pros and cons of stilted and non stilted chicken coops : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

HI All!

Ok, we are starting to design our chicken coop, chicken moat (thanks to Ernest) and garden area.....

We want to know of advantages and disadvantages of stilted and non stilted chicken coops...we live in MO, so we get wet all year long. We just want to know from what you've done and problems you have run into....I did read the older threads and didn't find much that was relevant.

Thanks very much for any info you can share with us.

-- Storybook Farm (, March 14, 2001


Hi, I noticed you haven't had any imput and don't know if my little bit of experience is worth anything to you.

We have two very small flocks of chickens and both coops are stilted (about 2 ft off the ground. I love them for the hot humid summers we have in NC. The floors are wire so that the waste falls through. We just shovel it out from underneath every so often. We made the mistake of using hardware cloth in the first house. The holes are too small and the poop tends to clog them up. So that one we have to shovel out the inside sometimes. Our other one just has the regular galvanised fence wire and that works great. Both coops are about 3'x 6'.

The big disadvantage was when I decided to let a broody hen set. The baby chicks fall through the floor!! Next time I'll either take the chicks away and raise them in a brooder or build a seperate "mother and baby unit"!!!

Our chickens go in and out as they please. The weather doesn't seem to make any difference to them. It's pouring rain right now and they are all out in their pen picking around.

Hope this is of some use to you.

Pauline NC

-- Pauline (, March 15, 2001.

We are just finishing up our new chicken coop. We decided to build it on cinder block corners. Two blocks per corner at right angles to one another;one post inside each of the blocks and then both sides of the block filled with cement; same thing for the middle of each wall, only using a single cinder block with a post inside and filled with cement.We used old salvaged barn boards for the floor, as well as the walls, support beams, etc. Put in two sash windows (from the dump) so the hens can have light on those chilly Winter days; two cross- ventilation large-bore screening holes up towards the roof, and used an old barn door for the "people' door. Husband made nesting boxes out of old scrap lumber and placed them so that all I have to do is unhook a few latches from the outside to get to the eggs.Since the tops are really outside the coop, it will keep the hens from roosting on them.I covered the tops with several used roofing shingles. Tomorrow, if the rain in Alabama ever stops, we will nail in a roosting bar, and spread dried leaves over the floor. When we raked the front yard, we saved all of the leaves for the coop..that way, the chicken droppings will mix in with the leaves and eventually will be shoveled into the compost heap! We have hanging water and feed holders to keep them from throwing too much stuff around. Because of the salvaged lumber, the total cost of the coop (8feet tall six feet wide) will be less than $50 (nails and feeder/waterer). My husband takes down old barns in exchange for the wood, so we are never lacking for great lumber.We used the cinder blocks (also free), because it gets sooooo wet here, and then soooooo hot, we are afraid that the lumber would get "swamp rot". The cinder blocks and cement keep the posts dry and allows water to flow under the coop, even in the heaviest rains. Also, in a huge thunderstorm with heavy winds, the cemented posts will definetly stay in those cinder blocks. If we get another tornado, the chickens will have to fend for themselves LOL....God bless.

-- Lesley (, March 15, 2001.

The stilted ones keep a draft going under the chicken coop, and therefore it freezes easier in the colder months. Chickens won't lay if they are too cold. It is almost impossible to insulate these to keep the chickens warm. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, March 15, 2001.

Am not sure just how cold it gets there in ole' Mizzou, but here in WNY a stilted coop would be out of the question for any egg production, and perhaps chicken survival in general, they are particularly funny about drafts.

-- dan (, March 18, 2001.

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