Suggestions for a coop built on an Incline....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickiemom1012, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Chickiemom1012

    Chickiemom1012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there-

    I currently have a playhouse coop I built this spring. But..... cinsidering my obsession with my girls I have decided to expand this spring. We have a steep incline behind our garage which is set up higher than our house (it's detached. So we have this hill we don't know what to do with. I was thinking I could build a long narrow coop, maybe 4 or 5 feet by 12, on stilts into the hill, and place the run higher up behind the coop towards the garage. It would be the perfect spot for them as we don't utilize that part of the yard, bu I am wondering if anyone has coop designs for this type of set up.

    Also wondering if I have to worry about the floor being off the ground for insulatin on the winter, I am in Green Bay WI. Any suggestiond would be awesome.

    Thanks Denine
    Happy thanksgiving!!
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Question about drainage- if you build there will you get runoff from the coop/run near your well?
    Would you need trenching and/or a french drain perhaps?

    We live on an inclined property of 5 acres, but all the animal business is downhill from the house, and at the time of building would have been required that way by the building codes and ag zoning laws...might be worth checking in your municipality.

    Pics might help!

    About raised buildings and insulation- you would definitely have to consider best way to make the floor predator proof and warm. You will have no ambient heat from the earth or insulation from snow...but sure, it can be done with attention to detail!
     
  3. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I built a coop on an incline, not as much as your sounds. I just sunk 4X4 pressure treated posts into the ground and then made my deck level. I used 10ft long posts, 2 foot in ground, 1-2 feet under the deck to the ground so the chickens could use the area under, and 6 foot for the inside so I could walk around inside without bumping my head. I built my walls and secured them to the posts. Like a pole barn. Or you can sink the posts in the ground and then make the deck on the top of the post and just make your walls and secure them to each other.

    Deep litter method will help insulate the bottom of the coop or you could surround the bottom with bales of straw.

    Some pics or the actuall grade/pitch will help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:How steep is "steep"?

    From a coop construction standpoint, you would want to build on sturdy posts set WELL INTO the ground... with a combination of Green Bay and steep slope I would suggest 5' deep, no kidding; if you can only physically dig a 4' hole, regrade to pile earth at least a foot higher all around the posts (for at least a 2' radius around each one, or over the whole footprint plus 2' around all 3 downhill edges). Erosion is likely to reduce post depth somewhat unless you really keep up with it, and if something on a hillside starts to heave (esp. if it heaves unevenly), difficult problems can arise [​IMG]

    For the run, you would need a way to terrace or stabilize the run so that when the chickens turn it into bare earth it will not erode in gulleys and start washing out. If it's much of a hillside, don't count on being able to keep mulch/sand/gravel/etc in place. If you think about building retaining walls, please look into how to build them properly (it is neither easy nor cheap), as "here, I will just cut the earth back to a vertical-ish bank and face that bank with timbers or cement blocks" totally does not last.

    If this is really a *steep* hillside, frankly I question how suitable it would really be, given the amount of work and expense required to deal with the earth stabilization issues... but only you can decide how badly you want a coop there [​IMG]

    BTW, if you don't mind going to some expense and engineering, one possibility to at least investigate would be building a VERY STRONGLY ENGINEERED earth-bermed coop (roof exposed, downhill wall exposed, side walls backing into the hill), its back cut into the hillside and the run to one side or downhill of it. Again this is not just "cut back the bank with a dozer and stack some timbers in and put on a roof and voila" -- you need to account for the pressure of the earth on the uphill side, and moisture wanting to come through *somewhere* as it flows downhill in the soil, and so forth. You would need a good waterproofing membrane and associated precautions, and VERY GOOD VENTILATION (it will be more condensatey and humid in there than in a normal coop), but if you want a Project, it would be interesting [​IMG]

    Also wondering if I have to worry about the floor being off the ground for insulatin on the winter, I am in Green Bay WI.

    Nah, that's no problem, just insulate the bejeebers out of it *and* use deep bedding and you will be fine.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Green Bay is colder than a....

    You'd really have to insulate a lot.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It's not going to be that different than an equal-sized coop built on the ground, though. (e.t.a. - given that this is a small and *narrow* coop being contemplated). The ground is a reservoir of heat for the first half of the winter but that won't help much in such a narrow coop and the ground is a fairly sucky *insulator*, so you would be needing almost as much insulation even if the coop WERE directly on the ground.

    Fortunately, loose shavings used as bedding are really quite a good insulator, and cheap, just pile them deep (like 1-2') and there ya go.

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  7. Chickiemom1012

    Chickiemom1012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Denmark
    The incline is not so steep that severe errosion is a problem, My run would have to be slanted but it should be OK without washing out. I was hoping to build a coop I could walk into, or at the ver least be able to reach far enough into to clean out easily, that's why I was going to go shallow and wide with the coop. There is also vegetation all around the area to keep things in place. It is currently woodchipped and they stay in place so I think I will be OK.

    I was planning on burying 4x4 posts and built up from there. I was wondering if anyone had pictures of a similar scenerio to use for reference. I have seen some on the coop pages but they are done with block foundations. I am willing to put some cash into it but I am NOT a mason nor do I want to hire one so posts it will be!!!!

    Thanks for all of the advice and any additional suggestions

    Thx Denine
     

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