Let me preface this by saying I am totally new to chickens. We have kids playhouse that we'll be converting into a chicken coop, although I still stalk Craigslist for sheds that might work better. I'd like to get about 4 chickens, most likely Buff Orpingtons and/or Rhode Island Reds. We're trying to decided where to place the coop and run. Our lot is fairly big for our suburban setting (about 9/10 of an acre but it's kind of in a weird shape) located south of Seattle in the rainy Pacific Northwest. We're trying to decide between two possible choices... #1 - In the backyard A small portion of the property is enclosed by a 6 ft cedar fence to be the back yard. There's a section in the back corner under an evergreen tree that's pretty neglected. Don't mind all the mess. We're in the midst of redoing the deck. The new deck will extend out to about where the main pile of wood ends. The coop would be in the back corner and the run would probably be in most of the area without grass. Note the downward slope. PROS It's close to the house in an enclosed area which I'm thinking would be easier for our 5 year old daughter to go collect eggs and tend to the chickens We spend a lot of time in the back yard so we'd be hanging with the chickens more The area would be shaded in the summer and gets some rain protection from the big tree for the rest of the year Our dog would likely guard the chickens when she's in the backyard (it's in her breed although I know that's no guarantee) The cedar fence would keep the coyotes out It would make good use of an area that is otherwise ignored CONS It would take up *possibly usable* space in the backyard It's awfully close to the back deck and the house There's more limited space #2 - In no-man's land A good chunk of our property is undeveloped. The landscape has a downhill slant and is under a lot of tree cover so growing grass for a luscious lawn would be hard. ] I'm not exactly sure where the coop would go but there's a lot of space back there to choose from. PROS There's a lot more space to build the run It's further away from the house It makes good use of a large chunk of the property that we don't use If I get hypnotized by chicken math, there's a lot more room to grow It would be further away from neighbors CONS More open to predators. I think our main culprits would be coons, coyotes, opossums and rodents. It will cost a lot more $ to enclose a big space My daughter wouldn't go out that far by herself to tend to the chickens until she's a little older It's further away from the house (can you tell I'm ambivalent about this?) We currently spend little to no time back there I'm a busy woman so I want this chicken adventure to be as easy and low maintenance as possible. Any input would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!