Earthen Coops / Coops that are partially built into the earth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Thaney Design, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Thaney Design

    Thaney Design Chirping

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    Who's done it, and how did it work out?

    My first coop is going to have a green roof. Will post photos when it's done.

    But I'm realizing I will likely have more chickens than that coop can sustain by the winter. I would love to do a coop partially built into the earth to be its insulation, but don't know a lot about this, and would love to see what you all have done, and hear about what worked and what didn't.

    Pictures are particularly appreciated.
     
  2. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

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    The only problem I see wit your plan is there won't be a lot of light. I have windows on 3 sides of my coop, but they are small so the light is just OK in the winter. You will probably only have 1 side for windows.
     
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  3. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crowing

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    What will you do for ventilation in an earthen coop?
     
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  4. janiedoe

    janiedoe Crowing

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    Caves that I've been in are generally cool but also have a lot of humidity. I'm wondering if the air would be damp in an earth coop and thus bad for the chickens?
    There are a lot of BYC members who know much more about ventilation than I do & could be helpful. (@aart comes to mind)
     
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  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Birds need fresh open air, not insulation. I know you are thinking it will be warming to them in the winter by having part of the coop embedded in the earth but it really isn't a good idea.
    I would stick with more conventional construction with lots of ventilation for air flow. You need to think DRY, not warm. Chickens make their own warm and it is held in by all the feathers. So you don't want a draft on them in the winter. All ventilation should pass over their heads or around them in such a way as their feathers do not ruffle.
    In the summer, the opposite is true. I have a fan that blows right across a large portion of the roosting space and they sit there with their wings spread to allow the excess heat to be blown off of them when they go to roost at night.
    Depending on how you've constructed your green roof, you may still be fine with ventilation. Please post some pictures.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Not a good idea going into your first winter.
    Just don't do it....it's hard, I know, chicken math and all taht, but really, don't so it.
    The worst winter I've had was when I had too many birds.
    Chicken Cabin Fever is Real.....and it's Ugly!
    OK, got that off my chest.

    Earth bermed coop, hmmmm, could be advantageous,
    but ventilation could definitely be a problem.
    The next most important thing about keeping chickens,
    after lots of space,
    is lots of ventilation.
    I have never seen 'cave coop'.
     
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  7. Thaney Design

    Thaney Design Chirping

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    Good point on the ventilation. Not sure how I'd be able to provide that sufficiently with something built into the earth, at least without it being an engineering nightmare, which is not what I'm looking to involve myself in at this point!

    The green roof on my current one is not green yet, but it's a pretty typical coop below the roof, with lots of places below the green roof that vent quite adequately. The coop is up off the ground and catches plenty of breeze.
     
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  8. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    Hmmm.... pics, please?
     
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  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    I would think that it would be much more expensive too; structuraly sound, won't rot in a short time, and predator proof. Then, the ventilation, which could be at the top of the walls all the way around the three back sides, with drainage away from the openings, and an open front facing south. Warmth, they don't need, although it would be cooler in summer, a good thing. Shade and an insulated roof will help in summer, which is more important.
    I think a conventional structure would be best!
    Have you looked at Woods coop designs? They look wonderful!
    Mary
     
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  10. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Enabler

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    I remember someone posted a thread about it, pictures and all. It was years ago.... I have to look and get back with you
     
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