Best coop & run location

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by papschmitty, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. papschmitty

    papschmitty Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 21, 2010
    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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!
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I vote for in the backyard. Chicken TV equals sitting on your deck just watching your birds due chicken-y things. It's great. I put my coop and run underneath the huge spruce in our backyard as, even in the rainy PNW, there are some pretty hot days when they will need shade. Plus, it will be easier for you to feed them etc, rather than sliding down that hill in the rain.
    Have fun!! And be sure to post pictures as your project progresses. [​IMG]
  3. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Back yard! It will be so much more convenient and fun. If you can make sure part of the run is accessible to sun, in case it comes out, the chickens will appreciate it.[​IMG]
  4. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    I could see why your indecisive, I'm at the same boat as you are. You're in Seattle right, so do you get a lot of snow like some of us in east coast ? How many chickens are thinking of getting ? If you only get about 10, option 1 is your best bet. But if you want more then that, I would go for option 2 and make a nice secure run/coop for them. Either you can have small flock in front of you or bigger flock a away from your sight
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  5. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I would think about drainage, heat, & conveince such as water, electricity. My two coops are close to my house. This makes it easy for feeding & watering & collecting eggs.Its real hot where I live so I positioned my coop under a big hackberry tree. Chickens do well in cold weather but not so well in the heat. They can't take their jacket off. Probably, the best advice is put the coop where you would like to hang out.
  6. CopperCT

    CopperCT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2011
    I would vote for close to the house too. Our coop is about 50 feet away from our back porch. It made it much easier to get water and electricity to it during construction. Now that the water is off it's a shorter distance to haul water to it in winter as well as shovel paths out to it although that may not be as much of a concern in the PNW. As it is within hearing distance, we can keep an ear out in case anything is disturbing the girls. As others have said it also great to sit on the porch in the summer and watch the chickens. Very relaxing. Having the coop closer is just easier especially if you have a busy schedule. Good luck with your chicken adventure.
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Drainage! Go out on your next heavy rain day and walk around looking at the ground in your prospective locations. Avoid any spot that's mushy or boggy after a heavy rain, because if you put a run there you'll end up with a muddy run.
  8. flyweed

    flyweed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    I have a question in regards to location as well. I live on the side of a bluff in SouthWest WI. so our entire yard is slanted...anyway...I have an area up behind our house that is approximately 100ft long, by 50 ft wide......THere is a house on the other side of our lot I am putting an all WOOD solid 6ft fence on the lot line, so the neighbors can't see over...then the 3 other sides, I was thinking of 5 foot high chainlink and then some 48 inch high chicken wire lining the bottom of the chainlink.

    Reason for the high fence, I will have Emu in this area, and for the extra chicken wire because this is where I'll keep my chickens and guinea fowl as well.

    Do you guys think this fencing idea of mine is good?? I will MOST likely do a wire about 8-10 inches high around the outside perimeter that is electric, because we do have the occassional Coons and Possums come through our area.

    Any thoughts?
  9. cleoandtheo

    cleoandtheo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Definitely close to the house. You're only talking about 4 chickens -- not a gazillion where they will be too loud or smelly. We have four also. We let them loose in the back yard most days & like having them close to us.
  10. papschmitty

    papschmitty Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 21, 2010
    Back yard it is! DH and I went back and forth today and suddenly the cedar playhouse that we bought to convert into a coop is going to remain a playhouse for the kids and we're building our own coop from scratch. DH is quite handy but doesn't find chicken research nearly as fascinating as I do so he has no clue what the chickens need. I gave him a need/want list. Hopefully we'll end up with an awesome coop. I'm going to figure out a brooder myself so he can channel his energy on the coop project. I think some chicks will be in our future soon. [​IMG]

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