How High off the Ground?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by moabdds, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. moabdds

    moabdds New Egg

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    I am trying to design my first coop. We intend to have 3 or possibly four standard-sized chickens, such as Leghorns. The coop will have a 4x4' footprint and will be inside a 4'x10' run. We live in a high desert climate, so in order to provide shade and make maximum use of the 40 sq. ft. run, I'd like to have the coop off the ground. However, I'd like to keep the overall height of the coop as low as possible. What is the minimum height I need to build it off the ground in order to still give standard-sized chickens sufficient headroom so they can comfortably use the space? As a related question, how much headroom does the chicken need over the highest roost? I guess my question boils down to "How tall is a standard-sized chicken?"

    moabdds
     
  2. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:4' X 4' seems small for three or four chickens.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Why are you trying to keep the coop short? A tall coop is cooler, and much easier to clean.
     
  4. VVolfpack

    VVolfpack Out Of The Brooder

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    I used two 8" concrete blocks to raise my coop giving them 16" of space. They free range all day and when it gets too hot they will go under there for shade. To exit the coop they go down a ramp underneath then through a small gate (I have a run to the side of the coop which wasn't put in yet for the picture)
    So to answer your question, I think 16" is fine... I probably wouldn't do much less than that however.

    [​IMG]

    (edit) Forgot to add... I have 4 Standards in a 4'x6' coop with probably a run double that size in space, If they didn't free range all day i would have to make a bigger run, but they don't spend much time in there, only the mornings I sleep in [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  5. moabdds

    moabdds New Egg

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    Hallerlake,

    According to the information on this website, and other places I've read, the recommended square footage per bird in the coop is 4' sq. 4'x4'=16'sq. 16' sq. is the recommended size for 4 birds, though we probably will only have 3. 4' sq. per bird is also the required size for our city ordinance, as is the 10' sq. per bird for the run, thus the 40' sq. run. I can fit this in the space available in my back yard, while probably having more than the recommended minimum space per bird.

    Sonoran Silkies,

    The coop itself will be 5' tall on the high side and 4' on the low side. There is a 6'+ tall fence between where I want to put my chicken ranch and my neighbor's newly beautifully landscaped back yard, which he has spent every available waking hour putting in this summer. I'd prefer to keep the coop out of his sight and stay on good terms.

    I appreciate the advice, but back to original question, still unanswered, "About how tall is a standard breed chicken?"

    moabdds
     
  6. nancypo

    nancypo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless they're free ranging all day 16 square feet really isn't enough for 3. We have 3 hens and started with 24 square feet and are actually enlarging it now for the cold winters when they won't be free ranging... I'd agree minimum 16" high...
     
  7. VVolfpack

    VVolfpack Out Of The Brooder

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    You may still have to clip wings even with a 6' fence, I didn't think I would have to till one day I went outside and noticed one of my hens in the other yard
     
  8. VVolfpack

    VVolfpack Out Of The Brooder

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    Just did a search and it looks like the average height of a standard size chicken is 10"-18"
     
  9. moabdds

    moabdds New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for your input. Since I have a totally enclosed back yard, I do intend to let the hens free range most days. I'm hoping they'll eat the bugs out my garden!

    We have relatively mild winters here, with an average day high temp in Dec. and Jan of 45 degrees F, so they'll be able to be outside almost every day, even in the winter. I don't intend to keep them "cooped up" all the time. The enclosed run will be for times that I am away and they wouldn't be safe from predators. I have trapped more than one skunk in my yard, so I know they are an issue. We possibly have raccoons as well, but not sure. I know they live in the area, just not sure if they've located my back yard yet. Will raccoons climb the run fence? I am planning to have a wire top on the run, just in case.

    moabdds
     
  10. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop is 4'x8'x4' and I made it 24" off the ground. This way the Gals have a nice place underneath for their sand baths. But the entire run as you can see is filled with a base of 3 inches of sand so they can pretty much do that anywhere.

    [​IMG]
     

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