Coop in the woods?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Godiva, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    We are trying to decide where to build our coop and it seems that our initial choice is not going to work due to proximity to our well. WIth the temps as crazy as they have been (our first summer here in SC) we want to build in the shadiest spot available. We are thinking of putting the coop in the woods as it is noticeably cooler even on the hottest days. The trees are deciduous so there is more light in the winter but in the summer it is very shady. It will have to be chicken knox because of the predator situation here especially if in the woods but Ithink it may be worth it for the heat reduction. What do you think? Of course there will be no grass in the run - pine needles and leaves will be the covering there. I was thinking we could build a tunnel for them to get to the edge of the woods and chicken tractors for grazing and sun... ANy thoughts anyone?
     
  2. aran

    aran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    godiva...you can find pics of our chicken coop/run in the coop section. It is about as predator proof as i could think to make it.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Mine is in the woods, basically. It has it's problems as well as its benefits. For instance, all the tree cover is great for shade, but not so great when you want the pen to dry out. Here it is in different seasons. When I bought my rooster, he was kept in a pen way back in the woods and it was a soggy, muddy, muck-hole of a pen. I would think it would be better for it to at least be at the edge of a wooded area so some sun can get to the pen.
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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  4. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    Mine is in a natural area in our backyard that could be considered "woods." I've felt much better about them in all this heat knowing they were in a shady spot. And my trees are deciduous as well, so it will be nice and sunny in the winter. You're right, however, that the woods provide more cover for predators.
     
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Cynthia,

    I enjoyed your pics of your coop. I especially like that 'observation chair' I see in that first pic. That must be where you sit and watch 'ChickenTV'... ;P
     
  6. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Personally, we have ours on the edge of the woods... and it does supply a good amount of shade in the summer, but also I am able to get sun in there if need be to dry it out. Good Luck...
    Tes
     
  7. aran

    aran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    totally agree cynthia...great spot to view the chickens from. We have our chairs right outside the run to watch "chicken tv" ( which is a great term for it!)

    Quick question cynthia...what do you do about the birds in winter for cold? I know about the vasoline on the combs, and the roosts being flat etc...do you use heatlamps for them ? do you keep the lights on 14hrs to keep them laying? do you let them crowd up a bit to keep warm?
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yep, it's my favorite channel, LOL.
    In winter last year, I had a heat lamp on a timer, but only over the waterer so it wouldn't freeze. It came on early around 5 a.m. and went off after sunup; then it came on again at dusk and stayed on till around 9 pm. They did get the light from that, but not bright light right over the roosts. This year, I may put it over the 5 gal waterer again, but only let it come on in the morning to thaw whatever ice may be in the tray. I don't think I'll put it on at night anymore unless we get an extremely cold winter, just like this summer was really out of sight temp-wise.
    They are sure not crowded because they have too little room, but they do crowd as close together as possible all the time anyway, on the top three 4 ft roosts and leave the bottom ones empty.
    I have all standard breeds, some very heavily feathered like the Orpingtons, so they do fine in cold weather. On bitter mornings, I'll cook them some oatmeal and serve it by cooling it down a little with yogurt mixed in before serving so no one gets burned. And I feed a larger amt of scratch before bedtime. That's about all. They go out on all days, even snow days.
     
  9. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Cynthia... and here I thought DH was crazy for wanting to put a heater in the coop... I thought they would get hurt or burned... but after reading what you wrote... hmmm....
    And isnt chicken tv fun... [​IMG] I just love watching my babies... but I dont have a chair [​IMG] I have to sit on my front porch steps that I have to constantly wash... how the heck do you keep them off the porch??? lol
    Tes
     
  10. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Cynthia, I'm glad you touched on this subject.
    You answered the questions I had without me having to ask them. [​IMG]
    Thanks.
     

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