Coop location?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by melirobin, May 22, 2008.

  1. melirobin

    melirobin In the Brooder

    May 22, 2008
    Hi, I'm a complete novice at having chickens, our chicks arrive next week, YAY!

    Anyway our coop location is still under discussion with my husband and I .

    Where he wants it there is only maybe 2 hours of sunlight early in the day and then is heavily shaded by trees the rest of the day. The chickens may roam around our yard on occasion if I'm out with them but otherwise they will mostly be in their shaded run.

    Is being outside with ambient light enough or do the chickens need to have direct sun?

    We live in Massachusetts and in the winter without the tree canopy they will have much more sun. But for the summer it is limited.
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    I had the same problem, where to put the coop? Wanted alot of sun hitting the windows in the winter and nice and shady in the summer. So I decided to make a portable coop. Have all the windows on 1 wall, will face it south in the winter and north in the summer or place it in the shade.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We put ours between two apple trees but it will get lots of sun in the winter and some shade in the summer. The big thing we wanted was to be able to see the whole area from our main living room so we could keep an eye out for them. Good luck with yours!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There are really 3 different main issues regarding sunlight:

    1) Chickens need vitamin D, which their bodies (like ours) can synthesize when sunlight falls on the skin. However commercial chicken feed (i.e. anything you buy at the feedstore, such as layer mash) has appropriate levels of vit D already in it, so unless you are trying to totally make your own feed out of grains etc, this is a non-issue for modern poultry keeping.

    2) Sunlight helps the ground dry out. The damper the ground, the nastier the run (smell, etc) and the likelier disease (coccidiosis, etc). You have to look at your site, think about how well drained the ground is, whether water will tend to collect there in a rain, whether your run footing (dirt, sand, whatever) will dry out fast or tend to remain damp, think about how much breeze the area gets, and then decide how much of a valuable difference direct sunlight will make.

    3) If you care about egg production, particularly in the shorter-day half of the year, it can be relevant what time it gets light inside the coop. A coop (esp. with few windows) in a shady location will not get light as early as one (esp. with lotsa windows) in a sunny location, or at least a location that gets early morning sun. A later start to the day inside your coop can reduce laying in the shorter-day months (depending also on what latitude you live at).

    However, if you are in an area with hot summers, there are some *advantages* to a shady location, too [​IMG]

    Personally I'd pick the best-drained location, and if I had a choice, one where I could easily see the run from my back window [​IMG]

    Good luck and have fun,

  5. pvc coop

    pvc coop In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2008
    I live in a mobile home in the country. It has a front porch. Under neath it, I built a 4' x 6' coop. They free range in our fenced yard which is roughly 30' x 60'. We have 4 Rode Island Reds laying hens. So far it's working fine and the chickens seem to like it. They're about 3 months old. Is there any health issures with the hen house so close to the family home? It has a dirt floor, and I plan on just raking out the dropping to clean it. I don't have pictures yet but will soon. The PVC run is for another group of chickens, and they are doing fine too



    Last edited: May 23, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: