How high off the ground should the chicken house be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by eggcited2, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. eggcited2

    eggcited2 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    We have an actual shed for our chicks. It is either 10x10 or 10x12. Wood floor, wood walls, wood roof with shingles.

    When we got it I mentioned to my husband it needed to be up off the ground for some air flow under it. Well, he has it on wood blocks that have it almost two feet high in the front and at least 2 1/2 feet at the back (our land slopes, not a level spot anywhere). He says that will let the chicks (and adults when they are grown) get under it for shade. I told him they will probably also lay eggs under there, and we won't be able to get to the eggs. He still insists the chick house it not too high/tall up.

    There are perches for roosting on, and four nest boxes with shavings in them. I have 11 chicks (almost 4 wks old). One rooster and the rest hens.

    Did I mention it is on wood blocks and shifts if I step into it? He has the blocks at the four corners of it. Scares the heck out of me by how easy it shifts and moves.
    When I say wood blocks, I mean he has pieces of 2x4 stacked on top of each other. Again, those are 2 feet high at the front of the shed and at least 2 1/2 feet at the back (probably closer to 3 ft tall at the back). Is that too high for the chicken house?

    BTW: as for how much room they have to roam outside, we have 2-3 acres fenced in and they will have free range of that. Only housed at night and in bad weather .
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    If the shed shifts when you step into it, it could potentially collapse and crush any chickens under it. So if you decide to keep the elevated coop idea, that certainly needs to be fixed.

    I have a small coop set on 4" by 4" posts, elevated about 2 feet. I don't like the design. Even though I can shoo chickens out from under the coop using the handle of my poop scoop, it isn't easy to clean up under there. The one place in my run that is nasty with poo and feathers is that area under the coop. I won't be designing another coop that way again.
  3. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Ours is off the ground by about 3 feet but it is extremely secure. My husband is a former contractor so this thing is solid, insulated, secured, whatever you want to call it! He built it in 3 sections so we can move it if we want to. Here's a pic:
    The run is about 10 feet long - the chicks have a ladder to go down but the free range in the backyard all day and go up in the coop at night. We only have 4 so this is plenty of room for them.
  4. backwoodsman4life

    backwoodsman4life In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2010
    El Reno, Oklahoma
    I went 4 feet off the ground with my coop but I wish I had went 3 feet. Now when we need to get our eggs we have to use a step ladder [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    nminusyplusm likes this.
  5. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    We have three smaller coops in areas divided for different ages all within a 20x20 secure fence. The main adult coop is on deck blocks like you get at Lowes and is about 6 inches off the ground. That is small enough for them to use for dusting underneath when there is snow everywhere else.
    Another section is about 8 inches off the ground. One of our hens recently started laying under there and it is a pain to collect her eggs. We keep a rake handy. However, i can't blame her because it WAS 100 degrees out and it was probably the coolest place for her. This coop is actually the maternity ward so we don't go in there much since broodies take care of their babies and it's just a night shelter since they free range.
    The third coop is 2 foot off the ground on stilts. It's a grow-out coop for the pediatric set. We put it on stilts so we wouldn't lose ground and shade area. It's working out well so far. When it's hot we can place the food/water in the shade under it; when it rains we can keep the food dry underneath. It will work for 3 out of 4 seasons. The 4th season is when we cut down numbers and hatches and button down for the winter.
    All in all, I'd say the height should be according to what you use the pen for. Ideally if there were enough fenced room, I would like them 12 inches: enough to dust during winter and enough to see and retrieve eggs.
  6. Yikes! He needs to make that more stable, me thinks.

    I always thought it would be nice to have a coop up like that, but all the previous posts have me rethinking that! My layer coop is directly on the ground with a dirt floor and deep litter. It's awesome! Doesn't smell, but gets a little soggy in the spring.

    Just whatever you do, don't seal that area off if you decide you don't want the chickens under there. Better an area you can access then one you can't that starts to harbour critters, eek.
  7. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    What if he put it on several concrete blocks rather? Blocks are inexpensive and you could space them a couple of feet apart. You could also cover the area under the coop with some cheap chicken wire to prevent the chickens laying under there.
  8. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    Quote:I second the concrete block idea. Stacked 2x4s can be very dangerous. I wouldn't be so worried about it falling if the hens were underneath. I would worry about it falling when you go inside to collect eggs and it shifts. A good way to break something (like a leg or your neck). Go with the concrete blocks.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Concrete blocks.

    I built one of my coops up on blocks on their sides. Just high enough for air flow and chickens to skootch in there if they need to, and they do dust baths in there, too, when it's really hot outside. However, my coop is only 4x8, so I can reach under if anybody decides to lay eggs there.

    I turned concrete blocks onto their small ends, to make the space higher, when I converted a Little Tikes plastic playhouse into a coop; that way it's high enough to clean inside, tall enough underneath for shade, feed and water storage in the shade, and to gather any eggs somebody MIGHT lay there.
  10. allmypeeps

    allmypeeps Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    wow- u really need some support under the center of the coop also, being 10 feet across! We have an 8X8 and you can feel a slight bouncyness in the center when you walk in...thats just too much weight for your large coop to be on stacked little wood blocks- I'd be mad too!! tell him everyone says FIX IT! Anything worth doing is worth doing RIGHT! even if it is just for some silly stinky birds!!! lol
    nminusyplusm likes this.

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