Recessed Floor Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Christy85, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Christy85

    Christy85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Below are some pictures of my chicken coop, it came with the house. It needs some serious work, but I was curious about the below grade floor, because I've never seen anything like it.

    When you open the door to the coop you have to step down about a foot. I've included some pictures that show the poured concrete around the edge of the walls, this is below the outside ground level. I'm not sure how deep that concrete goes, it is something we will have to investigate this spring.

    The coop approximately is 14 x 22 feet as measured from the outside. The inside of the North side is about 5 feet tall, while the inside of the South side (not the peek of the roof) is about 8 feet tall.

    I think it is a chicken coop anyway, based on the laying boxes and the large South facing windows. It might have been repurposed from something else?? It's old, maybe 50-80 years old, but it's still standing so we're going to see what we can do with it.


    Outside:

    [​IMG]

    Inside:

    [​IMG]


    If anybody has any information they can provide, I would be most appreciative. Thanks!
     
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  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    ive never seen anything like it but it is pretty awesome. only 2 things came to mind. cold storage or it sank over time.[​IMG]
     
  3. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMO the floor was underpinned to increase ceiling height. I have seen this a lot in the basements of old homes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Underpinning is also the only thing that I can think of with a sunken floor. They likely dug down to add a foundation or supports for failing walls from unstable soil. Typical in old homes but pretty odd for the small size shed shown. Perhaps it had a wood joist floor that was removed?

    I would for sure build up the floor with soil or wood floor joists. At times of heavy rain, the water will seek the lowest grade and your shed will have standing water unless the grade is sloped away from all exterior walls. At the very least you can add deep bedding material to prevent a muddy coop.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    That's a great old building!! Looks pretty solid inside from the pics...no rot or massive water staining.

    Hard to say why the floor's lower.....do some digging along that foundation come spring, see what's what, if it's just dirt or there's a concrete floor under there.
    Check to roof good and see how rain water flows around the building before deciding the next step.

    Did you just move there?

    What a great blank slate to start a chicken concern upon!!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    In North Dakota I wonder if they did that for insulation purposes or something like that, something to conserve heat?

    Freezing/thawing soil could cause the foundation to be unstable too, maybe that factored in.

    Maybe they dug it out to get more headroom to walk in there?

    It could have easily been repurposed, either from some temporary living area, maybe storage, maybe an animal shelter?

    It looks like a find for you.
     
  7. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    If there was some forethought into the underpinning they may have installed some sort of weeping system for water that accumulates. I would definitely install a good rain gutter system to divert as much water as you can.
     
  8. Christy85

    Christy85 Out Of The Brooder

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    North Dakota
    Thanks for all the responses.

    This will be our second Spring on this property. Year #1 was dedicated to vegetable gardening and home improvement projects.

    My plan is to use deep litter rather than installing a floor, but I will be sure to check the grade surrounding the building once I get the chance. I will also be checking the floors periodically through thaw to see if anything is getting wet. I haven't seen anything wet in there so far. I would like to install a guttering system to capture water though.

    I was also thinking of dividing it in half with a chicken wire wall, so we would have the ability to get in and out without being ambushed. Having two sections could come in handy to separate one of the birds if they were injured. I'd also like to build a run. Projects, projects, projects.

    We'll see what we come up with... we've got a solid 6 weeks of winter left so none of this is happening tomorrow. Continued suggestions are welcomed.
     
  9. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A big covered run outside the building would be great so that the birds could get out for fresh air as they wish. A fenced off area inside the shed would also be a great idea and a good place to store feed/supplies. A gutter into a pickle barrel (rain barrel) or such would be a nice way to have available water. I use mine during the warm months to fill water containers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Loghousemom

    Loghousemom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an old coop almost exactly like yours that was on our property when we bought it as well! What part of the state are you in? I am almost smack dab central. I can tell that parts of my coop had the underpinned floor, but it was rotted out over the years. (I have found the boards during clean outs.). I use a deep litter and have had no problems with the exception of one winter where we had an exceptional amount of snow with a crazy wet spring. Then there was some wetness on one side of the coop, but we just closed that side off. I am doing some landscaping out there this year to help prevent that happening again because now I do use both sides of the coop.
     

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