Coop closer to the house safer than one in the field?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LestersFlat, May 20, 2011.

  1. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Songster

    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    We have a large shed out in the middle of our grassy field that we turned into our "Chicken Shack"—2 human-size doors, five big windows, wood floor, lots of places to play, hide, roost, nest. We've had our 7 pullets in there for about a week now, and I must say I wish they were closer so that I could see them from the house. But I am thinking that predators might be reluctant to come up to this tiny house in the field, at least 50 feet from any trees, and so far, the girls love it so much that they barely come outside during the day.

    The up side of the Chicken Shack is that it is definitely large enough, they like it, and it is already there with no other purpose. We close the girls up at night to protect them, and they have a fenced area behind it that is open to them all day. The down side is that it has no electric or water supply, it is far (500 ft) from the house, and the one big door does not close securely. It will probably be drafty in the winter here in cold and snowy upstate NY. I am worried that the fencing is probably not secure enough to prevent something from digging under or climbing over, and the door would be easily "broken into" if something got past the fence. Being far from the house, I would not even hear if there was a break-in.

    We are considering maybe making the shed a house for future goat kids, and maybe making part of the lean-to on the side of our garage into a better coop, with a pop-door and better security all the way around. Or we could work on tightening up the doors and fencing on the Chicken Shack, and maybe adding a solar-powered security light.

    Any votes as to which would be better for "the girls"?
  2. latebloomer

    latebloomer Songster

    Feb 10, 2011
    green mountain state
    closer would be better i think, i struggled with this too and went close.
  3. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    closer is better mainly for convience. I don't know where you live but if you have harsh winters you need to think about that. You have to go out to the coop at least twice a day and if it is too far that can be a pain if there is snow on the ground. Also I prefer to have my girls close to the house so they can interact with the kids and we can watch them. Predators will go anywhere if they think they can get a tasty snack. I have had coyotes come into my yard in broad daylight-one was just a few feet from my front porch. Most predators though will attack at night so location really doesn't matter.
  4. abooth

    abooth Songster

    Mine is close and its so convenient though this year the run is starting to smell. I was actually on here looking for a smell solution. But I'm glad it's close. we can check for eggs easily and I run an extension cord out there in winter to keep water from freezing. I also think it deters predators.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Closer to the house is more convenient for care. Most predators will check out a chicken coop at some point no matter how close it is to your house. From your description I would be worried about a racoon or other critter getting in at night if the run is not covered and the door is not secure. And coyotes will approach in daylight as well if they think they can get something. I to have had coyotes right in my front yard in the middle of the day.
  6. secuono

    secuono Songster

    May 29, 2010
    closer is convenient, but not necessarily safer. Our coop is less than 10ft from the house, a fox still took off with a hen after I had come in not 5 minutes before. Dogs out in their yard 5ft from the coop didn't stop the fox. It may be faster to get to, but I really wouldn't say it's better predator-wise.
  7. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have mine inside my picket fence, in my front yard. I covered the run and put sand in it and there is no smell. It is nice because I can see them from the windows....only problem is I can hear them and the other night one crowed at two in the morning. I jumped up, sure something had gotten in and was killing them, and ran clothes.....I swear that stupid rooster was crowing in his sleep. I woke him up to get even....
  8. johny

    johny Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Closer is way better in winter.
    Much less snow to shovel to get to the coop.
    And if you have to carry water, a short trip is much better in winter.

    Perdators probably don't care if the coop is under your back window or a mile away. They sneak in at night when you are asleep so distance from your backdoor means nothing.

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