Coop Placement

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tigerfeet, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Tigerfeet

    Tigerfeet Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Iowa
    Allrighty, I wanted to talk about where to put my chickens. Pat keeps telling me (and others) what a bad idea it is to overwinter chickens in a tractor (very small coop) and it makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, this advice has been feeding the little demon in my head that tells me to go out and make an indoor/outdoor coop out of the side of the garage.

    Here's a diagram of our yard:

    [​IMG]

    The problem with my lot is it's VERY visible. There's a baseball diamond diagonally across the street and in the summer we've always got people in lawn chairs in the road and we don't have a fence, so I've been very against putting anything on the 'public' side of our walkway. Maybe it's just a mental thing, but I don't know if city ordinances allow chickens and I don't want to ask for fear they'll say no and then any possibility of stealth chickens will be shot. (There's people who drive around just for the sole purpose of being nosy and causing trouble, our first summer in the house we were getting complaint letters twice a week about the length of our grass, which was frequently mowed)

    My biggest problem is I want a fence, but can't afford one (yet I'm considering chickens, go figure, I never claimed sanity)

    Anyhoo. At first I really wanted a smallish coop-tractor type thing right next to the back door (see right-most chicken graphic). It would be close to the house, protected from wind on one side and I'd only have to step out the back door to gather eggs (no need to even get out of my bathrobe!)
    However, as convenient as that would be for me I really can't bring myself to put the chickens' welfare aside just for the sake of convenience.

    Hence the left-most chicken graphic. There's a bank of windows on that side of the garage. I think I could make a tall and narrow coop inside the garage along with a mini-run on the outside of the garage with ramps leading through an existing window. No drastic garage deconstruction required.

    What does everyone think?
     
  2. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    You do know your garden won't survive unless you surround it with something so the chickens can't get to it? [​IMG]

    Looks good to me, but I'll be interested to see what others say about the proximity of the first coop next to the house. Ours is close like that too, but we don't have hens in it yet. Wonder how the odor factor will work out in the high heat of summer.
     
  3. Tigerfeet

    Tigerfeet Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Iowa
    I'd really like to be able to have some kind of portable run so I could move the chickens about in the summer. I'm also thinking that if I do construct a coop inside the garage with attached mini-run for winter I'll have to move my compost heap (which is right in that little square space between the garden, path, garage, & proposed chickens)

    I'm curious about what other people think about having a coop that close to the house as well. I don't think I have any plans to let the chickens out of an enclosure, be it a coop or a run. There's cats and some dogs that roam around (people aren't very careful of their pets) and I'll need to be able to have them out in a run all day without supervision. I do want them on grass in the summer.

    If I have a portable-ish run that's predator-proofed, is it possible to leave them outside from, say, 7am to 6pm during the summer, without a mini-coop attached? Or will they need some kind of enclosure attached in case they want to go inside?

    Gah, it's looking like I'll have a winter coop and a summer tractor now!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Well, so if these need to be stealth chickens they are not going to be roaming your yard and indeed a moveable tractor may be pretty much out too (owing to the two road frontages), right? (You do realize that neighbors are likely to *hear* your chickens...)

    So if they will be in basically a fixed location it is "just" a matter of putting up stuff to block the view of their run from the road. A picket-fence-sized privacy-type fence comes to mind, but there are lots of other ways to do it too.

    That being the case, it seems to me it's just a matter of where you'd prefer the chickens and where it would be easiest, and less obnoxious to you, to camouflage their run.

    Either site has merits. Remind me how many chickens you're talking about? I wouldn't hesitate to put 2-3 right next to the house, as long as you're into sanitation and don't mind a few extra flies. I would not be keen on putting more than that at the house, though, without good reason and *lots* of extra janitorial work.

    GOod luck, have fun (sounds like you are already <g>),

    Pat
     
  5. Tigerfeet

    Tigerfeet Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Iowa
    Pat - Yeah, I'm only planning on having 2-3 chickens. I'm not worried about the neighbors to the north, they're an older couple that used to keep rabbits for meat and fur so I don't think they'll begrudge me some backyard livestock (Plus DH does odd jobs for them). We've been making friends with the neighbors to the west too, but there will be a garage in between.

    If it does turn out that we're not allowed to have even 2-3 chickens I'm not sure we'll even do the stealth thing unless we can first get a privacy fence. I guess I'll just have to work up my courage one of these days and ask about local ordinances.

    The more I think about it the more fond I am of the idea of a garage-based coop and routing the girls out a window. There would be less construction and I'd feel a lot safer about predators at night (I sleep like the dead and probably wouldn't hear if something went wrong)
     

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