Coop, Run and Garden Location

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by L.D.Sewell, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. L.D.Sewell

    L.D.Sewell In the Brooder

    Nov 18, 2017
    May or may not be an issue - but I am wondering if there is any concern about having the coop and run too close to a vegetable garden? Planning everything out for spring and trying to figure out where to put what.

    Ideally, I would like to put the coop and the garden in the same corner of the yard with the closest plants maybe 10 feet from the coop. Does it matter?
    lcwmt likes this.
  2. lcwmt

    lcwmt Songster

    Jun 16, 2017
    N Central MT
    IMO what matters is not how close the garden is to the coop but whether or not the chickens have an enclosed run, and/or if the garden is fenced during the growing season.
    Given the opportunity, the girls WILL scratch around in that wonderful space, searching for worms, bugs, tender green morsels. They can disrupt a lot of growing things in short order.
  3. nminusyplusm

    nminusyplusm Crowing

    Mar 29, 2017
    Deming, NM
    My garden is 4' away from the enclosed DL run and coop. They don't free range. I like the proximity because I can easily move compost as needed with minimal effort. It also means chicken treats are nearby!
    L.D.Sewell likes this.
  4. L.D.Sewell

    L.D.Sewell In the Brooder

    Nov 18, 2017
    They will have an enclosed coop (lots of LARGE hawks here!) and I am going to build a tractor (If that's the right name for the thing) so I can move them around the yard during the day as I seem to have an overabundance of creepy crawly things like ants and numerous other bugs they hopefully will find to be delicious.
    lcwmt and nminusyplusm like this.
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    My garden is fully fenced due to pests (rabbits, prairie dogs, etc.) and my chickens are fully fenced due to predators (coyotes). There is probably 10-15ft between the two areas. I like having them in close proximity because it makes caring for both easier. I keep the hose between them, the compost between them, when I bring tools out they are close to both areas and maintenance, watering, cleaning, composting etc. all happens in the same space and is easier/more convenient. I am still learning about chickens, composting, and gardening and right now it is easier to have these things close but separate. I am not ready to manage my chickens IN the garden and what plants are or aren't safe and I cannot have them destroy things I am struggling to grow, and I want to eat my own fruits and vegetables, though I am contemplating a new garden plot to grow things just for the chickens to eat.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    As said above, the concern is whether or not the chicken scan get to the garden. They will eat almost anything as it sprouts. They will eat many things as they grow or ripen. They will dust-bathe in there, digging big holes. If you mulch they will scatter that mulch everywhere. Basically a vegetable garden and chickens do not mix if the chickens have access.

    On the other hand having the two close together makes it easy to feed them excess or damaged produce. Having a compost pile pretty close to both or either can be pretty convenient, just think about access and gates.

    You were posting while I was typing, so yes it sounds like having them close together will be a good thing.
  7. L.D.Sewell

    L.D.Sewell In the Brooder

    Nov 18, 2017
    Thanks for all the info - so sounds like I have a plan now. Going to put them both in the same area and my mulch/debris piles next to the coop - but I will be sure not to let the chickens loose inside the garden.
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Well, most of my garden beds right now are inside the run (and another one sits immediately outside, about 4" from the fence), so you can't get much closer than that! When it's growing season, I fence off the beds with chicken wire. During off season, I want the chickens to turn over the soil, so the wire comes down and they get access to the beds.
    L.D.Sewell likes this.
  9. L.D.Sewell

    L.D.Sewell In the Brooder

    Nov 18, 2017
    Fencing is going to be essential - not just to keep the chickens out of the garden but to try and keep all the other critters out. We have deer in and around our yard on a daily basis, and I may let the chickens run around outside a covered run and outside of their tractor so long as I'm outside with them - but I suspect that would be a bad idea to leave them alone and unattended because of the numerous hawks in this area.

    I like your approach of having the chickens turn over the soil... may see if I can figure out some way to do that and still keep them safe too (maybe just park the tractor on the beds for a day at a time during the off season?)
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    :celebrate OOOOHHHH!!!! Excitement!!!!! Info, please???? What is your general location? How big an area are you setting up for your garden? For your coop? For your run? How many birds to you hope to have? Are you new to chickens? New to gardening?

    What is your soil like? Is your yard void of trees, or do you have to work around lots of shade and tree root issues.

    General recommendation is for 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run per bird.

    There are lots of different ways you can set things up, and each way has it's own advantage/disadvantages.

    Tell us how much room you have to work with, what you have for soil, how much available sun, how many chickens you want, and how much time you intend to spend gardening, and we'll be happy to help you out! Any physical limitations to gardening? Back issues? Do you intend to use a tiller?

    Suggested reading: Any of the books written by Ruth Stout, Lasagna gardening by Patricia Lanza, view the Back to Eden movie. You can do a google search for it. Also, this book is very helpful for flock management:

    I am absolutely passionate about gardening, and my flock is an integral part of that passion. I would LOVE to help you with your planning stages so that your garden/coop/run can work well with the space you have.

    Immediate first suggestion is this: consider deep litter in both coop and run. This will provide LOTS of fantastic compost for your yard. Make your coop bigger than you think you will need. IMO, 4 x 8, with walls 6 - 8' high is an absolute minimum, no matter how few birds you intend to have. If you have a very small flock, the extra space will be enjoyed by your birds, and it will make your flock management a breeze instead of a headache.

    I would place the coop on the back North side of your chosen area, with space for a run/garden on both the East and West ends of the coop. You could have a pop door on each end of the coop. The first year, you would use the East end for a chicken run, and the West end for the garden. When you finish harvesting your garden, you could then open the garden, and close off the current run. This would allow the soil to rest in the old run, while the birds glean the weeds, left over plants and insects from the old garden.
    JavaMan, L.D.Sewell, lcwmt and 2 others like this.

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