Another newbie with a coop location question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jeria, May 6, 2017.

  1. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No chickens until next spring for me. My backyard is a slope except a low strip along the back that likes be swampy when we get a lot of rain, so not a good place to locate a coop.

    Location is something I need to plan first as I have gardens that may have to be moved. I'm thinking a solution would be to create sort of a raised bed to build the coop and run in using cement blocks not wood. I'm thinking sand and then dirt to fill it. Any thoughts or has anyone come up with a solution that works?
     
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    How big of a coop are you planning? Having a sloped run is actually an advantage for drainage purposes. Just build your coop on stilts, if that is an option. Sink 4x4 posts in the ground, then frame the coop floor up several inches so that it is level.
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you located........approximately? Climate matters a lot. But in general, high is dry, and dry is what you want, so a high elevated site that rain and runoff drains away from, not to. Also, in temperate climates where winters are cold, south facing slopes are best, with the high open side facing south into the winter sun.

    You are correct about the swampy spot being bad. If forced to use only that, your best option would be no birds at all.
     
  4. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in Independence, Missouri just outside of Kansas City. I live on the non river side of a Missouri River bluff and my backyard faces west which here gets the brunt of afternoon sun and the winds. I do have woods behind my yard and a maple tree in it. Predators are a definite issue as the woods and creek extend down to the river. Also lots of hawks and even Eagles.

    The area that gets swampy after rains is all clay / loess soil so it doesn't drain well. I have raised beds along most of it now. That's also the area that gets the most shade. There is no way my coop is going in that part of my yard, I have other choices. I will have to add a cover for shade in our hot summer sun and something to block the winds in the winter and spring but somehow not the breezes in the summer. I also don't want to put it up against the house as it is white and the sun reflection in the summer increases the heat tremendously, though a plus in the winter. We get more heat here than cold.

    I rather like the raised coops with part of the run below.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! Depending on size, a raised coop may work,; however, is there a way to have a garden shed type building, or a Woods coop? A three sided shed, open on the south (Hardware cloth everywhere!) gives you more space, unless you are limited to only four hens. Drainage and predator protection are most important, and shade, which can include roof overhangs, trees, and shrubs. Planning ahead is best, for sure. Mary
     
  6. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The openings would be toward the south and/or east but 3 sided would not be a good option as it does get cold here in the winter occasionally down to zero, more likely temps in the 20's and wind chills down below zero.

    Grins, I do need to build a garden shed first as my old one was blown apart in winds last summer, it was a pre-fab one and didn't stand up to the 80mph, I never did find all the pieces. Coop will need to be sturdy so not even considering a pre-fab one. I've never built a building so will tackle the shed first for experience. ;)

    I figure building the coop for 4-5 hens and planning on probably 3 that way I'll have extra if I add a couple. Zoning laws are a max of 5 and no roosters.
     
  7. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've again been working in my backyard all day since my mowing plans were thwarted by my unruly lawnmower that is heading for the shop again. So thinking much of it on where to locate this coop and run. I think I have decided even though shade is lacking most of the day.

    I'm going to try to add a photo and please disregard the un-mowed grass, the straw bales that are too heavy to move after the rain last week, and the temporary old door preventing crazy pup from escaping over the fence. This section has much less of a slope and is above the area that dips and tends to get mucky. With that area I could easily put in an 8 foot square area with a 4x4 raised coop and the rest run. the raised beds are 4x8 to sort of give some prospective. I would also be able to see the coop well from my kitchen windows and put the coop toward the downhill side so it doesn't block the view of the run.

    With a white metal roof that would reflect the heat over the entire run and I'm thinking hops vines (if they won't harm chickens) planted on the west and south side. They grow like crazy and also thick. In the winter I could protect the west and north side with straw bale walls .
     
  8. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In studying coop designs I'm thinking a 4 by 6 coop makes more sense with the nest boxes added on the east side-- away from the prevailing winds and still keep the entire coop and run footprint at 8x8. I'm also planning on a tractor type run that will expand their outdoor space and still keep them protected from my over zealous 62 pound pup and any predators if I'm not outside in the yard.
     

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