New construction questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stormy, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Stormy

    Stormy Chirping

    Jun 7, 2008
    South Carolina
    I noticed some of you have your coop up off the ground. What is the rationale for this?

    Do I need to have wooden floors or can I leave the floor just a dirt floor?

    What size nesting boxes do I need to use?

    Thanks for any help and advise.

  2. k0xxx

    k0xxx Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    North Central Arkansas
    Off the ground keeps rats, mice and predators from burrowing under neath and into the coop. Mine also provides a shady place for the hens to go.
  3. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    For standard hens, you'll need to make the nest boxes 14x14.
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    You can leave it as a dirt floor but I would personally recommend against it if you have the option to make it wood.

    Leaving it dirt, IMO, makes it harder to keep clean and there is a real chance that a predator can dig underneath and get inside. If you need to leave it dirt then I would certainly use hardware cloth and bury it down the sides at least 18" and bend out the bottom end like a "L" to make it harder to dig past.

    One positive of using a dirt floor is that you can use the DLM (deep litter method) and it will actually start to compost.

    Having a wood floor (especially if you cover it with linoleum) is really easy to keep clean and is much, much harder for a predator to get into. Using the DLM is the best, again IMO, but it won't compost while inside the coop.
  5. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Hi Stormy,

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    2 of our coops are raised above the ground to provide a bit of additional run space and shade.

    They both have wood floors and we still need to add linoleum (for ease of cleaning, as Chirpy stated).

    Our main coop also has a wooden floor, covered with linoleum.

    We use the Deep Litter Method in all 3 coops but since they have wood floors, as opposed to dirt floors, no composting takes place.

    Plan on 1 nest box for each 4 - 5 hens and make sure you place the roosting poles higher than the nest boxes or you'll have trouble with your flock wanting to nest in them as chickens like to roost/sleep as high as possible.

    What breeds are you looking into? We have Bantams (as opposed to Standards) and absolutely love them!

    To keep predators from digging into our coops and runs, we've places a "skirt" of either hardware cloth or chicken wire around the perimeters and it has worked like a charm.


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