Ground and above ground coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dragron_ heart, May 11, 2019.

  1. Dragron_ heart

    Dragron_ heart In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2017
    I had a coop built on the ground and had no problems for many years. All of a sudden 2 years ago we had a rat infestation and had to give away the flock before the rats destroyed them. Now, after 2 years, I am ready to raise chicks again. I have purchased an above ground coop with a large run. Is there anything special that I should know about an above ground system as compared to a ground coop?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You will have rats and mice no matter what type of coop if there's feed to be eaten. Most chicken owners need to manage pests at some point.
    jthornton likes this.
  3. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

    Feb 5, 2018
    Northwest Oregon
    My Coop
    My coop is raised 2' off the ground and I keep feed in the covered run. It took over 2 years for me to notice the presence of any rat droppings (I'm not sure whether or not they were actually there before that though). I've seen 1 or 2 out there near dark when I go out to lock up for the night. The rats must live nearby, but I know there is no nest in or under my coop. I don't know where they come from, but I'm still trying to figure out how to get rid of them. I don't think rats would harm grown chickens, it seems to me they're more interested in just the feed.
  4. CindyinSD

    CindyinSD Crowing

    You need big, mean chickens!

    “Take that you sonofabiscuit!” Says Foghorn Leghorn to the rat...

    I don’t have rats but everyone around here has soooo many mice the last five years or so... :eek: Don’t leave food in coop or run overnight. Also, chickens don’t need water overnight. And of course rodents do need water and would prefer to drink it in a nice safe dark place.

    As for an a coop on stilts, I don’t think it’s much different from one on the ground except it does have air circulating all around it so it might be cold in winter. I actually think it IS easier to keep rodents out of because there’s not that foundation edge/interface with the ground where nibblers can work on a secret entrance, all dark and unseen. I have one on stilts. I built an extra deep floor into it to allow for deep bedding to keep it warmer. Nice coop; too small but I’m going to need it for a grow-out area and if the arctic winter ever dies, I think it’s going to be very useful.
  5. Dragron_ heart

    Dragron_ heart In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2017

    Don't be fooled. I had a rat infestation and they took down several chickens before I knew what was going on. I too thought that rats were too small to harm a full grown chicken. Enough rats and they will devour anything. The rat infestation is what forced me to sell off my entire flock a few years back.

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