Coop Question... Up on Stilts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lankton6, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. lankton6

    lankton6 New Egg

    Apr 12, 2009
    I'm about to begin working on a coop and have been juggling different ideas.

    I've seen lots of pictures of coops raised on stilts off the ground and was wondering was the reason for this is. Is that preferrable to having the coop sit on the ground or is it a matter of preference.
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:Welcome to BYC.
    Most people set thier coop on stilts off the ground to make it harder for preditors to get to the chickens, especially rats and opposooms and racons.
    I have concrete foundation for my coop. and I have another coop lift over from the ground.
    Good luck.
  3. RuffledFeathers

    RuffledFeathers Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    Issaquah, WA
    We built our new coop on 18" raised legs so our dog can run underneath and protect our chickens from predators. After a horrible rat problem in our first coop we decided to leave the bottom with no place to hide or burrow, and it has worked like a charm. It doesn't prevent the rats from foraging in the day-run but they have not set up camp like before. We have the food area and the night enclosure solidly built with 1/2" hardware cloth and 3/4" plywood. If they decide to spend the time to chew through any of it they will have one large dog staring them in the face! I highly recommend raising the platform, and if the girls free range they will have a nice cool spot in the summer for lounging.
  4. bluie

    bluie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2007
    I put mine up on stilts just to maximize the run space. It also made the coop high enough that I didn't have to bend over to do maintenance.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A raised coop is easier to predatorproof, more immune to flooding, and in some cases people use the underneath (if sufficiently high off the ground) as a shady porch for the chickens. OTOH it is cheaper to build a coop with a dirt floor, and in many (not all) circumstances a dirt- or slab-floored coop will stay a little bit warmer for at least the first half of the winter.

    In large part it is a matter of personal taste, IMO [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    I'm thinking of portioning off the "shallow" end of my coop (front portion) but leaving the back portion available for the chickens. Do you think cinder blocks stacked up under the coop would provide a decent barrier to keep unwanted critters out of the enclosed yard?
  7. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Is this something I should look into? I have 3 cats that are excellent mousers so I think I'll be fine if it isn't raised. Also, I live in Colorado, would being raised a little (I'd probably only raise it enough so one of my cats can get under) be a problem in winter?
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I was just closing up my coop for the night and a neighbor's black tom cat ran out from underneath. Of the predators likely to show up, I worry most about a hungry cat under the coop coming out to pounce on the chickens.

    This is the 4th coop I've built and the only one with a wood floor. It isn't really elevated, just set on 6 concrete blocks. I built it about 12 years ago and sort of like it and sort of don't.

    I've never had more than 4 adult chickens in this coop and have never needed a large coop. Elevating a small one seems like a very good idea. This coop is fully insulated including the floor but I actually try to ignore that built-in floor insulation during the Winter and add plenty of interior insulation to try to keep the birds warmer. The floor gets lots of wood shavings and I put foam insulation board under the nest box.

    I like the fact that it has a porch roof but as Pat says, the coop itself could shelter the birds if it was elevated. Honestly, I think I would have been happier with something about 16 square feet and about 24 inches off the ground.

    There are some problems with mice in the Fall of every year despite the fact that the neighborhood cats like to hang out underneath. And, I think I'm better at catching mice using a Victor mousetrap and peanut butter covered raisins than they are [​IMG].

  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I would not trust cinderblocks just stacked there, no. Wouldn't be that hard for something to just push the stack over, or dig underneath. Dogs, coyotes, raccoons, etc are *strong*.

    I'd suggest smaller mesh wire, well fitted to the underside of the floor and joists and affixed strongly, and include a fairly wide apron. You could simplify putting on the wire by adding blocking between the joists (just the way you'd do under the floor of a house, e.g. from basement) and screwing a 2x4 all the way across the underside of the floor into them and the joists, and then attaching your mesh to *that*.

    Of course it depends how much security you're after, but that's what I'd do.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. Ashley80

    Ashley80 Out Of The Brooder

    We're building a coop on legs at the moment. The legs are about 50cm off the ground and there is another 25m step down from the pad it sits on to where we'll stand to access it.

    - we're on a steep sloping block and the coop is down hill from the run so it would probably flood in winter if we build it directly on the ground.

    - Easier to access and clean at 'working height'.

    - We're going to clad down to ground level and put a shelf in about 15cm off the ground that will hold a couple of rodent proof feed bins.

    Thats the theory anyway, the proof will be in the pudding I guess.

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