to raise or not to raise the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by feralhound, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. feralhound

    feralhound Out Of The Brooder

    39
    13
    39
    Apr 21, 2016
    Jax, FL
    Hi there, I'm just looking into getting chickens, I've never owned any but have taken care of my old bosses' chickens. I'm looking forward to building my own coop in the next couple of months, and was planning on having the coop and run detachable so I could move it on my dad's flatbed trailer whenever I move- not in the near future though.

    But basically I would like to know if there is a reason why I see all these coops raised off the ground, and if I need to have it raised? My ideal coop would be big enough that I could walk into it to clean it, and it looks like it could be pretty difficult if the coop is raised. Also I don't know if a raised coop is more work because it's not on dirt floor and I don't think you could use the deep litter method, though I do kind of like the idea of using linoleum flooring (and I'll be adding a poop board under the roosting perches).

    The coop will still be enclosed with ventilation, and I'm not really worried about "winterizing" too much (I live in Northeast FL, no snow, gets below freezing maybe a handful-dozen times but usually never for the whole day, and my old boss just used heat lamps which worked well with her flock), so not sure if that played a part on the raised coop or not.

    Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,505
    25
    201
    Jun 23, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    I know I like to keep my coops off the ground just because when the wood gets wet and stays in the ground it starts to rot. I bet there is a way around this, though, maybe some kind of special coating. If you did do dirt flooring, make sure you lay some chicken wire or hardware around the edge of the coop to keep predators from digging in.
     
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,220
    467
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    If you are going to have a wood floor, And that sounds like what you will have, as you want to move the coop around, raise it. The reason you see coops raised, is so you can see what is going on under there. Mice, rats, and who knows what just love an enclosed space, out of sight, from where they can launch all kinds of mayhem. You don't have to raise it to the moon, just get it up over a foot or so high. You want access under there. It's nothing to add a couple of steps to help get in the coop. I have a raised walk-in 8X16' coop, with a wood floor. It's sits on a slope, so it's just over a foot high on one side, and just about two ft high on the other. My coop has, what could be called a modified deep litter system in it. The litter/bedding gets over a foot or so deep under the roosts, in between cleanings, (Twice a year). It is VERY easy to clean out. I back my truck up to the door, and shovel everything out, using an old coal shovel. Fast and easy.

    Oh, and you are in Fla, unless you have chicks, FORGET the heatlamps. They just run up your electric bill, and could (It's happened many times) burn you coop down.
     
  4. josher57

    josher57 Out Of The Brooder

    41
    11
    26
    Feb 26, 2016
    Alabama
    [​IMG]

    I raised mine for a couple reasons.

    I'm not bent over cleaning out the coop.

    Extra floor space in the run.

    Shady spot to relax.

    Shady spot for their food and water.
     
  5. feralhound

    feralhound Out Of The Brooder

    39
    13
    39
    Apr 21, 2016
    Jax, FL
    Ah thank you all! I understand with the rotting wood and mice and such, now that I think about it I see small mice tunnels going under the walls of my boss's chicken "coop" (which is basically a hollowed out small horse stall with only three sides to it).

    Has anyone raised their coops on those large gray cinder blocks? I think that would be probably easiest, especially now mentioning the wood rot, cinder blocks won't rot being on a **** ground when it rains. And would be easier to move when the time comes (I'm currently renting, though no worries they didn't care when I built the catio on the front porch as long as nothing is attached).

    Oh and JackE thanks for the input on the lamps! Good to know, I'm still trying to do a lot of research! :)
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,220
    467
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    That's what my coop is sitting on.
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi,

    My coops so far have been raised as way of providing sun/rain protection both for the birds and feeder. I haven't used cinder blocks. But the legs were pressure treated wood to help prevent rot with a standard brick paver at the base of each leg. It also help to maximize your space if you don't have a huge yard.

    My next coop will be raised with those cement pillar bases. Not sure if that's what your describing. The kind that hold up patios and such.

    Sounds like you have and are researching and coming up with what will work best for you. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and it sounds like you know what you want/need and I'm sure you will be successful!

    Also, we have been below freezing several times ( not severe, several hours in the 20's). Outside waters were frozen in the mornings. Chickens usually don't need heat unless they are young or maybe certain breeds. Some chickens are susceptible to frost bite on their combs. I have seen chickens running around in the snow like it was no big deal. So some are cold hardy while others are heat tolerant. You can probably research the hardiness of the breeds your planning and make adjustments as necessary.

    That beings said, I have little experience and I'm sure there will be plenty of people here that can give you sound experienced advice.

    Hope you have a great adventure!
     
  8. Crazy1Chickens

    Crazy1Chickens New Egg

    2
    1
    8
    Aug 16, 2015
    [​IMG]
    I have mine 2 1/2 feet above ground. Almost done now. I like it above so the wood wont get wet and also so the chicks will be able to go under for more room.
     
  9. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    While it should be raised above the ground to prevent rotting (if the floor is made of wood), but I don't think it has to be raised very high. For the past three years now the older half of my coop has been sitting on five pavers, one under each corner and one in the center and the 3/8" plywood floor still feels solid.
    [​IMG]

    Granted, it's not "Walk-in-able" but the concept is the same.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by