We live in a cramped Las Vegas neighborhood and have plans on moving to a home with a bigger lot this summer. We didn't think there would be any problem getting a few chickens in advance since nobody has lived in either of the houses next to us for a long time. Of course as Murphy's Law would have it, families moved into house on both sides of us just after we got our first six pullets. Needless to say I needed to make some changes to keep the new neighbors from spotting what I have in the back yard.
Here are some picture of the coop being built:
I originally put a picket fence around the coop until the dog got used to the new arrivals.
You can see the 6'x6' dog kennel I was using a temporary run attached to the coop.
After the neighbors moved in I enclosed the coop within the new run. The coop and run take up the same amount of space in our small backyard however, the chickens run area went from 36 square feet(6'x6' run) to 96 square feet(8'x12' run).
The hens get plenty of natural sunlight inside their new run.
I covered 2/3 of the roof of the run with OSB. I'm not too concerned about getting wet seeing that we average around 2 inches of precipitation per year here in Las Vegas. The other third is just covered with poultry wire. This cover on the run makes it impossible for the neighbors to see in to see what we have in there(if they asked I would say they are rabbits).
I read in a book that leaving a light on in the coop would make any incidental light that enters in the morning less noticeable to the hens. Instead of putting a light inside the run I just leave a few lights on in the run all night. This keeps the hens up later in the evenings, and they in turn don't get up so early in the mornings and make a bunch of noise that the neighbors would notice. So far it really seems to work well(knock on wood).
I also put this old camera in the run so we can see hen while we are upstairs.
Monitor on the computer desk.
Here are three of the hens...
...and the other three.
Our first egg. (I have since heard that cedar shaving can be harmful to the hens so I switched to pine)
Within weeks of our first egg all of our hens stared to lay. We average 5 eggs from 6 hens daily now.
Future plans are to move to a home with a much bigger lot. I am planning on making a bigger and better "Hide 'em from the Neighbors Coop & Run". I'm Thinking of buying a frame kit for a large shed and leaving one wall open. Also the roof will be translucent to let in a lot of light. I have a nine foot work bench that I made that I plan on using as the base to a new coop. I'll post when we move and I have the new Coop and Run done.