Value in chicken coop height?


8 Years
May 16, 2011
Euless, TX
I am about to begin construction of my coop (my 6 chicks will arrive the week of June 13th!) and I am looking at different designs and such, trying to weigh out cost, size, materials, etc. So, I am wondering how important it is to have a coop with a run that is human accessible vs the shorter run designs that I have seen. I keep looking at the coop pages on BYC and it seems like a pretty good mix of tall and shorter.

Just thought I would open up a thread to discuss pros and cons of different coop design options. Thanks!
My run is a walk in. I definitely wanted to be able to stand up in there to save my back
My coop, however, is not. It is small and raised with a large clean out door (again, easy on the back).
Well, if you are going to have 6 chickens you prolly ought to have a MINIMUM run size of at least 6x10 or 4x15. Six feet is on the borderline of too wide to have convenient hinged-top access; four feet is fairly well within the realm of having it be reasonable that way. But, if you are going to go with the minimum-size run, then I'd say you kind of have your choice.

If OTOH you want to make your run any bigger than that -- to give them more-ample space, to reduce future sanitation problems, or to allow room for more possible chickens in the future -- then it will almost right away get too big to be really feasible for hinged-top access, and you'd almost HAVE to go to walk-in height.

Note that hinged-top designs (where the run is only 3' tall or so) really don't save you THAT much money. They force you to put a good strong wire top on and it really is safer if it's also fairly small mesh (whereas walk-in size runs can be topless, or net-topped, or 2x4-wire-topped), and all they save you is a *little* money on shorter posts plus the cost of 3' x total-length-of-run-fence fencing material. THey also make it quite a lot harder to add sand or gravel to the run if you ever want to someday.

I'm not against them, as such, and I think that in some circumstances they make very good sense. I'm just trying to outline what I see as the sometimes-not-obvious pros and cons.

Note that there are really THREE (not just two) types of run options -- rectangular wood-framed short (3-4' high) run with hinged top or side panels to allow access, or rectangular wood-framed walk-in height run, or hoop-style walk-in height run (cattle panels are more durable but pvc-with-wire-over-it is also an option)

Good luck, have fun,

I originally designed my coop and run 6ft hight but decided I was going to save my back the trouble and went with 8 ft high. Good thinking on my part because when I come to visit with my girls i can just hang out inside without having to crouch. here are some pics.


Our coop/run is 5 ft tall. I am only 5'2", so it's kind of nice for me. The original plan was only 4' high, I figure I didn't want to kill my neck. We didn't go higher than 5 ft because I don't want the neighbors to see our coop, and also the cost would jump and we were going to run into excess/waste material. Our coop is only 4x8, we only have 3 chickens. If I could go bigger, I would. We based our design on how tall we are and what our budget was.

Good luck.


Mine is high enough off the ground that I don't have to squat to clean. I can rake out the shavings right into the wheelbarrow without reaching or stooping.
I have a walk-in run and a reach-in coop (I can climb in if i NEED to...) I (we) also built it high enough up so that the space under the coop is used to store feed, grit, oyster shell, D.E., shavings, etc.
I just built a new coop this year.

I would say human height is best. My old coop was way to low and it was a gong show
every time you needed to get in there to clean it out. It was also ground level so there was lots of bending.

My new coop has a full sized man door. My only concern about this coop is the heat rising to the top. It gets very wintery here. I left the old coop in case i have to move them in there for the winter. For now it make a great place to store feed and supplies.

So yeah human size it for ease of human access. or construct in such a way that reduces bending. (my first mistake)
I have a dog run I am going to use..I really like your coop deign. We are abandoning our coop that I built 3 yr ago due to a chicken tick problem, hence the dog run. Do you have plans for your coop? I need to use as little wood as possible and will probably use milk crates for nest boxes, but love your access doors and roosting system.
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