Coop layout questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Scotho, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Scotho

    Scotho Hatching

    Mar 26, 2008
    Lynnwood, Washington
    We are planning out the location for our chicken coop and pen area. I need help with a couple of questions:

    Does my setup need to be in full sunlight or partial sinlight or just provided with natural light.
    The area I'm contemplating only get's a couple of hours of direct sunlight each day.

    Secondly, obviously the coop needs to be level, but should the pen area (outside) need to be level, or close to. Wwe don't have a bank or drop off, but the lawn is pitched.

    Thanks for any input
  2. brooster

    brooster Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    If you live in a cold area, then i suggest that you put in a south facing window for the winter months. Shade is great if it is hot in the summer, but it depends what is worse summers or winters. It is fine in the shade tho. The run is fine as long as its not a hole, or it will be solid mud. A slope or hill is fine just no dips.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Where are you located. In cold winter areas, winter sun is a really good thing tho not essential. Also, the more you care about getting as many winter eggs as possible, the more it matters how well lit the area is (although if you *really* care about winter eggs you could always run a lightbulb on a timer). Sun will also help keep the run dry. OTOH if you live a in hot-summer area, you NEED at least afternoon shade, possibly morning + afternoon.

    Having the run sloped kind of depends on how much rain you get (both total, and how many flooding-type rains). You need to divert rainwater from the run (even if the run is a sloped area right now, I promise that in time the chickens will flatten and hollow out some areas that can become a lake) by trenching or whatever on the uphill side. It also depends somewhat on what the run footing will be and how you feel about topping it over with sand or whatever if it starts to erode/float away. Hm, rereading that I think it probably sounds more negative about sloping runs than I mean it to [​IMG]... as long as you can prevent those two problems it should be ok, lots of people do have sloped runs.


  4. Brian

    Brian Songster

    Sep 30, 2007
    Jacksonville, ORegon
    I like a mostly sunny, or full sun placement. Why? Winter can be very hard on chickens, a shady placement will cause the coop to remain damp and cold, which is a good precursor to illness. A coop that gets winter sun can warm up, dry out, and decrease the incidence of mites.

    As for the question on the run...that depends on how much slope. Certainly the grade must slope away from the coop. That's mandatory. As for how much slope...imagine yourself living on it.
  5. Scotho

    Scotho Hatching

    Mar 26, 2008
    Lynnwood, Washington
    Thanks for your input.

    I live north of Seattle in WA state. We don't get a lot of below freezing days, but they do happen. Our winter months probably average 40-45 degrees. (althougth it's officially spring and it snowed a little last night).

    I have a 60 ft x 60 ft area that I plan to build the coop and pen and it's on the NW side of my house. It get's a couple of hours of direct sunlight in the summer, but not very much in the winter, but that's Washington weather for you. I have a solid wood fence on the south side and was thinking about placing the coop next to the fence then running the pen away from the coop, but the fence would block any natural light flowing into the coop.

    The slope is minimal and shouldn't be a problem except for the leveling/installation of the chicken wire.

    We are only planning to have 8-10 hens, so this is not a major production. I have always wanted to raise chickens and my two young boys are totally into it. We will build this together, learn about the birds and responsibility.


  6. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    love your dancing chick avatar, Brain!

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