coop placement question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by red123, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. red123

    red123 New Egg

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    hello, im new to BYC and new to chickens. im getting ready to build a coop and im looking at my property and where ill place my coop and im worried about a couple of things. i was wanting to put my coop by a tree line of tall pines, is this a bad idea? is it okay to have them primarily in the shade all the time? also i will have it fenced in and make sure to have the coop closed every night but should i be worried about certain predators trying to jump down from a tree branch? looking for some insight, thank you very much.
     
  2. red123

    red123 New Egg

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    ^^
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

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    Putting your coop in the shade will be nice for summer. Hawks and owls will sit in the tree and swoop down for attacks, so if you do, it might be wise to put up netting over the run. Think snow load when you do this, however.

    If you do put your coop out in the sun, give the girls a built structure or something such as a canvas tarp where they can go under deep shade during the heat of the day.

    If I could choose, I would definitely want my coop in the shade. Mine is in the sun and they all go under the grapevines to hide during the summer.

    In terms of nighttime predators, raccoons can climb anything. Rats and weasels eat chickens, so you will need 1/2 inch hardware cloth to keep them out of openings for ventilation in your coop. Also consider an apron out or burial of your fencing if you are trying to build a fort knox coop and have those options on your coop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  4. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    I try to keep my coops in the shade if possible. Always lock up your chickens at night to keep the animals out. I do have netting over my breeder coops runs to keep hawks out.

    Nate
     
  5. minichic

    minichic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is in an open area that gets shade most of the daytime hours (north facing behind the house) and seemed like the perfect location. However once the snow started flying I ended up converting an unused carport into winter quarters. The summertime set up turned to a sheet of snow and ice and receives almost zero direct sun in winter. Not much fun for the girls. Weather conditions are downright brutal most of the time. What I thought was a perfect set up turned into a disaster once the seaons changed. I also had the backyard set up covered with netting to keep the girls in and flying predators out. Turned out to not be very snow friendly. The girls adapted okay to their new winter digs (10 x 16) and it faces south and west so gets lots of sun during the daytime and there is no fear from flying predators under the carport. Wish I had thought long and hard where to place my coop before doing so. I may end up relocating their summer quarters before moving them back in April. As an aside, I have to admit it is rather easy to take care of the girls without being out in the elements. No snow to move, ground hasn't froze and I don't get wet when it rains! It feels like cheating ;)
     
  6. red123

    red123 New Egg

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    thanks so much for the reply everyone, i appreciate that i can get answers from people who know what theyre doing.
     
  7. Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Also consider the potential for noise and odor. Next to your bedroom window, or even worse your neighbor's, might be a bad idea. If you build in a sunny spot you might go w an elevated coop, fence in the 'crawlspace' and...presto! Instant shade! Close proximity to a water source will save you a lot of time. Finally, maintaining driveway accessibility is never a bad thing if you're trucking in loads of materials.
     
  8. ontimeborzoi

    ontimeborzoi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, my worst coop faced west. Hot in summer, cold in winter. Will never do that again, hated it, tore it down. Now, one coop still faces north, with windows on east and north sides. Its darker than I prefer in the afternoons and evening comes early to it. I only use it as a brooder ( with heat lamps ). I have observed that given a choice, my chickens do not prefer to go into a dark house. Another coop faces north, but this one I built using clear corrugated plastic for the entire east and west walls, and the front is all hardware cloth so its light all day. Back wall is plywood. The chickens enjoy going in it. My favorite coops face south and are on a south edge of my ( deciduous ) woodlands. Long days of winter sun, cool summer shade. Perfect. Two coops are close to my house, within fifteen feet, and they don't smell. I ask friends on a regular basis, just in case I've become inured to the smell. But I clean a LOT. Obsessively so perhaps, because of the coops locations, which are wonderfully convenient for husbandry and chicken observation, but the downside is having to work harder to keep everything clean.

    Summer shade and winter sun are the best. Think hard about placement. Where would YOU want to spend your time? Other than their ability to handle cold better, I don't find their needs and desires to be so different from mine in terms of physical comfort. They like a cool place to hang out when its hot. A secure place to sleep. To be able to lay about in the sun on a winter day.
     
  9. Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo Out Of The Brooder

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    Forgot to mention: keep your compost bin nearby, as well as room for bedding storage. If you're working w a blank slate maintain a little space near your coop for compost, additional run(s), another coop, storage shed, garden, and a multitude of additional structures which inevitably need building. Don't box yourself into a corner! If you must, build a portable coop...on skids aimed towards the most natural expansion area.

    How much room are you working with, anyway?
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My primary consideration in positioning a coop is that a wet coop and wet run are dangerous healthwise for the chickens. The coop and run need to be positioned where water does not stand in them but will drain away. They need to be positioned where water does not run into them or where water can be diverted before it runs into them. I like berms and swales for diverting rainwater runnoff because they are gentle landscaping features that you can mow.

    Shade is very important. Heat kills a lot more chickens than cold. Whether that shade is from trees, inside the coop, or something else does not matter that much, but it is essential they are able to get out of the sun. I'll mention that the roof of my run does not provide much shade for them. The sunlight comes in from the side.

    We've all got different predator conditions. I have a big tree right outside my coop and run. Hawks do not sit in it waiting to attack the chickens. I'm not talking about anyone else's conditions just my own. A tree might provide a haven for a predator or a way in, but raccoons, possums, and even foxes can climb really well. They will be able to get over about any fence. Electric wires or a roof are the only things I know of that will keep them out, and some of us occasionally get power failures.

    My coop is pretty predator proof. I lock them in there every night. My run is predator resistant. It will stop dogs, coyotes and a lot of things, but I don't depend on it at night when a lot of the climbing predators are most active. Raccoons and foxes will hunt during the day if they are hungry or if a Mama has hungry babies to feed, but they are much more active at night.
     

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