Oct 24, 2020
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Hi - I am designing a coop for my backyard and live in an area with cold, snowy winters. My thought was that instead of having a door to the outside with a permanent ramp, that I would have part of the floor drop away to become the ramp. When the chickens were put up for the night, I'd pull the ramp up. When I went out in the morning, I'd drop the ramp down. I would never be able to use one of those automatic coop door openers but was just wondering if anyone had tried this. I am trying to find a way to have the ramp be covered so that if it is raining or snowing, the chickens can still go down the ramp out of the weather. (I am planning to have the coop about 3' off the ground with open space underneath so they can go outside without getting wet.) Any thought or ideas?
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
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Feb 14, 2016
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I have a ramp that folds up against the coop for the night. I don't fold it up unless it is -30F for weeks on end, then I open it in the mornings. I do have a cover run to keep out the rain and snow.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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I think I understand what you are trying to do. You re pretty clear but I had to read it twice to catch on, and that's after plenty of coffee. That's on me, not you. You want a section of the floor to drop down and become the ramp. I personally don't like those openings in the floor, they feel awkward. You have to build a lip around it to keep bedding from falling out. That lip could mess up cleaning and access.

If the coop is 3' of of the ground, the ramp needs to be at least 5 feet long so the slope isn't too steep, even with cleats to help their feet get a grip. How many chicken are you talking about and how big do you plan to make the coop? I understand the concern of creating more space for your winters. Snow is not the only consideration, they don't like a cold wind either. And snow can blow in from the side. I think you should be looking at a wind block as well as a snow cover.

You probably plan on having that floor opening to be fairly narrow. Unless you have chickens that can't fly like Silkies or Frizzles, they can easily fly up three feet but they need enough room to be able to spread their wings and fly, You probably won't have that. If you decide to use an opening in the floor of the coop you might consider reducing the size and using steps instead of a ramp. They can easily hop up a stair made from cinder blocks.

Again, how big will it be? If you plan a walk-in, I'd personally want it on ground level, maybe even with a dirt floor. If it is a reach-in where you can't get yourself inside it probably should be elevated. My grow-out coop is elevated, I prefer a normal pop door in the side instead of underneath. Like I said that just feels awkward. I'd think you'd be better off covering at least part of the run, and don't forget wind block. I'm thinking more about your comfort and ease working out there. Your comfort and convenience is really important.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
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I think I understand what you are trying to do. You re pretty clear but I had to read it twice to catch on, and that's after plenty of coffee. That's on me, not you. You want a section of the floor to drop down and become the ramp. I personally don't like those openings in the floor, they feel awkward. You have to build a lip around it to keep bedding from falling out. That lip could mess up cleaning and access.

If the coop is 3' of of the ground, the ramp needs to be at least 5 feet long so the slope isn't too steep, even with cleats to help their feet get a grip. How many chicken are you talking about and how big do you plan to make the coop? I understand the concern of creating more space for your winters. Snow is not the only consideration, they don't like a cold wind either. And snow can blow in from the side. I think you should be looking at a wind block as well as a snow cover.

You probably plan on having that floor opening to be fairly narrow. Unless you have chickens that can't fly like Silkies or Frizzles, they can easily fly up three feet but they need enough room to be able to spread their wings and fly, You probably won't have that. If you decide to use an opening in the floor of the coop you might consider reducing the size and using steps instead of a ramp. They can easily hop up a stair made from cinder blocks.

Again, how big will it be? If you plan a walk-in, I'd personally want it on ground level, maybe even with a dirt floor. If it is a reach-in where you can't get yourself inside it probably should be elevated. My grow-out coop is elevated, I prefer a normal pop door in the side instead of underneath. Like I said that just feels awkward. I'd think you'd be better off covering at least part of the run, and don't forget wind block. I'm thinking more about your comfort and ease working out there. Your comfort and convenience is really important.
I completely missed the mention of wanting the ramp to come out of the floor... that was my fault!
Have you looked into the cool different ladders people make, they look like spiral stairs. With this you could make a door in the floor and remove the door to allow the flock to use the stairs.
 

woodworm

Songster
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May 31, 2015
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My Coop
You could minimise some of it by building it a bit like a loft hatch? Raise the height of the hatch by ~4" so that the bedding doesn't go above it? I know they will kick some over it but it might help?

1603734973164.png


caveat - this might be a stupid idea and you're probably better off with a roof over that part of the run :)
 

the old rooster

Chirping
May 19, 2014
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86
Hi - I am designing a coop for my backyard and live in an area with cold, snowy winters. My thought was that instead of having a door to the outside with a permanent ramp, that I would have part of the floor drop away to become the ramp. When the chickens were put up for the night, I'd pull the ramp up. When I went out in the morning, I'd drop the ramp down. I would never be able to use one of those automatic coop door openers but was just wondering if anyone had tried this. I am trying to find a way to have the ramp be covered so that if it is raining or snowing, the chickens can still go down the ramp out of the weather. (I am planning to have the coop about 3' off the ground with open space underneath so they can go outside without getting wet.) Any thought or ideas?
if your designing the Coop then I take it is not built at this time , I would suggest a Porch and a door that the chickens could exit the Coop and go on the porch then down a Ladder at 20 to 30 degrees slope they could just fly off the porch and hop (climb) the ladder , I believe that will help your design ( the porch will have a roof and sides to be free of ( Rain, Snow ,Ice) South exposure will get sunlight (heat) that will help keep the Porch clear and dry.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
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My Coop
You could minimise some of it by building it a bit like a loft hatch? Raise the height of the hatch by ~4" so that the bedding doesn't go above it? I know they will kick some over it but it might help?

caveat - this might be a stupid idea and you're probably better off with a roof over that part of the run :)
I know for the illustration you're just showing ramp closed, ramp open, but even with this fixing some of the bedding issues, you still would likely end up with either a too steep, or too tight ramp (where the chickens may brush their heads against the opening as they come up). I personally don't like ramps, is it obvious? :) Steps eat up less horizontal space and seem easier for birds to use.
 

woodworm

Songster
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2015
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North Wales, UK
My Coop
That's interesting - I couldn't decide whether to have a ramp or a ladder and went with the ramp (based on no rationale at all!). It's now only day 3 of chicken ownership for me so I'm still waiting to see if they work it out :) My ramp is out the front, not the bottom like the OP is planning.
 

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