Can your Coop to too short?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by backpack09, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. backpack09

    backpack09 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Whitman, MA
    I am designing my coop. (Im an engineer so everything must be drawn 12 times before I decide what I am going to do)

    I see many coops that are fairly tall 4-5'. I was thinking of going shorter.

    Build the coop with outside dimensions of:
    4'x4' of floor space with the roof being 2.5' tall in the front, and 2' tall in the rear.
    with nest boxes hanging outside.

    Will this be tall enough? roughly 1.75' of headroom in the coop? would making the whole thing a half foot taller gain me much? or should I make lean towards an entire foot taller?

    Being in Mass, I want to keep the roof as low as possible to keep the birds warm when the temps dip and the storms roll in.
     
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make it tall enough for you to be able to get in and out with ease. You will need to clean it and there will be times you will need to get into the coop for a multitude of reasons.
    You also need head room for the chickens to roost.
    You will not regret it making it taller.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Build the coop with outside dimensions of:
    4'x4' of floor space with the roof being 2.5' tall in the front, and 2' tall in the rear.
    with nest boxes hanging outside.

    Will this be tall enough? roughly 1.75' of headroom in the coop? would making the whole thing a half foot taller gain me much? or should I make lean towards an entire foot taller?

    If there is no reason you HAVE to have it that short (like local building code, or making a tractor not be too tippy) then for personally I would go taller, for sure. 20" is barely enough room for a regular-sized chicken to stand up and stretch tall, and that's if it's standing on the *floor* not on a roost. Your roost will have to be just like 6" above the floor. Which is possible, but I wouldn't do it unless I *had* to.

    Being in Mass, I want to keep the roof as low as possible to keep the birds warm when the temps dip and the storms roll in.

    Actually, a very small coop airspace (which is what you get when you lower the ceiling way down like that) is HARDER to manage for wintertime than a taller coop. The reason is that there is really nowhere to ventilate it that doesn't give you a draft right at the chickens; and also, being a very small volume, a little bit of cold air input will affect the overall temperature a lot more than in a larger coop, and it won't hold its daytime warmth hardly at all, the way a larger coop would.

    A 4' high ceiling would make life easier and more pleasant for everyone (a walk-in size coop is even easier to manage). It allows you to have vents high on one or multiple walls, with the roost elsewhere, so the cold air comes in somewhere the chickens *aren't*.

    Ventilation is especially important, too, in very small-volume coops like this, because humidity is a major source of frostbite (that is, frostbite sets in at much less cold temps in humid air than if the air were dry) and chickens will humidify a small-volume coop much worse than a larger one.

    To the extent you're concerned about them getting too cold, you can insulate (a drop ceiling, or a partially walled hover, or whatever) around the roosts to hold their body heat near them, and insulate the whole coop well (not neglecting the ceiling), and design it to capture maximum daytime warmth and retain that warmth as well as possible.

    JMHO, good luck and have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. Happy Chicken Mama

    Happy Chicken Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Florida
    YES YOUR COOP CAN BE TOO SHORT!

    Unless you have a handy dandy 12 year old just lying around... but barring that make it taller than you think you need to!

    If you don't have a bad back now...
     
  5. backpack09

    backpack09 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Whitman, MA
    Well I was going to put some long legs on it to bring it up to atleast waist height to be able to clean it out.

    But I see you alls point.

    I don't think I will be building a walk-in coop, but will be adding a large swing out door in the back to facilitate cleaning.

    So I guess a 4' cube is where I am heading.

    Thanks for the insight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Def make it tall enough that you don't have to stoop to work inside the coop. One thing to consider with a low roof is that when it rains/blows/snows, it will do so directly on your birds and you could end up with health issues. Also, you'll want your roost to be *higher* than your nest box, so consider that when thinking of height above the roosting area.
     

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