Does height of coop matter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dftkarin, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does the height of the coop make a difference for heavy breeds? My current plan for a coop is a 4'x6' with the 1st level a 2' high enclosed run and the second story only 2-3 feet tall (so the whole coop will be 5 feet tall) and movable. I would like to have space for 5 heavy hens. I do plan to let them free range a bit around my tiny backyard each day while I'm out with them.

    Inside: 24 square feet, but since its short, the roost will take up space that would be counted as floor space in a taller coop.

    Rainy/snowy day protected run: 24 square feet (but the ramp and waterer will take up some space).

    Should I plan to build a little taller enclosed part? I want to be able to move the whole thing around on in my yard - tractor-style.
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Do you have a simple way to completely open one side to clean out the coop? Also, what about egg collection. You don't want to be bumping your head every time you clean or collect. If you have this thing on wheels, you could probably get away with 4x8 and do a little better with space. Otherwise, I think your plan is workable.
     
  3. Grass

    Grass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i made my coop and run both high enough to walk into.it makes it easier for me being 6'1"to spend time with my birds.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I dunno... first, unless you build it quite flimsily or have access to special building materials, that puppy is going to be too heavy to move easily without a lawn tractor to pull it. Second, it is pretty minimal space if you ask me, especially on the outdoor part (<5 sq ft per hen). Third, there is nowhere they can really stretch up on tippytoes, or hop up on something, which is not going to kill them of course but still.

    Unless you are in a climate where you really WILL free-range them for part of the day every day, I would not personally be all that happy seeing my chickens in such cramped quarters. Plus you will have a higher chance of social and health problems that can be awful hard to do much about in a small space once thye start.

    Have you considered building a two-part construction, with a (ground-level) moveable coop and a separate, attachable, moveable pen (with the pen as large as you can accommodate in your yard, like 4x10 or bigger). That is what I would probably do if I wanted to tractor 5 heavy-breed hens, anyhow.

    Just a thought,

    Pat
     
  5. spatcher

    spatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can raise the coop a couple of feet on 4x4's, you will give them another 24sq ft of run space. Just a thought!
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gosh the birds may be frustrated at the height of a 2' run. Some of your girls will stretch and hit their heads. Also they like a little flight space and if snow drifts, your run will be unusable. What about your comfort? To maintain and clean the space it's easier if you can be in there without stooping...[​IMG]
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Er, I thought that was exactly what she described in her first post? [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  8. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions! I like the idea of a coop being off the ground partly so it can have room underneath for more run, and also because I figure that the floor of the coop part would be at an easily level to clean out easily - I certainly hoped I could have a side that opened up or down for easy cleaning. Is 2' really too low for chickens? In the coop books I'm reading many of the runs are around 2' tall. I could have the run 2.5' and the coop 3' with either a /\\ shaped roof, or maybe just flat with a slant to one side - so that would make the whole thing 5 - 6' tall. I have a pretty small back yard, and a next door neighbor who really wishes I would not get chickens at all - so I feel like I need my coop to be cute and as unobtrusive as possible. 4'x6'x6' tall is going to look huge in my back yard. I guess I'm trying to figure out the most efficient use of space so that my chickens are healthy and happy, that I can clean easily, but so that the neighbors don;t see huge signs of the fact that chickens are living next door.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ok, I can see your reasoning and it makes sense to me, but it is going to be kinda hard to house 5 hens in that sort of arrangement without significant crowding. Could you at least expand it to 4x8 (instead of 4x6)?

    You might look at my tractor page https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-tractor which if you expanded the house part to 4x4 (keep the sloped roof, and it doesn't have to be *as* sloped as I've made it) would be an ok size. It would be a nuisance to reach all the way in to clean but a long-handled hoe and brush would go a long way towards helping with that. I would suggest NOT putting the roost directly under the long horizontal vent, and putting the two side vents *high* on the sides not at floor level, btw, if you do anything like that [​IMG]

    Mine is pretty heavy to move already, though. It is moveable by hand but with a non-trivial "urgh!" factor. Nearly doubling the size of the house would put it fairly far towards move-with-lawn-tractor territory, unless you seriously reduced weight by using thinner plywood (which is less predator-resistant...) and a tin or plastic rather than wooden roof (insulate its underside with rigid foamboard faced with vinyl, would be the way I'd go, and use as thin purlins under it as you think you can get away with).

    Unfortunately, that size assembly of wood and wire just DOES get heavy... [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     

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