Q from a first timer who doesn't know a Holland from a Leghorn....


9 Years
Jun 14, 2010
A friend is giving me 4 small-breed chickens (sorry, can't remember the breed), so I'll be building something for them in my back yard. I have a covered deck that's raised about 3.5' off the ground. It's fairly big - about 6' x 30' in an "L" shape. I'd like to just build some nesting boxes and a roost under there. The deck is trimmed out, so while there are small (1" or so) gaps in the siding around it, it's pretty much enclosed save for a spot for me to get in under it. The back yard is fenced and the chickens will have the run of the yard. Here's my question(s): Will the chicken poop from the nesting boxes and roost stink bad enough where we'll notice it when we're on the deck? I live in Spokane, and the winters are typically pretty cold, so do I need to build a coop around the boxes, or because the deck is pretty much enclosed, will a heat lamp work without a coop? I can build a door where the opening lets me go in under the deck if I need to. I'm looking forward to the eggs, but doing it more so because my 8 year old loves her friend's chickens and really wants some of her own.
Thanks for any advice and suggestions.


9 Years
Apr 17, 2010
I see no one has replied yet so thought I'd give you a bump along. I searched for deck coop and came up with this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=151686&p=1
like it might have some answers for you.

I have thought of doing something similar but I have rethought it because in summer the flies were a real issue and I don't want to encourage them nearer the house than necessary.


11 Years
May 19, 2009
Richfield, Summit Co.,Ohio
Your deck floor will be the chickens ceiling, right? Unless your deck is a solid surface, your birds will continually get rain dripping into their home with each storm. I would suggest a structure (like a child's clubhouse) to be kept under the deck as their coop. Make sure this structure can be made secure from predators. Also make it easy to access, because you will have to clean it out on a regular basis. If cleaned regularly, the coop isn't that smelly, but after time, it does have an "animal home" odor...not everyone finds that offensive, but some people are more sensitive to smells than others. JMO


11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
I grew up in CdA - wondering how you're going to access it if you get as much snow as you guys got two winters ago.... it would be buried. 3.5 ft. isn't very high.

IMO I'd build a real coop. One with a solid roof to keep them warm/dry. Also, when it's humid/raining/moist, that poo is going to smell bad, so you probably don't want it under the deck. But I gotta hand it to you -- it would be easier.

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