Calling Coop Engineers - Cut Slope Build

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by The Force, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. The Force

    The Force Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all. First time posting here so a quick intro- Born and raised on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan (though poultry was the one thing we never had), now living in Interior BC and finally have enough room to build a coop. Been off the farm fro 12 years now, and have a 10 month old son so looking forward to getting some critters! I don't know anything about chickens, but have been around livestock and have the will.

    So,I am looking to build sort of the opposite to most of the examples I see on here... instead of coop above the run, this will be coop below. I'll attach some pictures in a second post once I get them off my phone, essentially though I want to build at the base of a 6' foot cut bank (which is the easiest for access right out the back yard) and the run will be extending up a natural grassy hillside above. I am planning to start with 4 hens, though there is potential for that to increase slightly next year (8 max I'll say). Would like to keep the foot print to 3 feet wide out from the bank (willing to consider 4' though as I realize 3 will be very tight) and 6 or 8' parallel to the bank. Height wold be 6-8'. I am assuming they will roost higher up, and plan to have dropping boards (lino lined) below the roost and ramps down to the bottom (35- 45 degree slope) with water and feed at base level. Rough sketch of this coming in next post. Laying boxes will extend out off the side with a lid that swings up to open.

    Looking forward to some feedback as there is much valuable knowledge on this forum! If chickens won't go down than let me know and I'll have to rethink. Thanks!
     
  2. The Force

    The Force Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2015
    [​IMG][[​IMG][​IMG]. Proposed location with 8' landscape tie for reference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  3. The Force

    The Force Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2015
    And here Are the very rough plans which will likely be hard to interpret. in order, front view ( opposite slope) top view, and side view. Draw sort of to a 3 x 6' footprint scale. Planned to have a wrap around ramp on 3 sides. Roost on one long side and one short side. Fire away with questions. I can try to draw up a better pic tomorrow if need be. Thanks again. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. The Force

    The Force Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh great 4 posts already and they are all by me. Sorry, trying to keep it organized. Just to clarify my questions a bit-
    1: will chickens effectively use a coop with a entry at the top, and the interior extending down?
    2: is a 35 - 45 degree ramp extending down 6 vertical feet reasonable? And is 10 " wide sufficient?
    3: suggestions on ramp, roost, droppings board configuration.
    Okay, going to bed now. Thanks.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    My first concern would be rain water/snowmelt running down the hill above and soaking the coop. Chickens need to have a nice dry, well ventilated environment.

    4' is very narrow especially with the ramp and poop board aspect.....tho it might work with an 8' length.

    How many birds do you plan? Might get real crowded in there during a long winter with any more than about 5-6.

    Not sure if chooks would go up to exit coop, never seen that before...but I think they probably would.
    Might want to keep the ramp at about 30-35 degrees with lots of of cleats.
    10" minimum width, wider might be better so they could pass each other.

    Keep your roosts higher than your nests...so they don't sleep (and poop) in the nests.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  6. The Force

    The Force Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks aart, yea water is a concern. We are fairly dry here so I should be able to manage that with proper grading outside the coop. Likely treated plywood and maybe vapor barrier where we have soil contact. If needed I could add some paving stones above to Manage drainage. 4 birds would be the main, maybe a couple extra eaters through the summer when they have room to roam.
    Roost board would be a 2x4 on the flat, how far should that be from the wall? Would a 16" wide poop board be sufficient?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    My poop board is 2 feet wide with roost centered and 8 inches off board, no trajectory misses.
    For large fowl birds, roost should be at least 12" off wall...my rooster gets tattered tail feathers from it rubbing against wall, the hens seem fine tho.
     
  8. CoopArchitect

    CoopArchitect New Egg

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    First off... Your winter hillside photos look beautiful.

    Hillside coops are not uncommon and you appear to have some great ideas.
    I agree with everything aart mentioned and will add that with proper grading, slope, erosion control and a roof on the run, you could easily maintain a dry environment for your chickens.
    My only concern would be the longevity of the structure without a proper retaining wall. If this is only temporary (a few years) then you should be fine. Depending on your soil type and whether it is "active" or "passive", the Lateral Earth Pressure would wreak havoc on your structure within a few years.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.
     
  9. The Force

    The Force Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks again Aart.
    Thanks for your comments CA- the slope has been like that for about 8 years ( I moved in 2 years ago) so hoping that it is no longer active. I will do some thinking and additional support for that side.

    Most of the grass cover is bluebunch wheatgrass so fairly deep rooting,though I imagine it will get torn up. Any ideas as to how long the grass would survive the hens scratching? I may look at some type of rotational grazing as I would like to maintainmost of the vegetation if possible.
     
  10. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I would recommend constructing a railroad tie retaining wall to hold back the slope before constructing the chicken coop. Do consider stormwater runoff from top of the slope and water seeping through the embankment affecting the walls of the coop.
     

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