Coop on or off ground

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mi2bugz, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    277
    6
    81
    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    We have decided to buy an 8x8 shed and convert it to a coop. My question is...would you have it off the ground about 8 inches or dig the cinder blocks into the ground? I was thinking off ground for ventilation during hot texas summers (let breeze blow under it). For aesthetics I would plant flowers around the open space and make it flowers the chickens can have. Of course the side with the run is going to have hard wear cloth dug under ground so the run will be screened against predators.

    Also.. In texas should I insulate the walls or no? More worried about summer heat than winter.

    ~ Nicole
     
  2. ozzyman778

    ozzyman778 Out Of The Brooder

    29
    2
    26
    Sep 11, 2013
    UK
    my 6x6 shed is on a frame which is directly on the ground.... I filled the frame in with pebbles and also layed down chicken wire to keep pests out.... The frame keeps the shed ruffly 3-4" off the ground and with the pebbles should help with moisture drainage and keeping pests out. BTW I love my converted shed I used 2x4's as roosts screwed directly into the wall studs from one side of the coop to the other and installed a 10" high board in the doorway to keep litter in the coop when I open the door. I located my nesting boxes to the outside of the shed and the chickens love the extra space.
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    225
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote:
    That will just allow HOT air to blow underneath,,while providing a great place for rodents to live.
    It will also allow strong winds underneath in a storm
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  4. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    277
    6
    81
    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    Thank you all for the tips. The coop will have to be off the ground a little because the pressure treated wood isn't rated for ground contact. Will it off the ground 1-2 inches deter rodents? The breeze we have here is usually a few degrees cooler than the air temp. Would a cooler breeze still trap hot air under the coop?

    ~ Nicole
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    225
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Any air under the coop will be warmer than the ground temperature,

    Any breeze FEELS cooler, but the air temperature remains the same

    I'd set it on a solid foundation of brick or block, or even easier, use timbers rated for ground contact
    You may also want to consider some method to anchor it to the ground so it won't blow over
     
  6. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    277
    6
    81
    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    Unfortunately I can't do a concrete foundation where we are placing the coop. We decided to get it as close to the ground as possible and enclose the base with hardware cloth to keep anything out. I am then going to plant raised flower beds around the base of the coop to secure the cloth. Thank you for the tip. When we do our more permanent coop I will definitely use the concrete idea!
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,722
    599
    411
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Perhpas concider raise UP the structure and give 1.5 feet underneath it for shade. Rodents les able to hide in a well lit open space. 2" is great rodent territory. ANd flowers are chicken food. :)
     
  8. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    277
    6
    81
    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    The instructions for the shed (converted to a coop) were no higher than 16 inches and with the wind we didn't want it to blow over. The flowers around the coop would be edible chicken flowers ;). They can eat the backs of them and the fronts can be decorations. Then again maybe I am being too optimistic lol.
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,722
    599
    411
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    16" is enough-- goodness knows my birds love to live under my horse trailers and they are much shorter. [​IMG]

    YOu can also use house contruction methods for tornado and hurricane areas to secure the coop deep into the ground. Several methods-- one might interest you.
     
  10. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,106
    98
    226
    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    If you plan on building another coop in the future, might I suggest sinking 4x4 posts in the ground and building your coop with a dirt floor? I read and studied here on BYC for months before starting my coop. I read all about the dedicated chicken owners who cleaned their coops daily, weekly and kept their birds in optimal health. At that time, I worked 10-12 hour days and the thought of dragging home and adding coop cleaning to all my other duties didn't sound too appealing. Nothing against those who have solid floors in their coops, I admire them for their dedication.

    I decided on a dirt floor. I sunk the posts in the ground and built a frame all around on the bottom to allow for a generous wire skirt laid flat on the ground to keep dogs or whatever from digging in. I framed a 12" opening all around the bottom and covered it with hardware cloth for ventilation. I also live in Texas and heat is worse than the cold. In the coldest weather, I staple plastic on one side to keep the wind off. It is a tall walk in coop for my benefit, no stooping and crawling in the coop and bumping my head!

    As far as cleaning out the coop, I toss in grass clippings, leaves, pea hulls, corn shucks and cobs, vegetable trimmings, sawdust, clean-up-the-end-of-the-season-garden-plants, anything and almost everything organic. What they don't eat, they scratch to pieces and poop all over it. They enjoy variety of things tossed in for their pleasure. They turn it constantly, so it almost never smells, if it does, throw something else in their and cover up the smell. The run is a hoop (cow panel) run 12'x8' and last fall we piled it THREE FEET deep in leaves! In 3 months time, the girls reduced it down to about 8 inches. I dug it out for the valuable compost, spread it on the garden and gave the girls some more leaves. I clean the coop and run about 2 or 3 times a year. If I don't need the compost at that moment, I pile it in wire bins made from 2"x4" horse wire. This system works very well for me. The hens take yard and garden waste and turn it into dark, crumbly, rich compost. If you don't have a garden, spread it over your yard and under your trees.

    This is a side view.

    [​IMG]

    This is the back, and that is Paris, our Great Pyrenees. At the time, she was a chicken killer, so a strong coop was greatly desired. Paris was given to us because of her chicken killing. It took 2 years, but now she guards the hens and protects them!

    [​IMG]

    This is the hoop run right after I finished it. I cut a hole in the back wire so the girls can come and go as they please. I not only had to build against raccoons, opossums, snakes, but against my own dog! It is a blessing to be able to let the girls out now and have total confidence in Paris.

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by