Advantages of elevated coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenfeed, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. chickenfeed

    chickenfeed Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Oct 22, 2007
    North Central Iowa
    I'm wondering what the advantages are, if any, of a coop built up off the ground? Would this design be more advantageous for keeping predators at bay? If so what type? I'm mainly considered about racoons and possum's.
     
  2. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I'm not sure about prediators. Especially the ones you list as they can climb but, it would help keep the water out.
     
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    3,367
    34
    238
    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We have two elevated coops. Our reasoning behind them...it adds to the amount of run/yard area.

    Post Brooder coop for chicks...

    [​IMG]

    The area under this coop is now home to ten, 4 week old chicks...

    [​IMG]

    Modified Chick-N-Barn/Yard...

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!

    Dawn
     
  4. chickenfeed

    chickenfeed Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Oct 22, 2007
    North Central Iowa
    Thanks for the pics! I really like the coop in the 2nd pic!! Area isn't a problem for me as we have a 3 acre rural yard. I know how easily racoons can climb as I've watched them climb up a crooked shepard's hook to get at the bird feeder. I've never seen any rats around here but as a first time chicken owner I'm trying to prepare for anything that may come along. I'm not sure how well they climb? Also snakes are another concern, as is fox.
    So I'm wondering if elavating the coop is going to help keep anything out? If not, I'll go with ground floor. Thanks for your help!!
     
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Advantages:

    1) A raised coop is more likely to keep rodents and snakes out and some other predators.
    2) More run space for the chickens (as stated) and a shady place that also allows them to get out of the rain, etc. underneath.
    3) If you have a good clean out door, you don't have to lean over to clean it out. You can just stand there and reach in.

    Disadvantages:

    1) I really love being able to walk into my coop.
    2) A 'on-the-ground' coop is usually much larger (obviously, not always) as it's easier to build bigger if on the ground. +++that means more chickens!![​IMG]+++
    3) If you are in a cold climate, having it on the ground helps with floor insulation so it stays warmer inside.

    I think this comes down to total personal preference and/or amount of space that you have. Raised coops are perfect for small city backyards. Larger coops are great for people who have acreage.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It depends quite a lot on the particulars of your design, but really there is no reason that a properly-designed raised coop will be any more raccoon- or fox-proof than a properly-designed coop at ground level. Properly designed (as far as the coop itself goes) largely comes down to:

    made of decent material (1/4" ply is questionably weebly...)
    no gaps
    no panels that can be pried open
    hardware-cloth firmly stapled across every (repeat, EVERY) opening,
    even if it is intended to be covered by a flap or windowpane or whatnot
    raccoon-proof latches on doors
    more than one latch on doors if necessary to prevent a corner from being
    pried away from the jamb to admit an animal
    door to run being shut EVERY NIGHT no foolin', unless you are convinced
    you have a TRULY fort knox grade run.

    In large part it comes down to coop size. A small coop that you just reach into is actually easier to work in if it's raised, and then you get some shelter for the chickens underneath. OTOH a large coop poses extra engineering problems and significant extra materials costs if you raise it much.

    Hope that helps some,

    Pat
     
  7. chickenfeed

    chickenfeed Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Oct 22, 2007
    North Central Iowa
    Thank you Chirpy and Pat! I knew the experts here would have the answer I was looking for. You were a great help Pat!!
     
  8. dbullock

    dbullock Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    22
    Apr 2, 2008
    Sumner, MS
    If the coop is raised and has a hardware cloth bottom then the droppings will fall through and make for easier clean-up. That was my thinking when I designed mine. I also put a fold-out door to allow for egg collection.
     
  9. CoopDelisle

    CoopDelisle Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    1
    131
    Feb 26, 2008
    Gulf Coast
    Ours is raised for the same reason old houses around here are; it is cooler. It is only spring and already we have had one day where the chickens were panting. And we have good ventilation in our coop. I don't know what your weather is like where you are?
     
  10. chickenfeed

    chickenfeed Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Oct 22, 2007
    North Central Iowa
    If the coop is raised and has a hardware cloth bottom then the droppings will fall through and make for easier clean-up. That was my thinking when I designed mine. I also put a fold-out door to allow for egg collection.

    I had considered this for the droppings but also am thinking of going the DLM route. I too want to design an outside box for ease of egg collection.

    I don't know what your weather is like where you are?

    Our summers can get very hot and humid. Winters extremely cold. This past winter we had many temps at night in the -30 to -40 range. So a coop on the ground would most likely keep warmer in winter? I also live in a wooded area so they will have lots of shade in the summer.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by