1. jbrianchamberli

    jbrianchamberli Chillin' With My Peeps

    78
    32
    89
    May 13, 2014
    Not sure what to do here. I have about 2 acres. House sits at the top of the hill and the only real flat ground is at the bottom of the yard where my shed and fire pit is. Logic says put the coop down there. I just feel like it's so far from the house. I won't hear anything if it gets crazy. I plan on making the coop as predator proof as possible and want to get solar lights etc.

    Thoughts? Anyone else feel this way?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,152
    372
    196
    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas
    Place the coop on pier and beam.
     
  3. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

    355
    32
    74
    Dec 28, 2016
    I have the same issue here. I live on the top of a hill, and the only flat ground is at the bottom. Although, I have had chickens for 2.5 years now. I have some chickens that live in my garage, which I do NOT recommend, but placing them elsewhere, I have been pretty successful. Here are some of the things that I have done, which may or may not be an option where you live:

    1. Place a coop right next to your house, and allow them to free range (you do not have to let them free range, but I would let them out every once in a while).

    2. Place a coop and run on the flat ground available. Make sure the coop is strong and sturdy, and make sure it is built out of strong materials. Before placing the coop, put chicken wire on the ground and cover it in dirt (trust me, this will save you lots of money, time, and chickens in the long run). Just place enough for the coop and run to sit on with about a foot off of each side. This will keep animals such as foxes and coyotes (possibly raccoons) from getting in. Also, make sure that there is a strong, sturdy cover over the coop (such as tin or other metal). The run is not as important as the chickens sleep in the coop, so I would just put bird netting over mine to protect them from hawks/owls.

    3. Lastly, I would board the bottoms of the coop and run about 6 inches. This will save many of your chickens from being beheaded by predators.

    **Note**: If the flat ground is prone to flooding, you may need to elevate it. Wet environments allow mites, fungus, and other bad things to come in contact with your chickens.

    I am no professional, but believe me, I have experience. I have practiced trial and error, losing close to 80 chickens, 32 turkeys, and 20 ducks, but after gaining this knowledge, I have not lost a chicken or anything else in six months. If predators cause any problems, it's nothing that traps and/or guns cannot take care of. Where I'm from, the biggest threat to my chickens is raptors (hawks, owls, etc).
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,320
    555
    171
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Where do you live........approximately?
     
  5. jbrianchamberli

    jbrianchamberli Chillin' With My Peeps

    78
    32
    89
    May 13, 2014
    Maryland.
     
  6. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,152
    372
    196
    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas
  7. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in the mountains, no real flat spots you have to dig out a flat spot or elevate the coop. I dug out and put in a retaining wall for mine, link in signature.

    Gary
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,320
    555
    171
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    So given your climate, a couple issues with coop site selection. You want good drainage, and high is dry, so atop the hill is a good place for starters. Second advantage is high atop the hill will be warmer in winter. But even more important is to put it in a place so the high front of the coop faces south into the winter sun. That will also mean it is on a dry spot with good exposure to the winter sun for sunlight, drying and warmth, and hopefully also protected from the cold north winds during the winter. When considering these options, the least extreme, elevated slope you have facing south would be good. Close to the house so it is a short walk and short distance to shovel a path in the snow to get to it if possible, but not nestled up against your house. Deal with the slope after that.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,474
    3,861
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You are obviously getting different opinions so I’ll add mine. My most important consideration for locating a coop and run is that it needs to drain and you need to keep water out if it. A wet coop and run will probably stink and can be unhealthy. A dry coop and run won’t stink and you have a lot fewer health issues. If you built your coop and run where water drains to it and stands, you’ll have issues.

    I don’t know how steep your hill is. There are advantages on building your coop and run on relatively flat land. Construction, especially the foundation, is easier. The biggest issue on a hillside is controlling erosion. Part of that is rainwater run-off. Another issue in the run is that chickens scratch. Gravity pulls whatever they scratch downhill. Retaining walls and terracing may be necessary.

    How big is it going to be? It’s easier to build something pretty small on a hillside, a big structure is another issue. It can be done, just may require more thought and effort.

    How convenient is the location? Where is your water coming from? Where are you storing your feed? Can you get to it without crossing a marsh when it has been raining? As Howard sort of mentioned, think of winter as well as summer. In my opinion, your convenience is a big part of this equation.

    For what it is worth, mine is about 250 feet away from the house, downhill but on a slight rise so rainwater run-off isn’t an issue. I have water and electricity down there and store my fed and other supplies down there in a shed. The coop where I lock them up at night is pretty predator proof. The run for daytime is pretty predator resistant but not predator proof. I can’t see it from inside the house, a garage and workshop are in the way. It’s worked out well.

    Practically any predator can attack anytime day or night, but night is your highest time of risk, especially from certain critters. Sometimes when a predator gets in a coop and kills chicken at night, there is noise. Sometimes the predator and the chickens are really quiet. You might be able to hear something but it’s also pretty likely you won’t, especially if you have heat or air conditioning running. I would not count on that possible noise adding much protection to them. Good barriers are what you need for predator protection.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
     
  10. jbrianchamberli

    jbrianchamberli Chillin' With My Peeps

    78
    32
    89
    May 13, 2014
    The hill in question isn't very steep and there is no water to really be worried about. It's just a decent walk and I have no place to store feed except in my shed or on / under the deck. I really didn't want them being too far from the house.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by