Under Deck Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Xanthro, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Xanthro

    Xanthro Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    I'm thinking of building a Coop under my deck. We live in Southern California, and the summer heat can be extreme, this is one of the coolest places in the yard.

    The size available would be 8'x12'x3.5' with external egg collection, and paths to runs on two sides of the house, west side for winter and south side for summer. (Southern side is very shaded by two large oak trees and the garage, and is by far cooler than the west side)

    The deck underside is already wired and has water.

    The only issue I can see, is that it would be cramped to get in with the birds. In terms of reaching feeders and water sources, this is easy, there's a walkway that allows a person to stand upright on the edge of where the run would be. (Basement access)

    This area is already predator proof, it has 2' concrete footings all around and 6 inches of gravel on the bottom.

    Are there any issues that would prevent use of the space? Turning the deep litter won't be a problem, and the layout is such that I can remove the droppings board from outside the coop.
  2. WA4-Hpoultrymom

    WA4-Hpoultrymom Never enough coops...

    Feb 5, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    My Coop
    Well if you use the deck very much, it may be smelly, especially with the heat of southern CA. Also, lots of times coops draw mice/rats, I'm assuming your deck is attached to your house, and I know I wouldn't want to draw rats/mice closer to the house. Other than that, sound ok to me!
  3. St-Hubert

    St-Hubert Chicken Convert

    Apr 6, 2010
    Anniston, AL
    Welcome from Alabama!

    I did the under-deck coop/run thing as well, and so far it seems to be working alright:

    The one major drawback IS the height on the inside....I am 6'1" and the lowest point in the run is about 5'6" or so....so there is a lot of hunkering-over. It's been worth it, though, as I have what I think is a very secure home for my girls.

    I'd love to see photos of yours if you decide to go this route!
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    My first thought was that it could get pretty stinky if you actually like to sit on the deck.
  5. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Butterfly bushes!! It has been the only thing that I have found that can help cover the smell of the run! They can grow 15ft or taller (I cut mine back to 3 ft this year and they are already back up at 10ft) They love the heat and you don't have to water them hardly at all. Actually too much care kills them. Don't mulch them! Cover them with some stones or broken pots and they will be fine!
  6. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    How are you planning to clean a 3.5' tall space? Chickens can generate a hefty amount of poop/waste that needs to be cleaned regularly (removed and composted). It will stink, draw flies and rats, and annoy your neighbors.

    Giving them shade is a good idea, but allowing them to run around under a very short deck is not the best way to do that.

    Could you MS Paint a sketch of your proposed set-up?
  7. Xanthro

    Xanthro Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    Quote:There is a stairway down to the basement that forms one side of the proposed area. I'll create a box footing that covers the floor and has 8" walls, inside this area I'll have DM and Pine shavings. I can literally stand up and the coop floor will be at my chest level, so raking and turning the deep litter should be easy.

    Most of the roost pop will be caught by the dropping board, which can be removed from the other side of the deck. It will slide right out to the compost area for removal.

    The chickens will have access to an 240 sq' outdoor run, the under deck area is simply for sleeping.

    It would be exceedingly hard for rodents to get inside, the area is very sealed.
  8. Xanthro

    Xanthro Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    Quote:How much sun do they need? It's exceedingly shady in one area, and something that can grow under California Oaks would be great. You're not supposed to water much under the oaks, either.
  9. Xanthro

    Xanthro Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    Quote:Loved the pictures. A little different than what I'm planing, only the coop will be under the deck, the run will be outside, but your pictures gave me some more ideas.

    I'm jealous, you have two Welsummers.
  10. TurkeyMountainChickens

    TurkeyMountainChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
    Central Virginia
    If you do put the coop under the deck, don't use the whole space. You'll never be able to get under there to clean it out!

    Maybe you could make a coop that was long and skinny - 3x12 or 3x8 going along one side of the deck. Then you could still clean it without having to crawl under.

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