Coop and run off level?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EggcellentEgger, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. EggcellentEgger

    EggcellentEgger New Egg

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    Hello everyone ,I'am new to backyard chickens and I'am building a 4 x 5 coop with 5 foot attached run , 4x10 all together.Where I"am putting my chickens is flat and the entire run and coop will be firmly on the ground , nothing will get underneath it.But my entire yard has a slight slope to it for rain water runoff.It is about 2 to 3 inches off level from one end of the coop to the end of the run.Will this affect the chickens laying or roosting at night.I can easily level the roosting bars or should i level the entire coop and run. Thanks , any info will help.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I doubt they will notice 2-3 inches depending on how large the coop will be - but would be best to try to level the coop. People doors don't work well if they are not hung straight.

    They don't have to have a level run.


    And, Hello and [​IMG], so glad you have joined us. You should consider posting an intro under the New Members Forum to receive a proper welcoming.
     
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  3. EggcellentEgger

    EggcellentEgger New Egg

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    Thanks for the info..I will go to the new member forum
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Slope can be good...unless coop and run is at the bottom of it.
    But, yeah, level your coop building(and go bigger).
    I'm on a slope too....my coop is in a large shed that is raised and level, my run runs downhill form coop.
    Mesh walls into aprons contours to slope....but I have a run off problem due to the rest of the site.
    Look at whole site and run off in surrounding areas, might need some drain tiles/pipes and/or swales dug in to control where water run off goes....wet chicken poops stinks bad.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    A wet coop or run is a dangerous coop or run. Wet poop stinks and diseases can breed in wet dirt or bedding with poop mixed in. In wet weather you may not have a lot of options in the run, it just may get wet unless you wrap it. Rain blows in from the side, not just from on top. When it rains for a few days I just live with mine.

    I agree about doors on your coop or gates to your run. They need to be built and well-supported so they don’t bind. It’s considered to be good practice to build things level as that makes it easier to build doors and windows so they don’t bind. It’s easier to set the hinges properly. Paneling fits corners if the corners are square, otherwise you may need to do some fancy trimming. It’s just overall much easier to build a building if the foundation is level. It has nothing to do with the chickens or their comfort, they won’t really care. It’s about you and your stress levels. Even if you build the coop somewhere flat and install it, I’d still try to get the foundation level. That makes it easier to modify it in the future if you need to, and many of us need to.

    I suggest a berm or swale on the uphill side to divert rainwater run-off away from your coop and run. Even on a gentle slope you can get erosion if the vegetation is disturbed or the ground is softened. Yours will be. Diverting the rainwater run-off may create a ditch that gets eroded by concentrating that water in one spot. It’s very common when you do construction on a slope to create erosion problems, it’s just something you have to watch. You do not have much slope so it's not likely to be a big issue. There are ways to manage that if it happens.

    Build any roof so water drains to the lower slope so it runs away from your coop and run, not into it.

    You don’t have to worry about leveling the run, the chickens will do that for you. Chickens scratch a lot. Gravity moves things downhill. Over time, and not a lot of time in that tiny run, they will move the dirt from the top of the slope to the bottom. You need to keep that in mind when you are building your foundation. Have something solid along the downhill side to keep that scratched dirt from continuing down the slope. On the upslope side the level of dirt right next to the fence will probably drop a few inches. I don’t know how you plan to build your foundation or the bottom of your run, but in something that tiny leveling the entire bottom of the coop and run foundation may be a good thing.

    I don’t know anything about your climate, how many chickens you plan or what sexes and ages, how you plan to manage them, or really anything else. What you plan could work out great for you. But I suggest you follow the link in my signature about space. The article gives you things to consider.

    Most popular and inexpensive building materials come in 4’ and 8’ dimensions. If you bear that in mind you can often build something bigger at little extra cost and with less cutting and waste. That 5’ dimension looks a little awkward, maybe you are planning on using the cut-off for nests or other things. Just something to consider.

    Also I don’t know what style coop you plan to build. I really like overhang at the high and low side of a sloped roof. The roof needs to be sloped so water runs off, otherwise your roof leaks or standing water rusts or rots your roof. I leave the tops of the walls under that overhang open (covered with hardware cloth for predator protection) so I get really good ventilation. No matter what your climate you will need good ventilation.

    I’ll say it again, the chickens really won’t care how level it is. But you might. It might be really important to you.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  6. EggcellentEgger

    EggcellentEgger New Egg

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone.I would love to go bigger and more cluckers but I live in city limits and I am only allowed 6 hens.Looks like I will be leveling the coop and run, thanks again.
     
  7. EggcellentEgger

    EggcellentEgger New Egg

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. EggcellentEgger

    EggcellentEgger New Egg

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    This is what iam looking to build
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Well then, I do have to alter my comments. You do need to level the foundation and pick high ground to avoid the entire run getting wet.

    I built a similar all in one coop/ run on quite a slope - we had to dig down one end and fill in the other to get it level, and picked a spot that is higher than the surrounding area. You won't be able to build this without leveling or some creative wood angling.

    My original build was 5 x 10 feet outside perimeter and the coop itself is 4x5 feet. I started with 6 chicks and it all seemed spacious until those gals reached a few months old. So, had to more than double the run with an addition. the 4x5 coop is large enough to sleep 6, but IMO no more. And the run definitely needs more than the original 50 sq feet mine offered. And make sure you build the coop 2 feet or more off the underlying run - a little higher would make cleaning or catching a chicken from under there a lot easier :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017

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