Chicken coop distance from house and electricity

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eigna1, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. eigna1

    eigna1 New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2014
    Hello!

    My husband and I are planning to get chicks this spring. We are debating on where to put the coop. My husband wants to put the coop close to the house because he does not want electricity wiring going too far (in case the winter gets too cold on Long Island, NY). I don't want the coop too close to the house because I am worried about hygiene/smell/rats/noise. My questions:
    1. Is there any reason why the coop should not be close to the house?
    2. Do we need electricity for the coop? It got down to 14F on Long Island this year. We ordered 6 chicks. Town regulations only allow 6.

    Thank you for your input!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    The two main reasons I like electricity in a coop are water and light. I find it a lot easier in the winter if I have heated waterers rather than having to change out water several times a day. If you want to keep your older hens laying eggs through the winter you will have to have them under lights. If the coops aren't hard wired I use extension cords in the winter. How far away can you put the coop? Chickens are going to wind up by the house if you let them free range, just might take them a little longer if the coop is far away, they will poop where ever they are. Noise, I assume you won't have a rooster? With smell, chickens smell but it shouldn't really be offensive if taken care of properly. Rodents you will want to have under control no matter where you have the coop.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    With 6 birds, if they are well managed, there will be less issues with odor than there would be in the average yard with a dog. The bigger your coop, the less poop management you'll have to do. Do you want to use deep litter? Or do you want to use a poop board that will need to be cleaned frequently?

    With good feed management, you are not likely to have issues with rodents. If an occasional rodent does show up, a well placed trap will be your friend.

    If your coop is well ventilated, but does not give the flock drafts in their roosting area, they should be ok without extra heat. Coop design is crucial. You want good ventilation, and good lighting from the southern exposure would be helpful. Ideally, have your ventilation up high, windows that can be opened for extra ventilation, positioned so that rain, snow and mist won't be an issue in the "mid-seasons", able to be closed in the winter. You'll still need ventilation, in addition to the window(s).

    Do you have the time to take water out to them 3 or more times/day in the winter so they can have fresh water? Do you plan to give them supplemental light to keep them laying through the winter? If carrying water is not an issue, and you don't mind if they take a 2 - 3 month laying break, you won't need electricity.

    Noise? They will talk. They will complain if you don't go out early to let them into their run. They will sing the egg song when they lay an egg, think about laying an egg, or when someone else lays an egg. Some are more into the egg song than others. I've found that even my most exuberant singer is much more mellow as she's entering her second laying season. Some of my girls never sing. They are not as noisy as some dogs... they are expecially not as noisy as some yappy dogs, and provide much more benefit!
     
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  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    With 6 birds, if they are well managed, there will be less issues with odor than there would be in the average yard with a dog. The bigger your coop, the less poop management you'll have to do. Do you want to use deep litter? Or do you want to use a poop board that will need to be cleaned frequently?

    With good feed management, you are not likely to have issues with rodents. If an occasional rodent does show up, a well placed trap will be your friend.

    If your coop is well ventilated, but does not give the flock drafts in their roosting area, they should be ok without extra heat. Coop design is crucial. You want good ventilation, and good lighting from the southern exposure would be helpful. Ideally, have your ventilation up high, windows that can be opened for extra ventilation, positioned so that rain, snow and mist won't be an issue in the "mid-seasons", able to be closed in the winter. You'll still need ventilation, in addition to the window(s).

    Do you have the time to take water out to them 3 or more times/day in the winter so they can have fresh water? Do you plan to give them supplemental light to keep them laying through the winter? If carrying water is not an issue, and you don't mind if they take a 2 - 3 month laying break, you won't need electricity.

    Noise? They will talk. They will complain if you don't go out early to let them into their run. They will sing the egg song when they lay an egg, think about laying an egg, or when someone else lays an egg. Some are more into the egg song than others. I've found that even my most exuberant singer is much more mellow as she's entering her second laying season. Some of my girls never sing. They are not as noisy as some dogs... they are expecially not as noisy as some yappy dogs, and provide much more benefit!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. eigna1

    eigna1 New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2014
    Thank you for the quick response!

    I did not think about the water-turning-into-ice issue. That's definitely a reason to have electricity. The lighting needs to be considered as well for egg laying in the winter. My husband is going to build the coop, he's not trained to hard wire the coop. Is extension cords safe for use in rain/snow/ice?

    We do not plan to have a rooster. And we have to clean the coops frequently to avoid rodents. I guess I have to admit that it's okay to have the coop closer. [​IMG]

    For questions about ventilation and coop design, I have to do more research.
     
  6. Dani004

    Dani004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2013
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    I am on Long Island as well. Our coop is right next to our house, it is just how it worked out. We do not have electricity in it. The chickens were ok all winter. We kept them in the coop and they showed no signs of being cold or discontent. They actually cuddled together. Fresh hay does a lot for them.

    With regards to the water freezing, I gave them water in the AM and the PM. Of course it froze but they were ok. We did not suppliment light to keep them laying througout the winter. I didn't see the point we still got a few eggs a week, (for most of the winter) and didn't want to change their natural cycle. I did have to buy eggs from the grocery store, but only twice.

    Make sure your coop is safe and secure, that is the number one thing. I just lost two of my three girls this week. Whatever got my first on Wed, came back on Thursday and took another. We moved the sole survivor into the garage, and locked the coop (just to see what would happen) we woke up this morning and the coop was again broken into. When determining where to build your coop keep that in mind. Where are they the safest? If a preditor gets in, do you want that next to your house? Personally, we are working on a more secure coop in the same place. I like where my girl is. But it is something to think about.

    I am far from an expert, but just thought that would be helpful info!
     
  7. eigna1

    eigna1 New Egg

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    Mar 7, 2014
    Oh good to hear experience from a fellow Long Islandian! I will have to discuss with my husband about the electricity.

    I'm sorry to hear about your girls. We will aim for a secure and well ventilated coop.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    For a predator proof coop, you'll want to use 1/2" hardware cloth, and be sure any openings are otherwise less than 1/2". You'll also, depending on the design, need a hardware cloth skirt either buried straight down 18", or under the sod, extending out at least 18 - 24" from the coop to keep predators from getting into the coop. The chickens will need to be shut in every night, unless their run is secure with hardware cloth, including over the top. Chicken wire will keep chickens in. It won't keep predators out. Proper feed management is the key to avoiding rodent issues.

    Sorry Danni004 for your loss. Do you have any idea what got your girls, or how it got in to get them? If you go to the predator thread, it will help you to problem solve and figure out who the murderer is, then, you can deal with it accordingly. Know your enemy!
     
  9. Dani004

    Dani004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2013
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    We think it was a raccoon. We dont have bears, mink, or weasles. also, we only woke up ro feathers. whatever it was took them away. Whatever it was, is smart enough to break our lock. In hindsight our lock wasnt the best. I never thought something would figure it out.
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I have an exterior 100' electric cord and exterior GFI outlet. My coop is in back corner of my property (small lot) and use that cord to plug in the heated water fountain late fall.
     

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