Best place to put the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by katlovesaandw, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. katlovesaandw

    katlovesaandw Songster

    Apr 1, 2008
    Having trouble finding this info on internet......
    How much sun and/or shade should the coop get?
    We have 2 places in mind to put the coop and are unsure of which one would be better.

    Area 1:
    Shaded most of the morning, gets early to mid afternoon sun(lasts later in the afternoon as summer gets longer) and then shade late afternoon. Dirt area, lots of bugs. Closer to our neighbors yards but still far enough to meet city requirements from inhabited dwelling. Has trees and bushes to keep it cooler, esp. in heat of summer.

    Area 2:
    The backside of our garage. Grass area that doesnt grow well, easier to run a cord in winter for heat lamps, farther away from all neighbors yards, shaded in early morning, full sun from 9am or so until about 2pm, then shaded rest of the day even during summer.

  2. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    Not sure where you live. If it gets cold in the winter, I wouldn't put it in the back of the garage - seems like it would be better to get more sun - and if heat is a problem in your area, then area 1 has the shade from trees and bushes - just be sure to make it easy to ventilate your coop in the summer (windows that open with hardware cloth for screens, for example)

    area 1 sounds better. sun is good - and early morning sun takes the chill off. has bushes the hens can run under for shelter from overhead prey and for shade. if grass won't grow in area 2, then your chicken run area would be pretty much dirt or mud - .

    don't worry about being close to the neighbors - chickens are pretty quite except for creating a ruckus when an egg is laid. Am assuming, of course, that you don't have roosters, and if you did, the neighbors would hear that rooster clearly no matter where you put the coop in your yard!
  3. katlovesaandw

    katlovesaandw Songster

    Apr 1, 2008
    We are in Portland, OR. Overcast like 9 mo. of the year!LOL Wet about 6 mo. of the year! We do get about 15-20 days of high 90's-100* weather in mid-summer.

    I like the shadier spot, only because it is a crap area of the yard. Nothing grows there, except the few original lilac bushes and those are more like trees. Bulbs grow in the spring, wild hyacinth I think and then when those die...... nothing. The afternoon sun isnt enough to grow summer plants.
    Being that it is in corner of yard, it also is already fenced on 2 sides. And if we put the chickens there, at least it will become a usable area of the yard..... now, it is a waste of space.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  4. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I can see why you are leaning towards making use of the shadier spot, but - it is pretty wet where you are. Think it would be healthier for the chickens to be in the sunnier area where the sun would help dry things out a bit. Chickens will survive in either place - why do you think one area has more bugs? and is the shadier area just to shady to keep grass alive, or is there something wrong with the soil?
  5. katlovesaandw

    katlovesaandw Songster

    Apr 1, 2008
    Nothing wrong with the soil in that corner, just the few hours of afternoon sun grow nothing but a fern. It would be a great corner if I cut down the lilacs but since those are original to the house(50+ years old) not gonna happen. As for bugs in that corner, because it borders a HUGE bush/hedge that harbors lots of spiders, beetles, etc. there are TONS of bugs for them find over there. My kids avoid that corner because of the bugs!LOL
    As for wet, that corner would probably be drier. The lilac bushes because they are more like trees, create a canopy over that corner. It also doesnt get muddy and soupy like it could.
    No pesticides have been used on the yard in years and years, we have been here 3 yrs and use nothing.
    And there isnt any grass in that shady corner, just dirt and mulch and leaves. Grass wouldnt grow there either!LOL
  6. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I would go with #2 - because A) there is electric available and B) there wont be a blade of grass left once the chickens get onto it anyway. The shelter from the lilac bushes is nice, too.

    having electric available is always a plus IMO.

  7. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Near water and electric are huge pluses! If you can face the windows toward the south so they get more sun, that would be great too. You probably do not want the door facing west, as it will get the elements.... Just my thoughts.
    Good luck and how exciting!!
  8. Suburban chick farmer 09

    Suburban chick farmer 09 Songster

    Feb 21, 2009
    St. Louis MO
    I like option 2
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'd pick whichever area has higher ground (i.e. less puddly after rain) and/or has better air movement. Your biggest challenge is likely to be a chronically damp (thus muddy, smelly, and fly-ey) run, and the better the drainage and more air movement the better.

    Plan IN ADVANCE for water management -- make sure that coop and any other nearby roofs have gutters with downspouts that direct the water well away, and trench around the run and/or raise the ground in the run slightly above the surrounding ground level, and maybe think about putting in a bunch of sand or gravel or both when the ground is DRY (i.e. before chickens have yet turned it into a mudpit).

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I also like #2. Electricity, using a wasted space, and it sounds like it would be more convenient for you.

    I know you did not ask, but I'll include a link to a thread about building coops.

    With your climate, the run will probably be muddy a lot. Most runs are muddy in most climates part of the time anyway but 6 months wet is rough. I recommend you consider diverting water away from it if you can. Gutter the garage if necessary and make sure the downspout does not take water to the run or coop. Consider raising the floor of the coop and/or run so it drains. Sand and especially sand over pea gravel drains real well. You might trench around it to divert rainwater from flooding it. Covering the run or part of the run could also help keep it dry.

    I'd also suggest building your coop and run in a way that you can at least to gather eggs and to feed and water without going into the run.

    Good luck with it.

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