Why have a coop 2 feet off the ground?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by theacw, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. theacw

    theacw Songster

    May 7, 2011
    So I started building my coop before I read my city's rules (dumb idea, didnt think they would be THAT strict), and one of the rules is it has to be 24 inches off the ground. I was curious to why that would be a rule? I was planning on putting it on cement blocks so I guess I can just add another layer which isnt a big deal but thought that was random.

    It also cant be more than 10 sq ft per bird and the one I started to build is 6x6 and if I have two birds thats too much. But I could have the 6x6 if I have 4 hens? Doesnt that seem weird? I wonder if I should just say I am getting 4 hens and if they ever check, I could say they died?

    What are your experiences with city limit rules? Do they come and check usually? They give out 12 permits a year here and I called hoping they havent already and apparently only 3 are. So since its not often, maybe they do check....

    Another thing I have to risk, I cant have it taller than 6 ft and my frame is 6 ft! Is it worth the risk adding a roof and them coming to measure? I havent told my builder yet, I feel bad! Stupid stupid stupid me for starting without reading the rules, I just honestly didnt think 6x6 and 6ft tall would be too big.

    I want to hear your thoughts on my towns rules, are they pretty standard?
  2. I would make sure it was the right height off the ground, get your two hens and if anyone asks you are just looking for the special breed you want. I think they'd be more worried about you having too many than too few. [​IMG] sometimes the rules dont' make much sense. Good luck

    oh and fr height, is that in addition to the two feet it already is off the ground or not?
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Sounds like you definatly need to do more research regarding the heigth, is it with or without the ground clearance? also ask if the sq ft per bird is the coop or the run or combined? They may consider a coop to include a run. As for a inspection, the little experience I've had is they stopped by during construction, had a free soda and left.

    As to the ground clearance issue, it may go along with my thoughts that if a critter can walk under it, you don't provide a dark place for skunk, possum or rodents to set up housekeeping, just like any other building sitting just barely off the ground

    I agree that you should stick with your coop footprint and if the city checks, a couple recently died would be a good canned answer, plus chicken math fever is still going around (a 6x6 coop is good for 9 or 10 birds depending on their size)
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  4. theacw

    theacw Songster

    May 7, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. (along with the sand topic too [​IMG] )

    I know it was stupid of me not to read the rules before beginning my construction, I guess I wasnt thinking there would be that small of size constrictions. Here it is word for word..... And no that doesnt include the run, although I was hoping to do something bigger than 20 sq ft for the run too. At least I wont have to worry about neighbors, they said go ahead and get some goats and cows too! But I do want to follow the rules instead of risking having to rehome them (I already have the buggers, one mistake already)

    All chicken coops must be a minimum of four (4) square feet per chicken in size, must not exceed ten (10) square feet per chicken in size and must not exceed six (6) feet in total height. Attached fenced-in chicken runs must not exceed 20 square feet per chicken and fencing must not exceed six (6) feet in total height.

    I assume that means roof too... Dang it.

    And I read a little too fast. I guess its 2 ft off the ground OR " must be constructed using rodent resistant construction.
    The coop floor, foundation and footings " which wont be a problem.

    So far the only things I need to figure out is A. how to have a decent roof with my frame already being 6 ft tall (errrr FML)
    and B. the sq footage thing which I can always say I am looking for the perfect birds still [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would imagine it's probably a sop to those who, when the chicken bylaw was originally being written, were concerned about the potential for rat problems. (Indeed it will help with that)

    If you have to limit it to 6', then rather than raising it up on blocks you could build a raised floor 2' above the ground within the existing frame.

    I agree, just tell 'em you havent gotten the other 2 chickens yet, I seriously doubt they'll care about THAT.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Dont have such rules where I live but the 2ft rule is probably related to vermin.But in theory its a great idea,I built mine that high off the ground for two reasons,it expand the run size(coop is 8x8) and gives them a place to lounge during the height of day. Its like a spa under there,6 were under today taking a dust bath. As far as rules go they vary from state to state,town to town as well as areas in town. The town in which I live is a declared farm town,so you can have a horse on a postage stamp of a lot. If you got twenty acres or two thousand,no pigs allowed.Weird

    Never have I heard a town with so many provisional by-laws as where you are.Either the laws are really old and need to be updated or fairly new in an attempt to discourage people from the course. Some mucky muck in town probably didnt like the smell so incorporated all these rules and regs. Never heard of a place that requires you to get a permit to have chickens,sounds like a money raising scam. As far as your roof build it as you planned just tell them it was a shed converted to a coop,just make sure you got a permit for the shed.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  7. Horizon Structures

    Horizon Structures Official BYC Sponsor

    Jul 1, 2009
    Atglen, PA
    I doubt you'll regret having the coop off the ground. As Duckinnut said, it allows you to expand your run and include a shady spot. And you won't have to bend all the way over to the floor to reach in there and check feed or water, scoop some poop, etc.
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:I agree. I have raised coops and I love them!
  9. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Having experience with city ordinances and helping modify ours I can shed light on this.

    1. The clearance is so that rodents don't take up residence under the coop. Chicken feed definately attracts rodents.

    2. My guess is that your ordinance limits the number of chickens therefore limiting the coop to so much per square foot per bird limits the size of the coop. (this definately sounds like a lawyer wrote the ordinance). You would think writing it simpley stating a coop cannot exceed xxx square feet would be more easy to understand and comply with.

    3. As far as the height. My guess is 6 feet is for the entire structure. The only way to really know is to call city hall and ask. They may not object to the gable of the roof being over 6 feet. The 6 feet might be more for the run so it doesn't tower over all.

    Also check on fencing requirements (what is permissable and what isn't), check on set backs from property lines. Those are big ones in our ordinance.

    Our ordinance states that any part of the coop (which is defined as the entire structure, building and run) must be at least 6 feet off the property line and that any portion of the run that faces a neigbor must be privacy fencing and the big one is that the coop must be x number of feet from any neighbors entry door. Most of the lots in my town are from 1/2 acre up to 5 acres, this is just to prevent someone from putting up a coop close to the homes instead of the back of the property.

    I can tell you when my new coop is put up this coming Thursday (I needed a permit, the old one was destroyed in a tornado) and I call and tell them all is done they will definately come check and our city building inspector is a nit picker. He will come armed with his little rolly measure thingy, copy of the plans and specs I turned in to get the permit and if it's not like I said it would be he won't clear the permit. He will also drill me on how the building is anchored into the ground.
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Is it that strict??? WOW!!! I didn't realize how strict. I don't think that I could have ever passed any inspections because we just build what we want in the country.

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