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Hi guys,

Wondering if someone can offer some guidance. I am hopefully starting to build my coop (chickens and ducks) shortly. I am going to build a shed type coop. I had a few questions:

1. Should I put my foundation boards (4x4's) on the ground or on top of cinder blocks? I wasn't sure if raising it was bad in the case of drafts or good to reduce moisture build up from the ground.

2. I have seen posts positive and negative about putting a window in the coop. I have a leftover window that I thought was good in the winter to let in some sun and to open in the summer to get fresh air. Thoughts?

3. Any thoughts about putting vinyl sheet flooring in the coop?

4. I am trying to avoid pressure treated lumber where the chicks will be foraging. I was thinking about using two layers of Trex for the base of the run. Any other ideas?

Thank you for the help.
 

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It really depends on your geographic location. Is water going to be an issue so that a coop up a bit is ideal?

I had coops set up both ways, my big coop was off the ground the height of a concrete block, it worked well for me. What I did have to do was install wire to keep the birds from under the coop.

I had one with PT 2x4's. What I didn't like about that one was any heavy rain it was a challenge to keep the rain from splashing up in to it.

I had windows, lots of windows in the big coop. The ground coop was open air. Good ventilation, even better than having the windows in the big coop.

I used deck boards, no other flooring. The deck boards used were aged and weathered so no VOC's coming off them any more. Since you're planning on using Trex you probably don't need anything else as long as the boards are butted up tight.
 

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I have plywood painted w/ oil based paint up on cinder blocks-a lot of cinder blocks.It keeps the floor out of water and the cinder blocks support the floor well.In my personal experience,the floor wears out first and if you don't address the issue,you end up w/ foot injuries and a way for predators to get in.If the floor is on the ground,rats will make a home under there and that's a whole set of problems in itself.Get the best plywood you can,the cheap stuff doesn't hold up very long.My floor is over 2 years old and looks like it's still brand new(except for the poop stains).
 

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I guess a cinderblock in each corner would be good and then use hardware cloth to enclose the area underneath.
 

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Rats weren't a problem under ground coop, black snakes were. I did have to go through and close up the underneath.
 

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My coop is my old 10x10 shed. Probably a bit of over kill for 12 chickens but I have room to add more, which will probably happen. Our coop is up in the air. It has a good 12 + inches under it so when it's hot out they can go under it to cool off. In Western NC if it walks in the woods it likes chicken so I dug a trench around the building and buried hardware cloth down and out from the building attached to the base of the building. An animal trying to dig under will need to start digging 3 feet off. I did the same thing with our out side pen. The old man next door told me I should install a cattle fence around it for the bears! Have not done that...yet. Here's a couple of pics.
 

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Looks good!I put a lot more cinder blocks under mine to avoid weak spots,there is only a couple of inches between cinder blocks.We had to make 2 trips to get enough block.15 blocks really weighed the van down.I didn't want to leave room for critters to get under there and I can put poison down for rats.Never had to deal with bears,so good luck with that!!!Just keep your shotgun handy...
 

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Looks good!I put a lot more cinder blocks under mine to avoid weak spots,there is only a couple of inches between cinder blocks.We had to make 2 trips to get enough block.15 blocks really weighed the van down.I didn't want to leave room for critters to get under there and I can put poison down for rats.Never had to deal with bears,so good luck with that!!!Just keep your shotgun handy...
My shed was built on 4x6 skids so 6 blocks work with plenty of support. I wanted the chickens to be able to go under if they wanted and the hardware cloth screwed to the bottom then buried a foot down and 2 feet out in the ground for diggers makes it very safe and secure.
 

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It is awesome! I love it and it looks sturdy-for most animals. I'm not sure about bears. I would think about a thick door with an unbreakable lock and maybe chain link fence. However, I know people that use a baby monitor to pick up noise, or one of things that makes an infrared beam of light and if it's interrupted, you have a box on the side of your bed that beeps. I have one but never put it up.
 

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I use a baby monitor,best thing ever.It picks up every sound for quite a distance.Mine is about 300' from the pond but I can hear the Canadian geese out there,even with the coop doors closed.I was able to hear a hen hollering and save her from a hawk.I wish I would've thought of this years ago.For $20,I bought myself some peace of mind.You should hear some of the comments I get about it.My son is convinced I love the chickens more than him because I didn't have a baby monitor for him.I told him I wasn't worried that some hungry critter would eat him like I do with the chickens.He still doesn't understand...:D
 

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I'm not sure about bears and hot wires because of their thick hair. Maybe they make them stronger?
 

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Oh!!! I like the baby monitor a lot!! I will eventually put a Harbor Freight camera out there. The baby monitor is a lot cheaper for now.

As for a bear, we have black bears here in Western NC...Like I've mentioned several times already the old man next door said to put a cattle fence around it at 4 ft off the building. He said buy the one that has the biggest cow face on it with the most Voltage out put. IT will make him scream! Other than that I guess he gets a chicken dinner:mad: And if I'm fast enough a couple of lead suppositories in his can!
 

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Yep, hot wire is a pretty common bear deterrent. The camera could be great entertainment if a bear does hit it.
 

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Hello,
I have an old chicken house. It was up on cinder blocks. Eventually the wood rotted and had a few ***** come in, tear it up and had chicken dinner. So reinforced the bottom and put traps out. Caught the *****. So making sure it is varmits proof helps. Everyone loves a chicken dinner! Best of luck building.
 
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