coop height


Mar 16, 2016
NEed a little advice in construction.

I'm planning on building a 4x6 coop with a slanted roof (rather than a regular house roof type).

how tall would you make the tallest part?

I'm trying to keep costs down but I don't want it to look weird either.

The coop will be sitting on 8" cinder blocks with 14" 4x4's on it so I was thinking about 4' ceilings at the tallest part?

What do you think for the shortest and tallest part? Not sure what kind of grade to use.

I would be putting the perches on the tall part so they have 2' to walk under and 2' of perch space
I understand wanting to keep cost down, but consider making your coop tall enough for you to walk in. Think about cleaning, collecting eggs, filling feeders or tending to a sick/ injured chicken. Crawling through chicken poo or doing chores bent over is no fun.
There is a lot I don’t know about your situation so I’ll stick to your question. Regardless of where you live you want ventilation up at the top of the coop. The best way to do that is to have an overhang at the high point and the low point, just leave the space between the roof and the top of the walls open where the rafters are and cover that opening with hardware cloth to keep out predators. You can have overhang on the ends too if you wish but depending on how you frame it, ventilation may be a bit harder on the ends. Still, gable vents can work. That means you cannot cover it with one sheet of plywood but maybe use the cut-off from the second sheet to build nests. Assuming you will use plywood and have cut-offs. You may use other material for the roof or have enough overhang there are no cut-offs. A lot I don’t know about what you are doing.

No matter where you live you do not want a flat roof. A flat roof holds water so it will either leak, rot, or rust. So I’d make the front 4-1/2’ high and the back 3-1/2’. Put your roosts on the high end but below the vents. The way I determine roost height is to decide where the top of the floor will be considering bedding, position the nests, then put the roosts higher than the nests but below the vents. This makes it much more likely that they will sleep on the roosts instead of in your nests.

If you are careful with your cutting you can still use one piece of plywood for the ends, just cut it on a slope instead of straight across. Or cut it at 3-1/2’ and cover the resulting 6” triangular opening with hardware cloth for more ventilation.

You may need more ventilation down low, especially during the summer, but you did not ask about that. Knowing your general location so we can determine climate might help on some of these questions. It’s often quite helpful if you modify your profile to show your location.

Good luck!
Thanks for your reply. I live in MD so we have some humid summers and winters around and below freezing.

my plan on my 4x6 coop is to have vents up the top on both ends (I'm going to hinge them open for added protection from rain getting in.

Then on the front I plan on having two windows which will basically be screened/hardware clothed in but case close during winter and storms

My plan was to have the front higher. So per your advice, I should have the roost on the front below the window but above the nest boxes (which will be on the back wall as an extension off the back of the coop (as far as framing anyway)
Thanks for your reply. My plan, since I only will have 6 chickens, is to have one of the ends open up as a door for easy access to the bedding. I'm going to be doing the deep litter method so I shouldn't need to clean all that much. The eggs will have access on the back of the coop. I'll have the coop raised at the rigght height so I don't need to bend over nor will I need a ladder.

I keep food and water outside so I won't have to worry about that.

Good thought though. It just won't work in my situation as I want to keep the coop up off the ground
Don’t put the nests or anything you have to open during a rain where the rainwater runoff will hit you. Not sure if that’s your plan or not.

In summer it’s great to have the ventilation from the windows at or below roost height. The preferred nesting spot for mine is in front of the window where it should be cooler and they can look out.


Our coop is 4x6, although we only have bantams so ours probably isn't as tall as you would want yours to be. The frame is an old twin size bed. We put the nesting boxes on the higher roof side so we don't have water run-off, like someone mentioned earlier. We also extended the roof to cover the nesting boxes. Our roost is on the shorter side, but again we have bantams so with standards that might not work out. You can't see it in this picture, but we took an old cabinet face and covered the outside of roosting area. So when it's as hot as it is right now, we can open the cabinet doors and have a fan blowing in. Then in winter we can shut them. We also left a space above the cabinets so even when doors are closed, there's still a vented area.
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Just mentioning, too, that sheet goods come in 4x8 sheets. I've often wondered...why go 4x6 (24sqft)when you can go 4x8 (32sqft) for just a bit more investment and an extra 8 square feet or a 33% increase in space?

Ridgerunner is spot-on about positioning the outside nest box/egg access. I've often wondered about people putting those under the drip-line of their coops' roofs. Removing the nest boxes from the box gives you a good location for your people door. Position the door in the middle of the back and you will have a 4' depth to reach across and even less than that to reach to either side to. Putting the people door in an end would require you to reach across a 6' or more distance. Nest boxes on one end, roosts on other end, human door in the middle would be my plan. Roosts could be positioned over nest boxes with a poop board in between (or without a poop board).

Building it so that you can walk in would be very nice. But, for a short, elevated coop build it so that as you lean in to it that you aren't in a big strain. I would recommend walking up to different surfaces....tables, counters, car hoods, desks, etc.,. and "leaning into your coop" to get a feel of what is a comfortable height to lean from. Measure that height and build your coop floors surface to that height (figure in depth of litter, blocks, legs, etc.,.). A touch below waist height seems like it would work about right.

You could build the back walls a full 4' tall. Elevate the roof above the front 4' height by using a piece of 6" lumber spaced between the plywood front and roof...would give you several inches of added height.

Rules of thumbs (and toes)....1 square foot of ventilation per large fowl bird, 4 square feet of coop space per LF bird, and 10 square feet of run space per LF bird. More is always better. If you anticipate the chickens being locked in the coop for any length of time...really bad weather or something....then more space is definitely better. Some people get by with less space...some people don't.

Just some thoughts. :)

Best wishes,

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