Chicken run on raised platform?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tylexie, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Tylexie

    Tylexie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2015
    New York
    We are building a chicken coop on our yard, but we have no choice but to build it on a sloped grade (15 inch drop over 6 feet). We're weighing our options and wondering if anyone has built a "run" on an elevated platform. We plan to frame something similar to the Wichita Coop, but have it set off the ground on posts with a plywood floor. We plan to use sand as the substrate in the run (on top of the plywood). The run will be exposed to the elements (hardware cloth for protection).

    Does anyone have experience building this type of coop? Are there any flaws with this design (don't be shy). We were planning on putting a trap door on the floor of the run to remove sand, if necessary. We're primarily concerned about drainage.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Have seen several coops and runs on sloped ground, they definitely have their challenges both with construction and maintenance.

    The plywood 'run' covered with sand and exposed to the elements does not sound like a good idea to me, tho it may depend on your climate. Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.
    Multiple pics of the proposed site would be very helpful also.

    Is the run you propose part of the Wichita or in addition to it?
    I believe the run portion of the standard Wichita is covered with a solid roof.

    Biggest concern, I think, would be the plywood rotting out fairly quickly, with damp sand on it all the time.
    Might be a rather sterile environment for the birds too.
    Sand can get pretty nasty after 3-6-12 months as it gets saturated with pulverized poops,
    you can never sift all the poop out and very little to no decomposition can occur in sand,
    and when that gets wet/damp it smells absolutely awful.

    Just my thoughts.
  3. Tylexie

    Tylexie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2015
    New York
    Thanks for the fast reply!

    The run will be the same as in the Wichita coop, and it would be covered (same as the Wichita). The rain and snow would definitely get in through the walls (which would be hardware cloth).

    We're planning to get waterproof plywood, so rotting wouldn't be a problem. And if we do use sand, it will be coarser grained than beach sand or playground sand (it would be coarse river sand or something like it). Is river sand bad for the chickens? Would using river sand instead of playground sand help the problem with smell and drainage? If sand in general doesn't work, is there there a better option?

    Also, we were wondering if we could put holes in the plywood floor and cover the openings with hardware cloth. Would that help with drainage?

    You can tell that drainage is our main problem right now. :)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by