Cement or no cement?

NattiFan

Songster
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
216
0
129
Plainfield, CT
I'm in the planning stages of my first coop....after looking through a lot of the small coop designs, I like the elevated coops with the runs under it, and coming off of it. My question is, should the support legs for the coop be cemented in place or will the weight of the structure be enough to withstand winds with no problem? Living on the side of a not so small hill, we get some nasty wind gusts. Just looking for opinions....thanks
 

NattiFan

Songster
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
216
0
129
Plainfield, CT
Quote:
thank you...I was thinking cement from the get go, but was wondering what others have done...I guess 3 feet in with no cement would probably work too...
 

AtholCoop

Songster
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
306
18
141
North Idaho
Quote:
thank you...I was thinking cement from the get go, but was wondering what others have done...I guess 3 feet in with no cement would probably work too...

I've done it both ways in the end, a bag of cement is cheap insurance.
 

Doopy

Songster
10 Years
Dec 16, 2009
189
6
111
Indiana, USA
Here's a couple of considerations for your coop legs. I'm assuming (there's that bad word) that you will be using wood for the legs.

1. Rot and termite damage is probably going to happen eventually. Even with pressure treated wood. Even in concrete. I always paint on two coats of Henry's Roofing Asphalt coating (Lowe's or Home Depot) where the legs come in contact with the concrete or soil.

2. Something that is very important in high wind locations is, not only the depth of the legs into the soil, but the size of the leg material. The size of the coop (height and width) has a lot to do with the amount of sideways force the wind has on the legs. The height of the legs (from the ground to the bottom of the coop also pays an important role in leg size choice.

I don't particularly like to fix up damaged structures if I can avoid it. This is not a good place to skimp on material.
 

NattiFan

Songster
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
216
0
129
Plainfield, CT
Quote:
thank you...I was thinking cement from the get go, but was wondering what others have done...I guess 3 feet in with no cement would probably work too...

I've done it both ways in the end, a bag of cement is cheap insurance.

very true thanks
 

NattiFan

Songster
9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
216
0
129
Plainfield, CT
Quote:
I was intending on going with 4 by 4's for the legs and probably 2 to 3 feet in the ground. Height from the ground to the bottom of the coop will probably be in the 2.5 to 3 feet range. Just enough room for the girls to walk under it if they wish. Thanks for the advice on the asphalt coating....

as far as the demensions of the coop.....well I'm still early in my design stages but I'm shooting for 5 feet wide, 5 deep and 4 high.....give or take.
 

Intheswamp

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
2,373
112
256
South Alabama
If you place the posts in the holes and then fill in around them with cement you can have problems later on. When the posts eventually dry out they will shrink and the sides will pull away from the cement leaving a gap between the post and the cement. Water will enter this gap and possibly cause rot.

I've got some posts that were done like this and are still fine after 15 years but I've seen others that rotted in a shorter period of time than that. Your gamble. The better way would be to pour pillars using sonotubes and cement with brackets embedded in the cement that are especially made to mate with 4x4 posts. This will get the posts up and away from the ground and will last indefinitely. Otherwise, if my ground was unstable I would simply poor cement in the bottom of the hole and let it set to give the posts a solid pad/footer to sit on and then fill in around the post with dirt.

FWIW,
Ed
 

Intheswamp

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
2,373
112
256
South Alabama
If you have the room go on to a 4'x8' coop rather than the 5'x5'. That will give you seven more square feet of coop area (room is at a premium in smaller coops and you'll appreciate it). A big factor of going 4'x8' is that most sheet goods come in those dimensions and there is much less sawing and waste....more efficient use of the building material. With 5' dimensions you will be sawing and piecing things together a good bit and will have several seams to contend with.

With a more rectangular coop you could put the roosts toward the backend (non-windowed) of the coop and make a nice cozy refuge for the chickens during those cold, windy CT winters!
smile.png


More square footage...a bit more expense, less work. ???

Just some thoughts.

Ed
 

Bossroo

Songster
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
1,450
28
171
If I were you, I would consult with your county's building department to see how far down you need to be to be below the frost line with your posts, or you will have heaving situations... your coop will do the tilt, tilt tango. .
 

MANNA-PRO

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