Coop height: is this a critical issue?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by greginshasta, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    I'm under the impression that the height of a coop is really just a matter of convenience for us humans, and not necessarily the birds. So long as there is practical access for cleaning, is there any reason that a coop for 10+ standard birds needs to be particularly tall?

    I'm thinking about something 4-5' tall inside, with access doors on each side, and rely upon a garden hoe or push broom for reaching hard-to-reach locations (absent crawling in if and when needed for cleaning.) Am I setting myself up for a headache?

    Also, I'm wondering about the nest boxes that project out of the coop with a hinged lid for egg retrieval. Is that a problem in snow country where we definately see freezing weather? For example, we have 2-3 weeks this past January where it never rose above freezing.

  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    My coop is 5 1/2' tall, I have 14 birds who live in it with no problems.

    I on the other hand have to stoop over to get in it.

    I would sugguest having it tall enough to stand up in for your comfort.
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Ours is 8 feet at the apex of the roof, only because we used 4 x 8 plywood for the walls and cut the two ends for the slope of the roof. The roof is rather steep for runoff from snow and rain.
    It is rather tall, but it sure comes in handy to hang lights or heat lamps out of the reach of curious beaks. And it is nice to be able to stand up in there to clean it out.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    My main coop and run are 5 feet tall... but I am only 5'2" so I can pretty much stand in it. I also have some shorter ones which are convenient for small number of temporary living but would be a pain to keep clean if they weren't tractor style and I could just move them. (dirt floor)
  5. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    rooster-red and terrielacy - thanks. Are your coop photos online somewhere? I'd like to see what coop style you are using if possible.
  6. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    If your building from scratch, your gonna by 96 in 2x4 oo precuts theat are 93. and most projects are designed around a 8 foot piece of wood or sideing(t-111) so I would shoot to use the whole piece, and if it makes it more convienient for you all the better. If just using a slant roof i would thnk 8ft at one end cut 2 feet off and 6 feet on other side. best to work in 4 ft sections too, 4x4/4x8/8x8 etc that way you get most of purchased wood. My thought is why buuy a 4x8 piece of plywood then cut 2 feet off as scrap?


    this is my cop its 8x12 plenty of overhead storage, and one end is my end food and treats stored out of the weather
  7. littlelemon

    littlelemon Songster

    Mar 15, 2007
    Our coop is only 3' at it's highest point and 2' at it's lowest. The roosts are at the 3' high point. I open the top at the 2' high point and it is very easy for me to bend over and into the coop.

    Now my birds aren't grown yet, but the only reason I see for making a coop so tall is so a human can step inside.
  8. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    That is simply spectacular. What wonderful craftsmenship.

    Quote:I tend to get carried away on stuff. As an example, a project to build a small carport-style cover under which my 14' skiff was to be parked has suddenly turned into a 20' by 30' structure that encloses the boat, spare lumber, the riding mower, and more. Will it be worth it, yes. Is it costing more than I budgeted? You betcha.

    On the coop, I got to thinking about something that has sufficient floor space for the 10 birds, plus room for a few more, but cutting that hypothetical 8' 2x4 down to 4', mounting it on 4x4 posts such as the coop in today's winterizing thread, and thus reducing costs by not building up to the 8' ceiling. Not sure that I'll end up doing that, but certainly weighing options.

    A local lumber yard sells a 10x12 shed, pre-assembled and delivered for around $2000. Another yard sells a kit for a 10x12 which includes pre-framed trusses (which form both wall and roofline) for about $1100. I figure that would be complete at around the $1400 range, as it does not include interior sheathing or structural material on which the shed would be assembled. The recommend 4x6 PT.

    I then drew out a shed featuring a single slope roof, door and window. With a 2x8 foundation, T&G floor, and all materials with the exception of the door/window/roofing material, I received an estimate of around $600. With a window from a local glass shop (it looks like I can get a window that was mis-ordered for $40), a pre-hung door and metal roofing, I'm still probably at $1000 plus my time.

    I'd really like to get the budget down, thus the thoughts of building it 4' tall instead of 8 or more.
  9. rocker

    rocker In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2007
    my coop is 8x8x8 and i love being able to walk right in without any worries of bumping my head,makes cleaning,feeding,getting eggs and just hangin out with my birds easy and enjoyable.ive had smaller coops but after having one i can walk in i wouldnt ever build another one i couldnt,now i actually want a bigger one,i still want the 8' height but i want to build it 12x12.
  10. Quote:That is almost exactly what I did! I went 6'6" on the back wall to give just a little more height.


    This photo was of the finished structure. The photos of the entire project including the run are still in my camera, and need to be uploaded. Because of the shallow roof pitch, I used 90# roll roofing (3 courses fit perfectly). Being tall enough to easily enter allows us to interact with the birds. They are very calm and pleasant while we are in there. We had a big BBQ with family and friends at our house today, and the chickens and their coop were a big hit with everyone!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007

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