Coop Placement.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by urb2165, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. urb2165

    urb2165 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2012
    Greeting everyone. I am a newbie to all of this so forgive me if I ask stupid questions. I am just beginning in my learning curve.
    My property is all chain linled fenced in and secure. Two of my property lines have lots of tall, old pine trees growing along them. The area under these pines are covered with thick layers of old pine straw. What I am considering doing (and I really would like to hear your opinions) is buildinga portable coop and fenced in area for the chickens to forage safely in. My thoughts are the chickens would forage through the layers of pine straw.... eating, bugs, insects and field mice. Once they have ferterlized and tilled the soil under the pine straw I could move the coop etc. to another area like the first. Then I would build my raised beds, fill with organic soil mixture and plant my veggies and herbs in these. I will use my drip irrgation system to water the garden.

    I am not sure about keeping a rooster, however I do want at least 4 good laying hens. Pros and Cons???
    I really do want your thoughts and opinons.

    Thanks
    Rodney in South Carolina
    75 Degrees on December 4th
    Very mild winters and long growing seasons.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Why not build a permanent coop and build separate runs attached so you can put them in whichever run you want whenever you want? There is a lady at the Gardening sister forum that does this. She uses a couple of runs a year for chickens and gardens in the rest, rotating as she desires. (TheEasyGarden at the bottom of this page)

    Moving a coop of any size can be a pain in the butt. Some people do it but I'd consider building a permanent one with a small permanent run. Off that permanent run, have several pop doors or even people doors or gates so you can put them anywhere you want to.

    I'd suggest building that coop bigger than you think you need to. There are many reasons for that. Chickens have worked out ways to live together peacefully in a flock. Many of those ways involve the weaker either running away from the stronger or just avoiding them to start with. They need room to run or avoid. The more room you have the more flexibility you have to deal with things. Perhaps down the road you'll want to bring in fresh layers when your original hens grow old and slow down. Integration is a lot easier if the new ones have room to run and avoid. I find I have to work less hard if it is bigger. Poop management is a good example. Some people clean out their coops weekly. I did it for the first time in four years last month, not because I needed to but because I wanted that stuff on my garden.

    You might want to look up "droppings board". They poop a lot when on the roost. If you can collect that poop, it helps minimize your need to clean the coop, but it also makes a tremendous addition to your compost pile. If you are gardening and have chickens, you need a compost pile.

    The only reason you might need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Other than that, it is pure personal preference. People will come up with all kinds of reasons they have or don't have a rooster, but other than the fetility thing that is all personal preference.
     
  3. urb2165

    urb2165 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2012
    Ridgerunner, Many thanks for your reply and suggestions. What type of litter do you have in the bottom of your coop under their roosting places? One of my concerns are the litter and poop getting wet and creating a strong ammonia smell. The suggestion to have seperate runs from the same coop is a good idea I will need to give that more thought. I just don't really want a permanet coop or hen house. I am thinking of just housing 4 Rhode Island Red Layers for now.
    Keep the suggestions rolling my way.
    Thanks
    Rodney
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don't have any litter. I have a brooder. Every week or two I scrape the poop off the top and put it in the compost pile.

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