Steps instead of ramp?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JennyDillyAnna, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. JennyDillyAnna

    JennyDillyAnna Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2010
    Durham, NC
    We are missing this one major piece of our coop, minus the cosmetics. A way for the ladies to get down from the coop to their run.

    Bottom of the door is about 3.5 to 4 feet high.
    The length of run is about 7 feet to the wall from the coop door.

    I bought an 8ft piece of wood to acheive a little less than 45 degree incline. I really don't like the way it looks or how much of the run space it takes up. And the board literally runs up to the wall of the pen.

    [​IMG]
    Coop by JennyDillyAnna, on Flickr

    I'm thinking of driving some supports (4x4s) deep into the ground and nailing platforms 8x6? onto them to create steps. Possibly taking them from the hen coop door and down towards the wall opposite the pen people door.

    {{Showing off my mad paint skills.}}
    [​IMG]
    Steps by JennyDillyAnna, on Flickr

    First off, is this even worth attempting or total bunk? If this is doable then.. What's a good, safe, and comfortable hopping height and distance for a full sized adult chicken? How big of a step is needed for them to comfortably get up and down? Also, if any of you have done this I'd love to see pictures.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I've used a stepstool type arrangement in my tractor. Worked real well. That was only <2' drop though.

    I don't really think you need as many platforms as pictured; I would suggest if at all possible finding household items you can use to (safely) mock things up and let the chickens test-drive the arrangement so you can fiddle around and see what'll be best before actually building anything permanent.

    Another possibility to consider; what about a half-ramp, or maybe even build it as half an open staircase. I mean, the reason a full ramp takes up so much run floorspace is because of the bottom end of it, right, which is not actually even *necessary*. So what if you built it at a plausible angle and then stopped it at about 18" above the ground, making sure that was a flat and broad enough area at the bottom to be an appealing landing/launching pad. Just built like a regular ramp or open stairs except ending on 18" 'legs' rather than at ground level. ? .

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. JennyDillyAnna

    JennyDillyAnna Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2010
    Durham, NC
    Quote:Love the idea of mocking up the steps.

    I thought about how to do a half ramp with an attractive/want to use landing pad, but since it would be in the middle of the coop seemed a little weird for making a sturdy base. I could swing a hanging sturdy base at the end of the half ramp.

    Is there any reason for 18"? Is that what most respective chickens can hop-fly?
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The base for the end of the ramp could just be 2 short posts sunk into the ground; or even a 'roost' type thing running all the way across the run and attached to the run fence structure at both ends.

    I say 18" because IME it's a good conservative number for a height they can *very easily* hop/flap up and down. You don't want them slipping and sliding if the bottom of the ramp or steps should be slippery from rain or ice some day. It's a kind of arbitrary number though. Most chickens could go higher, if you particularly wanted to. Just make sure the platform is large enough to accommodate some "imprecision" [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    My Coop
    I have a very tall coop at the top of a sloped area. the ramp is 8 feet long and still pretty darn steep.

    However, most of the roosters in this pen (large rooster pen) just come at it from the side and fly up to about halfway up the ramp and walk up the rest. I could probably just put a 'step' in front of the coop, about half as tall as the bottom of the coop, and it would work the same way.

    [​IMG]

    I think you coud easily make a "landing" of sorts...a platform just outside the chicken door for them to land on and then walk in. Then put a single "step" halfway between that distance and the ground. Your chickens should do just fine figuring it out.

    I have another coop with a ramp and most of those chickens just fly directly from the ground to the top of the ramp, again from the side. They just use the ramp to land on and then walk in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  6. JennyDillyAnna

    JennyDillyAnna Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2010
    Durham, NC
    Quote:Thanks for the information! Having a landing pad near the door and another about halfway sounds very doable.

    LOVE the picture of the rooster pen, with all the ladies on green grass checking out the studs on the other side.

    How big should a landing platform be?
     

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