Is a raised coop better than a...........

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bantimna, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Bantimna

    Bantimna Songster

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    Please help. I don't know if I should make a coop off the ground or one thats on the ground.

    Please say what type coop you have.
    And is raised better than on the ground.

    Thank you
    I need your help!

  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Its really a matter of preference. Things to consider are ease of cleaning, the amount of space you have, and your weather.

    If you are going to have one off the ground, it should be small enough to clean without entering. For instance, mine is eight by eight, with a large access door on each side, so with a hoe or rake I can easily reach the entire coop from outside. However, mine is a wire bottom coop, so that is seldom a problem. However, in colder weather, the chickens appreciate skirting around the bottom to avoid the drafts. Some people like to incorporate the area under the coop into their run, and it gives them more run area without taking up more space in their yard.

    Coops on the ground should be tall enough that you can clean without having to get down and crawl, or have special features, like walls or roofs that open. If you have cold weather and want to heat, a ground coop tends to be better to hold heat, also sometimes is cooler in summer if well shaded.
  3. jafo

    jafo Songster

    May 2, 2009
    And if I lived in So. Africa, I'd be concerned about snakes and what ever else you got down there with a taste for chicken,,,,,,,,[​IMG]
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    What can you tell us about your goals and conditions that would help us advise you? I'll probably forget something important but I'll try to come up with some questions.

    1. What breed and size of chickens? From your signature I'd guess bantams, but I don't like to assume.

    2. How many chickens do you plan to have? How many female and how many males?

    3. Do you plan on hatching and raising chicks?

    4. What is your climate? What I am asking is what is the coldest and hottest it can get, not the usual winter and summer temperatures but the once every ten to twenty years extreme temperatures. Also how much rain do you normally get? Do you get snow? Do you live in an area that gets very strong winds?

    5. Are you in an urban, suburban, or rural area?

    6. Will the coop be close to your house or further away? I'm thinking ease of maintaining it and potential smell problems.

    7. Will your chickens be allowed to roam your yard or field with few restrictions on how far they go or will they be restricted to a run?

    8. How big a coop and run do you plan?

    I think that is enough. I do not want you to put any personal information out over the internet so just answer in general. If you don't know or can't say, that is fine. Any information you can give will help.

    Hope you are enjoying your spring.
  5. Mr. Peepers

    Mr. Peepers In the Brooder

    Sep 7, 2009
    A raised coop has some advantages in that it can be more predator resistant, drier, provides shade and escape from the rain, and is easier to access; however, a raised coop may be a little more difficult to build, particularly as the size of the coop increases. I would say, that in general, if you're building a coop big enough for an adult to walk inside, a raised coop becomes less feasible.

  6. Schroeder

    Schroeder Songster

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    I have a 16x16 attached run, and a 6x6 area under the coop. If it is raining, windy or sunny/hot, the girls spend a lot of time underneath. It seems they feel more secure there when the weather is threatening. I insulated the underside, and then covered the insulation with hardware cloth to keep predators out and to prevent the chickens from pecking at the insulation.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  7. Momo

    Momo Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I have an 8x8' coop raised 2' off the ground with a well insulated floor and an attached 8x16' run. Because we get a LOT of snow here, the entire thing is covered with a high pitched metal roof. Raising the coop gave me an extra 64 sq ft of run beneath it without the expense and expanse of an extra 8' of roof, making the actual run size 8x24. The chickens love going under there when they feel threatened (e.g. when snow slides off the roof and they think the sky is falling). I have big doors at both gable ends of the coop so it's easy to clean.

    Those are the good points. The downside is that I find myself climbing into the coop all the time and because I can only stand up between the trusses I do a lot of crouching in there (and a lot of "ouch" when I mis-judge it). Ideally I would much prefer a walk-in coop, but because I had a limited area in which to build, this was a good compromise.
  8. poultrygeist

    poultrygeist Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    Hunterdon Cty. NJ
    I think that a raised coop is the way to go. It's so much more pred proof as mine is 30" off the ground. You would have to be the size of a medium bear to get high enough to try to get through the hardware cloth etc. A plus is the shelter above the run and the fact that the coop stays high and dry. I don't need to get in the coop as all my chores can be done from the outside. 30 sq. ' is plenty of space for 6 chickens. Hoped this helped, check it out at my BYC page.
  9. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    I really wanted a raised coop, but ended up getting one on the ground. I wanted it raised so that the chickens could go underneath it, for shade, so they could go outside in the rain, so in the winter there would be a portion of ground that didn't have deep snow on it etc. My husband wanted one built on the ground so if ever needed we could convert it to a shed (as if haha), he did build an overhang on it so I get what I wanted anyway [​IMG]

  10. kipper

    kipper Songster

    We prefer a raised coop for the same reasons already stated. We have our main coop, 8' by 12', which is a tall coop. After discovering we had a Black Jersey Giant for one of our roosters (our daughter couldn't even dream of turning him into Christmas dinner), we built a second coop for giant breeds. It is 4' by 8' and the base is 30" off the ground.

    It is very wet here in winter and can get somewhat hot for this area in summer. The raised construction on pressure treated posts helps avoid rot and provides shelter for chickens. Our posts are set in concrete. Our pen areas are covered since it rains so much, but in especially nasty weather the chickens can still go out under the coop. We do not get a hard freeze here like so much of the US, so I cannot speak to that, though I suspect that in most of South Africa (sub-tropic climate?) that should not be an issue.

    I've heard South Africa is beautiful. What breeds of chickens are commonly kept in your country?
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009

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