Raised Coop Questions

calista

Songster
9 Years
Jan 27, 2010
482
7
121
Our 10x20 coop is being built modular, with all pieces assembled by using no nails, just screws and washers so we can disassemble it if we move or choose to relocate it in a different part of the two acres we have. A 3-foot-high wood frame out of 4x4's on the corners as a base will allow the flock space to get out of the rain and take dust baths.

Since we've never built a coop before (growing up, the "coop" was a corner of a falling-down and drafty old barn)
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we'd like to do this right the first time and would love feedback and pictures from those of you with raised coops. Here's our questions:

1. How many 4x4's should we use at each corner of the foundation frame to provide support for the building but also allow free access by the flock and also us when we have to crawl under there for some reason?

2. How should the coop itself be secured to the foundation frame, other than heavy-duty screws? Is there a better method?

3. At what angle should the chicken-door ramp be built to encourage use? (It being 3 feet off the ground...)

4. At what angle should the people-door ramp be built, to accommodate easy wheelbarrow usage through the extra-wide barn-style door we are building?

5. What surface should be applied to the people-ramp door for traction? That paint-with-sand-in-it stuff? (You can tell why we're having this built for us.)
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6. How should the people-ramp be attached to the coop. Hinges? (We plan to have the chicken-door ramp hinged, to lock up and over the entrance at night.)

We never have to use a search engine for answers to any of our chicken questions, as the vast knowledge and helpfulness of 50,000 chicken fanatics here KNOWS IT ALL!
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Thanks for your immediate input. (They're buying the Sun-Tuf corrugated panels to put up the roof this weekend, and the chicks arrive from Murray McMurray to take up residence in their refrigerator carton brooder to be set up in the new coop on March 21st!)
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teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
174
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
Wow...I wish I could help, but I'm having a hard time visualizing what you've described. So is the 10 x 20' the run???? And the run is 3 ft. tall??? And when you mention "barn style doors," is that the actual housing part of the coop? And which part is raised? I do apologize for not "getting it," but I think that my be why folks haven't been able to help you yet. More exact info. would be great!
 

calista

Songster
9 Years
Jan 27, 2010
482
7
121
Sorry, I'll post pix later to help visualize what I'm talking about, but here's more details:

1. The coop itself is 10x20 feet, with 6-foot walls. We were determined to have it BIG enough if we wanted to add to the flock and easy to care for, since it's "people-sized."

2. We're not sure yet how much we'll be fencing in for the separate attached run, but it will be a double one (to rotate each garden season, like the Silviera design).

3. The WHOLE coop will be raised 3 feet on the wood-block foundation. The chickens will have their own door and ramp, and we will have ours.

4. The area under the coop will be dirt mixed with sand and peat moss. Hardware cloth will separate it into two sections, one for each run.

I hope this helps. If not, I'll get those pictures up soon and ask for help then! Thanks for your input, as we often see things so clearly in our minds, that we forget to add the details to let someone else see clearly, too.
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Oakville Shooter

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 13, 2010
41
2
22
Appomattox, VA
I understand what you are doing here, I am just not sure how mobile it will be. 10X20 is a large structure. I am in the process of building a 12X24' coop myself, so I have a pretty good idea of the size.

I raised mine about 2 feet on the people door end. The ground slopes away, so it is 3+ feet off the ground on the far end.

How are you planning on moving the sections? Sliding? Picking them up? Manually or with machinery?

What are you building with? I have 2X8's on 2 foot centers covered with 3/4 treated plywood for the floor. I could have used 2X6's, but the 2X8's were salvaged from a deck that I tore down for my mom last year. The walls are framed with 2X4's on 2 foot centers. I am using 5/8" T1-11 on the sides and go up to 8' on the walls with an A frame or gable roof. With 2x4 rafters and then 2X4's running perpendicular to the rafters for the metal to screw to, the roof is fairly substantial as well. My point being that the sections will have to be pretty small to be movable, unless you are using machinery to do it. I would also think that everything would have to be braced really solid on individual sections so that they will stay together during each move which would add to the weight again.

How are you going to keep the roof from leaking in the seams between the sections? If you overlap the panels, it will make it harder to move. If you don't overlap them, you will have water get through.

As far as the posts to hold it up, I put 5 down each side. I used treated 6X6's on the four corners and in the middle, and 4X6's between. So on each side, I have a 6X6 on the corner, one at 12', an one on the end corner. 4X6's at 6 and 18 feet. 4X4's would have been fine, and I would not have needed anymore posts. I just used the larger lumber because I already had it on hand left over from another project. I planted the posts 2-3' deep and set in Quickcrete. I attached the 2X8 frame to the 6X6 posts using 16D nails and 1/2"X6" lagbolts. I set the 4X6's low enough that the frame sets on top of these.

You mentioned connecting the coop to a foundation. What are you using as a foundation, or are you talking about the 4X4 posts here? Are you planning on putting something under the 4X4's? If you are going to slide the sections, then you may want to use 4X4's laying down to act as runners. Otherwise the legs will make sliding very difficult. Also, what type of siding are you going to use on the coop?

Another problem that I see is being able to level the coop from one spot to another. If your land is fairly flat or level in the areas that you want to put the coop, you may be able to make this work. Otherwise, I see a nightmare trying to get everything to line back up and be level when you put it back together.

What I decided to do with mine is to have an 8X12 storage area/brooding area on one end. The people door will enter here. Then the remaining 12X16 will be the actual coop. I don't want to have to carry all of the old or new litter through the storage area. So what I did was frame an opening in the back wall of the coop area. It is 4' wide and maybe 3 1/2 to4' tall. I will use the piece of siding that I cut out of this to make the door. It will be hinged at the top and fold straight up and hook at the top. This way I can get a cart or wheel barrow up to it, yet keep it on the ground. I will use this door to remove the old litter and add the new. This may work for you as well and then you won't have to frame in the large barn style door. Then you can just make a step or two and not have to build a ramp. To get a heavy wheel barrow up or down a ramp to a height of three feet, I would make it at least eight feet long. And it will need to be braced from the bottom.

Will your roof be an A frame or a shed style? You mentioned 6' walls. If going with a shed roof, then you will need the front to be higher than the back for drainage. Maybe 8' in front, 6' in back? And if you will use an A frame, the peak of the roof will be in the 8' range.

How windy is it where you live? Raised 3' off the ground, your roof will be around 11' high. It may not be a problem, but I would be concerned about not anchoring the posts in the ground. A 20' wall 8' tall is a lot of surface area. With a strong wind, it may be possible for the coop to be moved. Maybe even rolled over if the wind is strong enough.

Are you going to attach a run as well or will they totally free range? If using a fenced run, I assume that you will be moving this as well?

I am really not trying to be discouraging, I am just posting some problems/issues that I see. If you really want it to be mobile, then by all means do it. Maybe misunderstood some things. I am just thinking about how I would move mine, and the answer is easy. It aint happening. It simply weighs too much and getting sections small enough to handle would mean pretty small sections. If you are using lighter materials than I did, then it may be doable.

I would suggest laying things out on paper and get a materials list. Then decide how big you think each section should be for it to be mobile. Then get the needed materials for one section together and put in a pile. Then see if it will be feasible to move that amount of weight. Keep in mind that the ends will be small sections since they will have the extra 10' worth of siding on the end.
 

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