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Vertical height for a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by maclady, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. maclady

    maclady Songster

    Jan 28, 2011
    Lost in Space
    Is there a recommended height that a coop should be? I am planning 4' x 4' to get 16 square feet for coop floor. I'm getting 4 Buff Orpington chicks Feb 19th and want to have this figured out and started by then. One plan I looked at is movable. It has 2 nest boxes attached but is only 3 feet tall. The other is not movable and it also has 2 nest boxes attached but it is 5 feet tall in front and at the rear it is 4 feet tall (slanted flat roof). I just want the chickens to have enough room when they are full grown to be happy. Their run area is 4'x10' so I think that is big enough. They will also get out if the coop isn't movable so they can get fresh grass/bugs. Or worse case I will just do a movable pen for in the yard. Any help would be appreciated greatly. Oh I also live in the south where it is hot hot hot in summer and definitely cold this winter. Thank you in advance.[​IMG]

  2. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Most people would have the coop height to be easiest for the person cleaning and servicing it, i.e. 6' minimum. That way you do not have to bend or stoop over to accomplish any task. It is the biggest mistake that I made with my coop, building it on the ground. Now my back [​IMG] [​IMG] every time I feed or water or clean the thing! And then I [​IMG] [​IMG] as well. Just some experience I've had. Hope that it helps! [​IMG]
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I love my big coop. 8 X 10 X 10 feet high. Makes cleaning easier.

    I also have two 4 X 10 X 5 feet high pens. Pain in the you know what to clean.... I make my kids do those... they're smaller.
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I would raise the coop off the ground and split one wall in half horizontally with hinges on the bottom of the wall. Then the bottom half of that wall will drop down for cleaning. You could put a bucket or wheelbarrow or garden cart there and just scrape out the shavings or whatever you have in the bottom straight into your container. This way there is no bending over for you when you clean. You can also utilize the space underneath for hanging your feeder or just let the chickens hang out there for shade or rain protection.
  5. bald egg

    bald egg In the Brooder

    Nov 16, 2009
    NE Kansas
    My original design was the 4x4 coop then I began reading the BYC forum. Everyone said bigger is better and I do not regret going bigger. Ended up with a 8x6 coop with inside height at 7' slopping to 6'. Most folks agree it is ezer to clean inside standing up and not outside bending over. When it is raining, windy, dark or just down right cold it is much nicer to care for the girls inside a secure struture. Plus with the added square footage you can house more chickens!!
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I like to be able to walk in the coop.I have a clip on light also. Having a walk in coop not only helps with cleaning ,it makes it easy to inspect the birds on the roost . It also makes it easier to collect the eggs.
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Think about this. You're going to put a roost in, right? How high will the roost be? Then add the height of your chicken breed. Then, to that number, add the width of the vent you're going to put on top of one of the walls so you can leave it open in cold weather without a draft blowing on your birds. You'll want the bottom of the vent to be at least a couple of inches higher than the heads of your chickens, so add a couple more inches. The number you arrive at is how high at least one of your walls should be. If your coop is a simple shed style roof with one end higher than the other, you can make the downside wall a bit lower and put a vent on top of that, too. This vent will be more at "chicken level" and you can leave that one open for better ventilation in warmer weather, but close it down when it gets cold.

  8. chezpoulet

    chezpoulet In the Brooder

    Dec 31, 2010
    Redmond WA
    My husband and I also built a 4x4 coop, elevated about 3 feet up from the ground. However, the one thing that I wished we did was to add more height in the coop. After putting in 4-6 inches of shavings on the floor, putting in a roost about 1.5 feet up, there was no room for a poop board! If I had put in a poop board there would have been no room for the chicks to use the space underneath the poop board, leaving the chicks with just barely a 2x4 feet space to walk around.

    I ended up placing a poop board directly on the shavings, as it made cleaning up the poop so much easier. The chicks do walk on the poop board, but I clean it off first thing in the morning and in the late afternoon (5 minutes each time), so it isn't as gross as it sounds- plus the chicks usually scratch in the litter furiously enough to scatter shavings over the poop board, keeping everything relatively dry.
  9. Sinfonian

    Sinfonian Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Seattle area
    Ours wil be 6x6x3' and not a walk-in. The bottom 2' will be an enclosed run 6x3'. It gives 18 SF, which is about the same size as yours, but from 2-6' will be the coop area which should be easy to clean without bending over too much. Save your back cleaning, feeding and watering.
  10. maclady

    maclady Songster

    Jan 28, 2011
    Lost in Space
    Thank you everyone for your help. I had not stopped to figure in roost height + chicken height and then the space for ventilation. I think we are going with an idea similar to a pic I found on this sight for small coops. I can only have 4 chickens tops where I live. It was called the wichita cabin coop. Mine will not look as beautiful though. We are doing the coop area 4x4x5 sloping to 4 in the back and elevated 2 ft off the ground. I think that is correct. The run is 4x10x8 sloping to 7 in back & roofed. Gets really hot here in the summer. We bought 1/2 inch hardwire mesh for the enclosure instead of chicken wire. This forum saved us there too. My husband is doing most of the bldg. I'm just the get this/hold this person. We don't have a specific set of plans so hopefully this goes well. Originally wanted to be able to move this around our yard but don't think that is going to happen. Unless I find better plans for something else.

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