Dead air space vs air under coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kansas Chicken Mama, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Kansas Chicken Mama

    Kansas Chicken Mama Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 10, 2008
    St. Paul
    I am adding on to my coop and was considering doing a raised floor since we had 8 foot walls. My thought was that I would leave about 2 feet under the coop and it would help with the warming of the coop in the winter by eliminating the wasted space up top in the coop. I figured getting the roosts closer to the ceiling line would help keep my chickies warmer (insulated coop with a red light warmer). What I hadn't thought about, and just read in another thread was the cold air blowing up under the raised floor would make it harder to keep warm. Am I better off just leaving the floor ground level and maybe doing a drop ceiling over the roost to help retain a little warmth? Also, I know that chickens don't "need" a warmed coop but I like to keep it above 35 when the weather drops to single digits just to keep the kids comfortable.
  2. beekybuzzard

    beekybuzzard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    My own personal choice is to use the ground as the floor and put straw and wood chips over top of it. I live way out in the country and putting a floor in just gives rats, snakes, coons, possum, weasel, and any number of other things a place to hide or house themselves with a close access to free food. With the ground floor the girls and roos can better keep it patrolled and get plenty of shots in before they can burrow themselves in. Plus no extra drafts, the heating is your own choice don't let anyone give you gruff for adding something for comfort whether they need it or not. I have a few things for myself to make me more comfortable that I don't need too, but some extra comforts are nice once in a while. Have a blessed day. TC
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

    Oct 16, 2008
    If you decide to go with a wooden floor, make sure you lay down a tight vapor barrier over the dirt. A 6 mil plastic sheet or heavier with no holes in it.. this is required f you enclose the walls all the way to the ground on the outside..

    then you will also have to vent the space under the floor, or your floor will dry rot in a short time..

    I have one coop that has a concrete floor and two rows of concrete block for the bottom of the walls.

    I take my tractor and loader and scoop snow and bank it all around the coop in the winter.. (like and igloo) really helps keep the coop warmer..
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    How big will your coop be. If not *too* big, having it raised 2' above the ground offers the very large benefit of providing a covered part of the run for chickens to use during rain etc. You can put plastic or even haybales around three sides of it for wintertime if you want.

    I would not do this with a BIG coop, though, because I guarantee the time will come (more than once) when you need to get under there to clean, retrieve an item, or chase a chicken, and you don't want to be crawling on your belly to the middle or far side of a 12x12 coop with only 2' headspace [​IMG]

    Aside from that, I really think it is sort of six of one half a dozen of the other. It is harder to predatorproof a coop with a dirt floor (many things dig quite well). But it is easier to keep it a bit warmer that way. OTOH it is not that hard to put extra bedding on the floor of a raised coop. And a drop ceiling or coop-within-coop can be built in ANY coop, be it tall nor not so tall. If you do a raised coop and are really worried about winter temperatures, insulate well (including ceiling).

    So I am not sure one way is clearly better than the other, you're just trading off some moderate differences, you know?

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    Before I had my chicken cabin delivered we paid to have a stone pad laid down. They compacted and leveled it..
    The cabin is 12 ft. by 30 ft. long and on large runners. You can see all the way under the cabin to both ends. I had to screen off the ends because that was chickens favorite place to nap and lay eggs..
    I had one banty hen that hatched 3 chicks under there and I caged her for 3 days and turned her loose with them.. Next day she came out with 5 babies![​IMG] turned out 4 little hens were nesting under there and 2 roos....
    I agree sitting it right on ground will rot it out quickly. And the barn floor stays drier with the ventilation.. I deep litter method it and noted my other barn which has very little space under it was very wet this winter and had to be cleaned out.....
  6. Kansas Chicken Mama

    Kansas Chicken Mama Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 10, 2008
    St. Paul
    Thanks for the responses. I wasn't quite clear on my ground level info though, what I meant was that our curent coop is on low skids with a full floor and linoleum. That said, I'm thinking of going against raising the addition like I was planning because of all the input from here. I can see all kinds of issues I hadn't considered before. I think I may just pop in a drop ceiling in the winter over the roost. I'm really thinking Steve's henhouse design with the split roof might also help for addded sunlight.
    Once again, thanks for all the help.
  7. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Might be too late in answering this but, my coop is 1 to 2 feet off the ground (on a slight hill) with a wood floor. I have no predators and under the coop is where they run when a predator flies over and when the weather is bad. We have been very happy with this design.

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