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Is it healthy to have a chicken pen below the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Peloplatino, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Peloplatino

    Peloplatino Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Statesboro, GA
    I posted this earlier under another title, but I have another question.

    I built a VERY sturdy play "fort" for my children about 20 years ago. Four upright 6" x 6" x 16' treated posts set 4' deep in concrete. Footprint of the "fort" is 8' x 8'. Floor of "fort" is 5' off the ground. There was a sand box underneath. I'm thinking of turning it into a chicken coop/run combo. I would enclose the sand box area with hardware cloth and install a door. I would build a ramp from the sand box area to the floor of the "fort" so the chickens could walk up to their coop. There is already a slot in the floor, next to the wall, 8'L x 22"W for the ramp.

    Is it healthy (for the birds) to house the chickens in a coop above the pen?
     
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Sounds like it would work to me. The coop above would serve as shading. You will be hunching down in the run if you are of average height though. How many birds are you thinking?
     
  3. Peloplatino

    Peloplatino Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Statesboro, GA
    I read somewhere (might have been at this site) to allow 8 sq. ft. of run per bird. This would be 64 sq. ft., so I guess 6 to 8 birds. Does that sound right?
     
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Should be Ok... I think 10sf/bird has also been used. If you are handy, you could extend that run out from one side another 8x8 ft. I high head clearance area of the run and a sun area would be nice.
     
  5. Peloplatino

    Peloplatino Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Statesboro, GA
    Thanks. I've seen some coop plans that provided a run under the coop, but was only 3' or so off the ground. Why should the floor of the coop be higher than 5'? If I have to get under there, I don't plan to stay long. [​IMG] I could certainly adjust the floor height upward to just about any height.
     
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Quote:
    I think you are fine with the existing coop height of 5'. Three feet high would not be fun to crawl around in and clean. I am just saying that a nice high run will allow you plenty of head room. I go into mine every day. It is a great place to feed and water or just visit with your birds. Mine have an opening from the run so that they can free-range in a 1 acre fenced in goat pen.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. TheCrazyChick

    TheCrazyChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recently enclosed with hardware cloth the space under my coop (4x6), putting a pop door in the floor of the above coop for chicken access.This is temporary until the weather breaks and I can build the large run (9x6). They seem to like it just fine. It IS however a pain that it is only 3 feet high, as the first night I had to crawl in on my belly in the dark to get them back up into the coop for the night. Not fun, as I had to maneuver around the ladder, a roost, 7 chickens ... and chicken s*&t. I was not happy. The next night they came in all on their own. (I think they were afraid that I would crawl in there with them again and scream more bloody murder.)
     

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