Coop and Veg Garden


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 21, 2011
Hi all I am quite new to back yard chickens. I am currently designing a coop for three layling hens. I would like to put my coop beside my vegtable garden although I have concerns that the coops proximity to the garden could be an issue with too much nitrogen. Causing issues with my vegables in the summer. Any info would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Kris, and welcome to BYC.

We both keep chickens, lots of them, and we garden on a large, commercial scale. The two go hand in hand. Chicken litter is far superior to chemical fertilizers.

Having your coop nearby isn't going to bother the nearby garden. What would bother your garden is the chicken's ability to mow off that garden in quick order, if ever allowed into it during growing season.
Thanks for the info. I was mostly concerned with the chemical aspect of their proximity to my garden, but I will definitely keep in mind not to let them out in to the garden.


I'm putting in a 12x16 veggie garden this spring. I've been dumping leaves onto it for a couple of months. my 8 feathered "hired hands" have done all the "tilling". when it gets closer to planting time i'll fence it off. we'll see how that goes with the poop! they hang out under my roses all the time and the nitrogen hasn't seemed to harm them.
I am also grazing my hens for the winter until the spring on my veg garden, this should fine? Right? I plan on removing them in April and start planting in May.
You'll want to allow the birds access to your garden, in hopes they'll dig, scratch and poop on it. It is a good thing. You can also apply the dirty litter from the coop during the winter. However, 60 days before you intend to plant, all manure applications or "deposits" by the chickens should cease. From then on, you should put the litter onto your compost pile or into your composting drum, whatever system you use. Once the garden is done, release the chickens to have field day and the rotation starts all over again.

I use the 60 days cessation before planting and 120 days before harvesting rule. There are many, many fact sheets on the web concerning this.

one is easy to understand and straightforward.
My coop is very close to my garden. I also have a compost bin there also. Poop goes from coop, to the bin, and then in the garden when the compost is ready. all located together. That way I don't have to haul chicken poop across the property to get to the compost bin and then to the garden. Unless you have 30-40 chickens, you shouldn't have to worry about run off from the chicken run killing your veggies. In my compost bin, when the ammonia smell goes away, it is safe to go in the garden. Good luck.
Zone 6 in CT, the ground is so frozen that no scratching will turn my soil!
I just throw all the coop poop in the compost in the spring. The nitrogen heats it up so well that I have a pile ready for the garden in the summer.

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