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why are so many commercially made coops off of the ground?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sueiris, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. sueiris

    sueiris Songster

    Apr 3, 2009
    Southern New Jersey
    My husband and i have one coop, are considering another, and neither of us are real handy, so I've been googling commercial coops. noticed that most are raised off of the ground. is there a reason for this? i can see it if you are using a chicken tractor. i'm thinking that there would be more insulation in the winter if it was on the ground? does off the ground help with rodents?

    just curious.

    Susan in Weymouth, NJ

  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Songster

    Dec 7, 2011
    They would rot out even faster if they were sitting on the ground. And most of the boughten "coops" are tiny, putting them on legs gives an appearance of being taller and allows you to retrieve eggs without kneeling on the ground to reach them. If you are looking to buy a coop, be really careful to look up the actual size before purchase and figure on them comfortably holding 1/4 to 1/2 as many chickens as they say. For most of them you can also plan on having to do work on them to make them predator and weather proof. You might be better off figuring out what you want and then looking for someone on craigslist to build it for you or get a used shed from craigslist. I have had pretty good luck hiring from their work wanted ads to build runs,ect.
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    For a given height, it takes less material to make a coop that is off the ground. A shed on the ground is prone to rot from contact with the ground. Small spaces underneath a shed make a perfect home for mice and other annoyances. Unless the coop is large enough to walk into, it can be unpleasant to have the get down on your hands and knees to tend to the coop.

    I like a coop with the floor 24 inches off the ground, so that I don't have to bend in order to reach inside to move the feeder or shovel the litter. The elevation allows use of the space under the coop as part of the area for the run and will be dry all of the time.

    The insulating effect of being on the ground is minimal. Chickens don't suffer from the cold in the same manner that they suffer from the extreme heat. Chickens come with an included down comforter. The thing to avoid in a coop is drafts, while maintaining adequate ventilation.

  4. Wrooster

    Wrooster Chirping

    Apr 13, 2013
    Northern Florida
    You can put feed under the coop and it doesn't get wet. Chickens can hide from sun or hawks there. More convenient for humans. Looks cool with the birds going up the little ladder.
  5. NHChickengirl

    NHChickengirl Chirping

    Jul 8, 2013
    Merrimack , NH
    I agree with the other post comments.. They get wet and rot on the ground and it is easier to gather eggs and clean out if it is up higher. I recycled an old coop in the Spring that was sitting on Railroad ties almost on the ground and the splashing did get the sides wet. Also, My yard gets a ton of Sun so the chicken can hide underneath when it is to hot to be inside the coop or to rainy or snowy..

    Look at my post from earlier today. I have pictures of the before and after of the front of the Free coop I got. It really only needed to " Look " nicer. I see several coop posted daily on Craiglist and some are decent looking and just need to be Prettied up a bit.
  6. Dreyadin

    Dreyadin In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2013
    My husband built our 8x10 coop. We have it raised because the ground is sloped- but we dug out underneath- so it is like a cave/ open air area for them. This way they have a cool spot in the summer and a dry spot in wet/snowy weather. They love it under there. Prime dust bathing location in bad weather.

    A lot of those commercial coops seem so... flimsy.

    Something to check out though... would be if there is a school near by that has shop class- and talk to the teacher. It was just a thought if you were looking for a potentially economical way to get a custom coop.

    We have shavings & hay down in our coop on the wood floors and that acts as insulation.
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I find this coop on the small side and over priced. That being said if it was in my price range I would purchase it (is one of my favourites):


    As shown: $2,045.00
    The Coop DeVille is a 4'x4' Chicken Coop with a full side & bottom run for a total footprint of 4'x8'.
    As shown price includes:

    • Three nest Nest Box
    • One venting window that open from the outside of the chicken coop for easy use.
    • Two ventilation doors that open from the outside of the chicken coop for easy use.
    • 1" x 1" vinyl coated predator proof screening over all windows & vents.
    • Ramp up to chicken coop door
    • All EZ Clean brand features below.
    • One color wall paint & one color trim paint
    • Free Shipping in contiguous United States

    EZ Clean Features

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    EZ Clean Doors
    EZ Clean Nest Boxes
    EZ Clean Coop Liners
    EZ Clean Roost Bars
    EZ Clean Litter Trays

    Coop DeVille

    - See more at: http://www.ezcleancoops.com/coop-deville-chicken-coop#sthash.LOOlFrcf.dpuf
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

  8. sueiris

    sueiris Songster

    Apr 3, 2009
    Southern New Jersey
    thanks everyone for your feedback! looks like we will be waiting for spring to make any more coop decisions....just lost two chickens last night, including our Sweet Black Copper Rooster.........i thought the coop was secure, but well, it wasn't. so suring it up, and trying to trap a predator is the new priority......... [​IMG]
  9. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    So sorry for your chicken losses. I know how awful that is. [​IMG]

    To answer your original question, there are a lot of good reasons to elevate the chicken coop, but the main one is that doing so increases the total amount of space available to the chickens. You are basically creating an "upstairs" (the coop) and a "downstairs" (the area under the coop, usually used as part of the run.) If your run is not roofed, it's especially nice to have it adjacent to that under-the-coop area for some much needed shade and protection from rain.

    For any coop smaller than walk-in size (6' x 6', say), it makes sense to elevate the main body of the coop for cleaning purposes-- it's easier to reach in and clean something that's knee- or waist-high than something on the ground. A well-designed, elevated coop should let you open the cleaning doors and sweep old litter directly into a wheelbarrow. A coop that is ground-level, you'd have to shovel or sweep out, and *lift* everything into said wheelbarrow-- much more work.

    From what I've seen, the prices for pre-made coops are ridiculous! That little one a few posts back-- $2000 for something that will hold, max, 4 chickens! My husband and I are building a similar coop-and-run close to twice that size (6' by 12') and it looks like our materials costs are going to run to about $700, plus a lot of our own labor. If you aren't able to build your own coop, it would definitely be worthwhile to look into buying the plans, and hiring somebody handy to do the work. You'll get a much, MUCH better product, for less money. These companies are running a real racket.
  10. RWD

    RWD Songster

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    We elevate our house for several reasons, 1. It allows more square feet of useable space for run area. 2. It elevates the chickens at night up away from the ground so that possums, raccoons, and other keen hearing predators cant hear the chickens heart beats and movements, which trigger digging and casualties. 3. Cuts down on rodents, snakes, and it is much easier to clean the inside of the house from a standing position. https://www.facebook.com/Heritage.Ways.Farm
    1 person likes this.

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