Coop Layout

BEggRN

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
39
63
69
(North Atlanta) Georgia
I'm in North Florida. You will never get cold enough, or deep enough in snow, for it to be a problem for your birds.

Can I ask why you are building a raised floor? and why you are framing with 2x4s for your floor if you are raising it??? (unless my eyes are playing tricks of scale and those are actually 2x6s). Since you are taliking about levelling it, can I assume you've looked at your ground, and already ensured rainfall (a problem we both share) will tend to move out and away from your coop and proposed run?
Yes, they are 2x6s, and there is a natural slope to help with rainfall drainage. We are building in our current coop/run location. The purpose for raising it and putting a floor in is to help prevent issues with mice/rats making their home under the coop and sneaking/chewing their way in.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 12, 2017
5,616
15,310
797
Western Ohio
you can also add roof vents to help with draft free ventilation. Some are the kind that are passive: air moves up and out. Some will draw air up and out either due to an electric fan or due to the hot air rising, and this causes the vent fan to rotate due to the upward movement of hot air. If you buy an electric fan, get one meant for livestock as they are built to handle the dust load.

looks like the coop might be in a shady area - can’t tell where the trees are or if I’m seeing bushes. They will love

I lived in Atlanta a year. I remember the humidity and the rain. I mentioned the rain, right? Ok, so due to my strong recollection of the rain,my suggestion is to consider putting a door overhang of some kind over the people door and possibly the pop door. We put our pop door within the people door, so for us it is the same opening.

Elevation of the coop. Nice bc not on wet ground. But, block off the access under the coop to prevent predators from getting underneath. Also, it prevents a sick or scared bird from getting under there and not being able to be reached or removed by you. Of course, you could elevate the coop 2+ feet and everything is accessible, too high for predators to feel protected. Ours is elevated 2.5’ and therefore provides shade,. We built a deck with stairs on one end. The deck is high enough to get a wheelbarrow under it so all bedding gets shoveled easily into the wheelbarrow. However, it’s not necessary to elevate a coop so much.

good luck!!!
 

BEggRN

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
39
63
69
(North Atlanta) Georgia
In North Georgia you shouldn't need to close windows in the winter except, perhaps, for the duration of a severe storm -- and then only on the windward side if the rain/snow is blowing in.

Chickens need ventilation as much in the winter as in the summer and as long as the ventilation is over their heads while they're on the roost they're fine.

BTW, what do you have planned for a roofline? A monitor or clerestory roof is excellent for hot climates.

This is my Little Monitor Coop. I can give you detail shots of how the monitor is constructed if you're interested.
View attachment 2500906
I would love more details. I am open to any and all suggestions they don't involve me telling my husband to undo something that has gone farther than paper. He is patient, but I'm scared to test him.

Our current roof plan is a shed type roof with hardware cloth along the front of the rafters (12' sides) to allow ventilation there. When I talk about the windows, I am actually hoping to use them to encourage added airflow in the heat rather than just ventilation. I am hoping to use them for keeping things cooler. I will likely have narrow horizontal windows (cutouts with hardware cloth really) closer to the roofline.

Keep your advice coming please!
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,622
3,494
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Off to a great start then.

My shed/outbuilding is raised and framed w/2x6s on a slope. We have problems with critters living underneath it. Mice and snakes, mostly. I like deckblocks, but they do make it hard to add skirting to deter those critters due to the way they flare out. You will need something, otherwise critters will use the space under the house as shelter, and your baby chicks, if they ever get loose, will decide that's exactly where they want to hang out when you go to catch them/gather them up and place 'em back in a pen.

On that thought, if you are planning on a brooder box/grow out pen in your coop, you should give some thought to where to place it, or how to make a temporary one on those rare occasions when you need it. It can be as simple as hardware cloth attached to a frame, hinged to store flat, but able to be shaped into an L and attached to two walls to complete the box. Use the short "side" as your door for access. Mine are all run floor to 4' high, but my adult birds can, and sometimes do, hop the fence, which isn't good. Next time, I'll set it on top of something else, like cabinet storage, so as not to waste space while making it harder for the adults to intrude. Wouldn't need to be so tall then, either.

The barn, and my hen house, I both took to ground level, so nothing could live underneath. And while I didn't add a layer of hardware cloth or similar to deter digging creatures, that's the typical solution.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
4,325
8,820
776
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I would love more details. I am open to any and all suggestions they don't involve me telling my husband to undo something that has gone farther than paper. He is patient, but I'm scared to test him.

Our current roof plan is a shed type roof with hardware cloth along the front of the rafters (12' sides) to allow ventilation there. When I talk about the windows, I am actually hoping to use them to encourage added airflow in the heat rather than just ventilation. I am hoping to use them for keeping things cooler. I will likely have narrow horizontal windows (cutouts with hardware cloth really) closer to the roofline.

Keep your advice coming please!

OK, here is the thread from our remodel and here are a few selected photos:

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1592173323722-png.2195015

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This design was tested by Hurricane Florence. The coop was unoccupied at the time, but I checked it afterward anyway and found it dry. Of course on a larger coop the whole thing would have to be scaled up.
 

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BEggRN

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
39
63
69
(North Atlanta) Georgia
Off to a great start then.

My shed/outbuilding is raised and framed w/2x6s on a slope. We have problems with critters living underneath it. Mice and snakes, mostly. I like deckblocks, but they do make it hard to add skirting to deter those critters due to the way they flare out. You will need something, otherwise critters will use the space under the house as shelter, and your baby chicks, if they ever get loose, will decide that's exactly where they want to hang out when you go to catch them/gather them up and place 'em back in a pen.

On that thought, if you are planning on a brooder box/grow out pen in your coop, you should give some thought to where to place it, or how to make a temporary one on those rare occasions when you need it. It can be as simple as hardware cloth attached to a frame, hinged to store flat, but able to be shaped into an L and attached to two walls to complete the box. Use the short "side" as your door for access. Mine are all run floor to 4' high, but my adult birds can, and sometimes do, hop the fence, which isn't good. Next time, I'll set it on top of something else, like cabinet storage, so as not to waste space while making it harder for the adults to intrude. Wouldn't need to be so tall then, either.

The barn, and my hen house, I both took to ground level, so nothing could live underneath. And while I didn't add a layer of hardware cloth or similar to deter digging creatures, that's the typical solution.
We are already brainstorming ways to block the chickens from getting under the coop/shed. We used deck blocks with out current coop (raised much higher), and the hardware cloth was definitely a challenge. I had planned on just blocking the run side. Should we skirt all the way around to help prevent critters or will they just burrow under? We have some serious rock under our dirt, so digging down is an issue.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,622
3,494
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Usually, the easies way to skirt is to attach to the sides, let it flare out away from the structure about 2', then bury. Most creatures are lazy, they are going to want to start digging as close to the structure as possible, so you don't need to protect too much ground - and I've always found it easier to pile on top than to dig deep. So I'd recommend that route. Once buried, creatures won't be aware of an edge to dig around. WHAT creatures will determine what fencing. For dogs, regular residential fencing is perfectly suitable, and cheaper in bulk. For smaller critters, you will need some sort of hardware cloth. The good news on snakes is that they are opportunists, they would rather use someone else's holes than dig themselves, so a 1" cloth is likely the smallest you will need. Or you could erect temporary framing and a shallow trench (8"), just mix up a few bags of readi-mix and dump them in.

Lots of options, depending on budget, time, resources.
 

BEggRN

Chirping
Apr 10, 2020
39
63
69
(North Atlanta) Georgia
Usually, the easies way to skirt is to attach to the sides, let it flare out away from the structure about 2', then bury. Most creatures are lazy, they are going to want to start digging as close to the structure as possible, so you don't need to protect too much ground - and I've always found it easier to pile on top than to dig deep. So I'd recommend that route. Once buried, creatures won't be aware of an edge to dig around. WHAT creatures will determine what fencing. For dogs, regular residential fencing is perfectly suitable, and cheaper in bulk. For smaller critters, you will need some sort of hardware cloth. The good news on snakes is that they are opportunists, they would rather use someone else's holes than dig themselves, so a 1" cloth is likely the smallest you will need. Or you could erect temporary framing and a shallow trench (8"), just mix up a few bags of readi-mix and dump them in.

Lots of options, depending on budget, time, resources.
My biggest concern is mice/rats and rat snakes. We could have possums/raccoons (never seen one alive)/maybe weasels (I've never seen one in my life, but the stories creep me out) , but nothing has tried to get into our current set up. The run is inside another fence on about 1 1/2 acres. I have a dog, but she is not a digger, and I think her poop/urine serves as a great deterrent. We've seen a possum (dead once our dog saw her), groundhogs, and rat snakes in the yard.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
1,622
3,494
286
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Rat snakes aren't a concern. I actually encourage them on my acreage. Though where a rat snake can go, so can others. That your run is within a larger run is a great plan, helps deter some of the larger predators. A small amount of hardware cloth in a skirt around the structure is likely all you will need. That, and keep an eye out for things colonizing your groundhog holes...
 

RojoMarz

Songster
May 21, 2020
559
879
181
Southern CO...at 8600 ft
We are already brainstorming ways to block the chickens from getting under the coop/shed. We used deck blocks with out current coop (raised much higher), and the hardware cloth was definitely a challenge. I had planned on just blocking the run side. Should we skirt all the way around to help prevent critters or will they just burrow under? We have some serious rock under our dirt, so digging down is an issue.

Our coop is also off the ground some. We stapled wire strips, that cover the space, to the wood, so that it hangs down in front of the gap. In front of the strips, I put big rocks. Dual purpose...decorative and keeps the chickens from getting under the coop.
 

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