board. I can get in it and clean if needed even in bad weather. My hens still have a small walkway up but not far. I am pleased with it. I can go in and set on a low roost and hold my hens or examine them inside in any weather. Gloria Jean

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