Coop Placement and Grass

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DonnaFreak, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. DonnaFreak

    DonnaFreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Central Kentucky
    Howdy y'all [​IMG]

    I'm in Central Ky and have a couple of questions about my coop, which will be delivered next weekend! First of all, I live in a subdivision in town, so of course the coop will go in my back yard. We have a fairly large back yard, but the only flat area will let me put the coop about 10' - 15' away from the house. The rest of the yard is slightly uphill, so there is some drainage to that area when it rains. Because of water getting into the backyard garage that sits toward the back/upper portion of the yard, a trench for drainage was dug around it and the gutters set up to drain into a grate about halfway between the house and the back fence. This was done this past spring and has made a world of difference in how much water actually comes into the flat area now. However, that area still gets pretty soggy, but not with water standing like before during extended heavy downpours. So what can I do to keep it from being TOO soggy for my hens?

    My second question concerns grass in the run area. Now don't look at me like I have two heads for asking this...but how the heck do I STOP grass from growing in the run? We honestly have the best lawn in the entire neighborhood. When my in-laws bought this house brand new in the early 70's, my husband and his Dad got down on their hands and knees and planted the grass plug by plug rather than spreading seeds. The grass is so thick that it crowds out any weeds that try to grow! So here's my problem...my chicks have been ordered and will be shipped the week of April 17th. So they probably won't be ready to go into the coop before the end of June. Mowing season starts in March, and I don't want to worry about the grass in the run turning into a jungle in the three months between March and June. Should I put down sand or something in the run now to try to kill the grass out while it's already brown, or what do y'all suggest? Any and all help will be very much appreciated! [​IMG]

    Donna
     
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some unfortunate history with low-lying ground and poor drainage. I would recommend seriously reconsidering the location you picked.

    Can you level a spot elsewhere in the yard. Perhaps build an area up using a retaining wall?

    Alternatively, I've often thought that carving a level niche into a hill, and installing a retaining wall with drainage to divert water to either side would be a great way to install a coop on a slope.

    Additionally, chickens do smell a bit. Even with excellent manure management, run-off abatement, coop ventilation, and utilizing an effective litter, if the area is prone to getting really wet you will likely have times when there is an odor. The wetter it is, the more likely. Having that a mere 10 feet from the house might not be ideal.
     
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, as for the grass, just mow or use a trimmer to cut the grass all the way down to dirt as close as you possibly can. If it's as established as you say, it will grow back enough and in time for the chickens to decimate it their first week in the pen. Or just let it get overgrown. Then it might take 2 weeks for the birds to lay waste to it.
     
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You won't have to worry about the grass, unless you have a very large run and only two hens. Chickens + grass = NO grass in their runs. As far as coop placement I'd put it up on some slightly sloping ground rather than ground that stays wet. If you forced to put in in the flat/soggy place I'd dig a shallow, sloping trench through it and fill the whole area with pea gravel for the run floor.
     
  5. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coop is being delivered? Pre fab coops can be too small and they use cheap thin wood.... A shed from Home Depot or Lowes would be better maybe. If you are using a prefab and its small maybe build a platform off the ground for it, or find a better spot.

    Welcome to BYC have fun with your flock

    Gary
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Ain't that the truth. Even with massive runs they will have favorite spots that are bare.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You could put the coop and run uphill. Just takes leveling the coop and the run doesn't matter if on a slope. That or make a curtain drain. Same thing you did around your house but doesn't have to be as deep. Something like a square foot trench filled with sand at an angle behind run to move water away from it. Top the sand with sod and you'd never know it was there excepting keeping the flat area drier.
     
  8. DonnaFreak

    DonnaFreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2016
    Central Kentucky

    Gary, this coop actually seems to be very well made. The coop itself is 5' X 3', and the attached run is 5' X 10'. I plan to put no more than four full-size hens in it. The man who built it is going to load it onto a trailer and bring it to me. I'm including a pic of the coop, as well as the flat area of my yard. Hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Donna

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    Dangit! The pic of my yard refuses to upload for some reason! [​IMG]

    Donna
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  9. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya you aren't going to have to worry about grass in that coop. With 4 hens, the grass will be gone in less than two weeks.
     
  10. DonnaFreak

    DonnaFreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2016
    Central Kentucky

    Trying again to post the pic of the flat area of my yard by turning off my unreliable Wi-Fi. You can see the slope of the back yard. The flat area near the house runs the entire width of the yard.

    Donna

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