Building a coop off the ground?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by photo chick, May 15, 2009.

  1. photo chick

    photo chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    I keep reading that I need to build my coop 2 feet off the ground. Is this so animals won't dig underneath or wood rot?

    The area that i want to build my coop is on a hill. If I have the coop off the ground it will be really high off the ground on one side and much lower on the other side. Not really a big deal but it won't look as nice! What about if I have it on blocks on the top of the hill and above ground on the lower part? The other option is to dig the coop into the hill on the higher side.

    I am going to line the whole coop with that metal fabric since we have weasels here. I have heard that it's impenetrable.
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You want at least a foot, ish, so's not to harbor rats or give raccoons a place to hide while trying to chew/claw thru the floor. Many people add another six inches or foot in order to give the chickens an 'underneath' so they have a sheltered shaded part of the run. Although, if you do this you want to think carefully about HUMAN access, b/c I guarantee you will sometimes have to retrieve chickens or objects from under the farthest part, and you may not want to commando-crawl through chicken filth under the floor of a large coop. You can always give chickens access to part but not all of the underneath, if that seems more satisfactory.

    What about if I have it on blocks on the top of the hill and above ground on the lower part?

    Sounds reasonable to me [​IMG] You might want to block some of it off so the less-accessible parts are not available to chickens. It would be much more satisfactory than trying to dig away part of the hill to make a level platform -- you'd either have to dig away LOTS of extra earth (and make a swale to avoid runoff problems) or do some possibly extensive revetting to hold the bank back where you've dug into the hill. More technical and much more work than necessary [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    I would build your coop on sender blocks. Our coop is on a small hill. We build the back up with sinder blocks and the front a small brick to keep the 6x6 off the ground. Then we put 4x4 across the 6x6 2 ft apart. I put 2ft x2ft slab of concrete on top of the 4x4 and then the coop on top. So I spaced my 4x4 2ft apart. Easy to clean and hopefully help with weasel problems. I wouldn't allow your chickens to room underneath. They will dig away around the blocks and may cause the coop to become unstable. My understanding for rats the coop needs to 6" off the ground. Our coop in the front is 6" off the ground and the back is about 1ft off the ground. We of course didn't do this the first time, we built the soil up in the back and put the concrete slabs on the ground, we put thick mesh around the bottom and buried it, however, the rats found a way under the floor, so we had to lift the coop up and reconstruct under neath. This was a pain. Always learning new ways to do things. Also make sure that you have an area to drain out water when cleaning. I will send in pictures of what I did. I am now going to extend out the front to make my coop bigger.

    Here is some pictures I took of my coop, were still working on it. The two sender blocks are whats holding it up on the back corner.



    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  4. Puget Sounder FC

    Puget Sounder FC Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2009
    Tacoma, WA
    My coop is a converted play house. It sit about 40" off the ground. Works great keeps the chicks dry an easy to clean.

  5. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    My coop is on a "slight" slope. it ranges from 10" off the ground to 15" and is up on deck pier blocks. My chooks love to hang out under the coop, it has the driest dirt for dust bathing under it. is also nice and cool in the summer. I have yet to have to go under there to retrieve any one, thank goodness. they all come runnin when they see me, better yet the treat bucket!!
    my uncle has a family of skunks that like to hang out under his coop. its not blocked off in any way and is very close to the ground. perfect hiding spot for critters, yuck!!
  6. photo chick

    photo chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    Thanks to everyone for the information. The pictures are great! I have a better idea of what I will do now - I think. I went out and stringed the area I will put the coop in. It's not as big a hill as it looks. Since the hill isn't very big I don't think I want my hens to go underneath and get trapped or anything. I will most likely close the area off so they (or anyone else) can't get under there.

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