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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Oblio13, Oct 25, 2008.
(I'll just keep munching away on my popcorn till spring...)
or u could put the chickens run right on top of the roof.
Back in the days of the Pioneers who homesteaded on the Prairies they used to build into the banks of hills. Lumber was scarce and came at a high price. So building into a bank was the easiest way to maximize the land at a low cost. Eventually those who made a go of their farms and ranches built frame housing and used their old soddies as chicken coops, pig shelters, root cellars, and storage shelters.
You might want to also use some kind of waterproofing around the sides before you back fill. This will help cut down on the dampness inside of the structure.
Is it spring yet? Can't wait to see how this ends. No reason it won't work.
Ok, I guess its my time to chime in. I am so interested in this project because we did it ourselves. We built our coop up against a hill on top of ledge. We were going to just have a dirt floor until our neighbors, who were building a new garage at the time, had some left over concrete on the truck and asked us if we wanted it. Since we were building the coop entirely out of recycled materials all given to us we said why not. So, we formed up the spot and poured the concrete. After the coop was finished we had rain (this was back in July). A couple days later we discovered that there was a wet spot in one corner of the concrete floor where water apparently was weeping through. To remedy this we put in french drains and decided to build up the floor with plywood stacked on waterproof blocks just in case the drains didn't work. There is now a 4" gap between the concrete and the plywood floor. Everything seems to be working well. We see no water, there appears to be no dampness on the concrete but the humidity in the coop is high (98%). Other than using a humidifier does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do about this? A humidifier would only be a temporary solution anyway. Like trying to keep your basement dry. I guess what I really need to know is what will the high humidity do to the chickens? Winter is here now and we're trying to keep the coop off-grid.
Oops, I meant de-humidifier. Oh and yes, we did all the necessary vapor barriers around all sides. There is no water just high humidity.
Man I wish I had found this thread before I spent all that time building my coop. I've already got a large hole in the hill on one side of my property (wife not happy) that would have been a great start towards a coop. Oh well, the hole is still there, and I did tell my wife today I planned on expanding our chicken operation... Thanks for the idea!
We did it solely for the passive solar affect since the sun shines on that ledge in the winter. However, humidity seems to be an issue even though there is no water. Time will tell I guess. It's zero degrees right now with a wind chill of -16 and the coop is maintaining 20 with no additional heat. The coop is insulated with 2" foam board and I have their pop door open. However, it is cracked open just enough for them to slip through and I have hay packed around it w/ a plastic curtain covering the opening in the inside. They thought it was wierd at first but adapted well. Anyway, that was my solution to having to go out first thing in the morning to open the pop door.
I am just jumping into this thread, and I wish I had seen it earlier! We did a very similar thing for our goat/sheep shed, and it is working great! Only we used block and stone for the walls, so I am eager to see how well the wood works out. We left the dirt floor, too. We did install drainage of sorts around the bottom outside (several inches of gravel with a perforated pipe).
Our biggest concern was ventilation... and we did end up having to install a fan, even though the front is open (doors) during the day, and there are two small windows on the sides near the front end. But that's also because we lock them up in there at night for safety, so it gets pretty "saturated" during the night.
It stays much more moderate in there, temp wise, warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Your chickens will love it! My husband wants to build an earth shelter home for us!
How do you think he got the neighborhood kids to help. If you don't help me, when I get it done, that is where you are gonna live...bwwaahhhahhhaahhaaaaaa!!!