Why Coops on Stilts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickylou, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. chickylou

    chickylou Songster

    Jan 29, 2009

    Does someone know why some coops are built on stilts? Does it make it somehow safer, more vented, predators? I've seen some pretty high perches in books. We'd like to do one on stilts, but if we decide its more trouble and not necessary, we may change our minds.

    Also, does it make it more difficult to clean and care for chickens?

    Thanks for your input.

    Chickylou [​IMG]

  2. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    I've been considering building my coop off the ground for a few reasons: I won't have to bend over to clean out the pine shavings--they'll be at waist level; there will be shade provided under the coop when the chickens are not able to leave their run; it's harder for other animals to get in.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Exactly what lalyswishytail says. Much easier to clean the coop and deal with chickens; provides a sheltered part of run at no extra cost; less rat and mouse problems.

    Bear in mind that 3-4' is as deep as one can comfortably reach, so this style of reach-in coop ought to be limited to that sort of depth.

    Have fun,

  4. The building that we use for our coop was a pre-existing building on the farm. It was a corn crib - where corn was stored, dried and then fed to livestock (last used for this in the early 1900's). Our decision to use it was more out of convenience as we didn't use the building other than for storage. Taxes also - if we build an outbuilding taxes go up [​IMG] We might not pay state income tax, but our property tax in NH is getting pretty hefty.

    The strategy is that during the summer months there is fresh air circulation and we have not had problems with predators, b/c the coop is contained within the outer walls. (Our little Aussie on the farm helps with that). However, I would imagine without the inner coop weasels, mink, raccoons and other vermin could get in through the slats.


    Phase II -The plan is to have a screened area under the building (where all the junk is underneath); drop door from the coop and an outer "play area". I am also going to create a flip-up door, 1' high by 3' long, on the back side, so that I can lift the door and easily shovel the bedding out into a wheelbarrow. This is all a benefit for me in cleaning and maintenance- so a drop door in the floor or side might serve as a "poop chute" in your design.

    In the winter this will give the chickens a chance to get fresh air without being out in the snow.

    Why on stilts? I might think in a demographic that has area restrictions like urban areas would let you get a run underneath and coop above.

    Hope this helps.

  5. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    One of the biggest reasons to build up off the ground is to eliminate a prime spot for rats and mice. And if you have a small coop that is not person-height, it is easier to clean something at waist height than to bend over.
  6. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound

    Plus it's easier to level a coop on stilts than on the ground.
  7. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Crowing

    Jan 9, 2009
    Karlskrona, Sweden
    Then there's the moisture issue. Seems to me that it should be easier to keep a coop dry if it's on stilts, since there's no ground stopping the water's natural downflow.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009

  8. chickylou

    chickylou Songster

    Jan 29, 2009

    This information is extremely helpful and I appreciate it! [​IMG]

    Just the idea of rats or mice creeping into the hen house gives me greater confidence to go in this direction. Of course, I am getting older, too so the bending down rationale sounds like a wise idea as well.

    Looking forward to building and sharing this with my six children.

    Thanks gain.[​IMG]

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