Chicken coop in the woods?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by IncredibleMrToad, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. IncredibleMrToad

    IncredibleMrToad New Egg

    Apr 13, 2011
    Our property has a bit of an awkward layout, requiring us to put our coop/run near or in our wooded area. Any suggestions on a coop/run that may be in or near the woods? I have a spot in mind where it's smaller trees with, naturally, small branches so catastrophies from falling trees won't be a problem. The thicker trees are on the other side of the woods. I'm thinking that I may build the coop just outside of the treeline and extend the run into the trees, creating a fenced in area around some of the trees.

    I haven't seen much about coops and runs in woods. Any thoughts or experiences out there?
  2. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    What kind of trees? And would they drop fruit/acorns that may or may not be good for the chickens to eat? Are you going to put a top on the run, leading to cleaning off fallen leaves or branches? Or will it be open and the handy trees lend a perch for predators? Not trying to sound discouraging, just asking questions. I think the chickens would benefit from the shade if your summers are as scorching as mine are.
  3. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    We're doing exactly that. It gets hot here so having the setup in the shade makes sense. We picked a spot where there is a bit of an opening in the canopy to let in some light but it's pretty heavily treed otherwise. Mostly deciduous also which is really nice since there will be sun in the winter to help warm the coop. And yes, there should be a top on the run (owls, hawks, climbing critters!) Ours is made from the same chain link kennel panels we're using for the run walls. I may need to pull off fallen branches once in a while but the area we chose doesn't have much for bigger fallen leaves so I'm not expecting a huge problem.
  5. IncredibleMrToad

    IncredibleMrToad New Egg

    Apr 13, 2011
    @Baymule, Very good questions! We do have forest critters so you confirmed in my mind that it needs to have a top to it. I really wish I could keep it open though. And I hadn't considered what fruit/nuts may drop down to the floor. I don't believe there's anything like that down there, but I'll check on that specifically. Thanks! Your response was great - and yes, the summers are scorchers.

    @BrattishTaz, I hadn't seen that thread! It's incredible! My coop/run won't be quite that elaborate, but it's given me great ideas!

    @debid, I hated the idea of putting our chickens out in the hot sun. I live in SC and it's already quite brutal here in April. I'm dreading August. In fact, I may build myself a little shed down there in the shed and make it my summer home :) Our wooded area is nice and cool, especially near our creek.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  6. EggyErin

    EggyErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    N. Ga mountains
    My coop straddles woods and yard and the run is all in the woods. I don't have a top on it because it rambles around trees and would have been too hard to top. My coop is off the ground though, so the girls can hang out under it or go there for cover if need be. They spend most of their time roaming around our yard, though. I put them in the coop at night so I don't worry too much about predators (knock on wood).
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    OH, and chickens can and will eat acorns. If they eat a lot of them, it tints the yolks green. Still edible but you'd have to serve them with green ham. At any rate, I wouldn't put the run directly under an oak.
  8. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like South Carolina, Georgia has had some pretty hot days already this year. Like you, we planned our coop and run at the end of our lot in an area that is shaded by a 30 foot tea olive on one side and various trees on the other side of our privacy fence.

    The only things that have ever managed to grow in this shady area are ferns, ivy and that crummy "monkey" grass and Smilax.

    This week I got up early and cut the lawn/trimmed bushes at one of our rental houses. After I staggered back home it was getting close to noon time. When my face stopped resembling a beet, I went out to work in the coop, painting the inside. It was quite comfortable in there; so comfortable I thought of dragging a pillow down from the house and taking a nap.

    Thus, I think your choice of building under trees is a good one in our hot climate.

  9. treekatie

    treekatie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    Aiken Co., SC
    Where in SC are you?
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Seems perfectly fine to me, just, as you say, make sure you build it seriously as secure as you can since it will experience a little higher predator pressure. Your chickens will be a lot better off in the summer than they'd be in a sunny location tho [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,


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