It's about two years old now. Haven't measured the temps, but it feels warmer in the winter. Probably mostly because it blocks the wind. The electrically heated waterer has never frozen in it, and it used to freeze constantly in their other coop.
If you stand by the "closed" sides when the rooster crows, it's very muffled. If you stand by one of the "open" sides, he sounds like a foghorn.
Just cleaned the old litter/manure mix, pitched it on top of the roof, and planted tomatoes, watermelons and beans up there. I'll let you know how that goes.
Interested in a few of things..... How big is it? Number of hens? Maintenance... a lot of work to keep clean.... or deep litter through winter? How have you buffered the wood from the wet outside.... plastic.... or some other kind of insulation?
The inside is 10' x 11'. It's about 8 1/2 feet tall inside, with several levels of roosts. I keep about ten hens in it. According to most books it would accommodate a lot more, but I think overcrowding is counterproductive for several reasons. There are a couple layers of black poly on the outside of the wood. Cleaning hasn't been a problem. The neighbors are trained to dump the leaves they rake into it, and the hens scratch and shred them down to a fraction of their original volume. Spring and fall I fork everything out, and then spread it around the fruittrees, asparagus bed, or wherever.
I did once, when it poured in around the door. I collected some buckets of really gooey mud from by a beaver dam and used it to form a slope away. It set up almost like concrete. No problems since then.
It's pressure-treated wood, so it should last as long as I will.
If I were going to do it again, I would use the kind of post-and-plank construction described in The $50 Underground House book (which I unfortunately didn't read until after I'd built this). I would also have dug a drain-to-daylight and used a rubber roofing membrane just for peace of mind.
A marvelous use of terrain for a zone 4 hen house. I love the fact that their front "window" gives them a ground level view of their yard. Comfortable, secure housing is a huge step towards reducing stress in a flock. Looks like you have met that goal.
I love the aspect of this that allows no loss of growing space. you could easily make the roof raised beds for all sorts of stuff. this ought to be implemented into more suburban backyards. I will consider this idea for sure when I get to designing our coop.
do you think it would work to have a big animal shelter much like the ones on Sepp's property set up to house chickens as well as other animals such as a yak/cow or pigs?
would the two animals stay together well?
basically im thinking the upper part of the shelter around the walls would be raised up and good for chickens and the pigs/yaks wahtever would sleep on the ground, thereby keeping predators away?
Hi there! I know it has been a while since this thread was posted on, BUT if you are still watching the thread, I had a few questions >< We live in the Mid-West, and it gets pretty cool in the winter for a bit and then it can reach 105ish in the summer. Was wondering if the berm helps your coop stay cooler in the summer as well as insulating for the winter I've noticed that a lot of people this year have issues with their birds overheating, and I hope to avoid that through natural means as much as possible.
Also, it has now been several years since you built. I was wondering how well the coop has held up, and if you had any design changes you would suggest in addition to those you have already listed.