Coop/Run Orientation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Connie57, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. Connie57

    Connie57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2012
    We are preparing to build our first coop and can't decide/agree on which way to orient the whole thing. Does it matter which way the coop faces, i.e. should the nesting boxes be on a particular side of the coop or do the girls care where they lay their eggs? I want to put them on the west side of the coop under a large covered porch, but it's the prevailing wind side and I wonder if that will bother the hens.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In my opinion, the most important thing to look at is drainage and water. A wet coop or run is a disease waiting to happen. Location and orientation should take this into account. They should be placed where water will drain away from them. Any roof should be sloped so water falls off and runs away from the coop and run, or use gutters and downspouts. You want to be able to enter the coop without wading through mud. You don’t want rainwater running off the roof to hit you as you are entering the coop.

    The next thing to consider is ventilation and prevailing wind direction. It’s important that the coop have good ventilation but in colder climates you don’t want a breeze hitting the chickens directly when on the roost. You also don’t want the prevailing wind to blow rain into the coop. A lot of this depends on what the coop looks like. If you build a coop where one wall is open instead of solidly closed, that opening should face away from the prevailing wind.

    The next thing I consider is the window or windows. You need enough light to be able to see in there to work and the chickens need to be able to find their way around. But you don’t want a security light or automobile lights to shine inside at night. You want it to get dark at night. Consider your climate too. Heat kills a lot more chickens than cold. If you live where the summers get really hot, you probably don’t want the windows where the hot afternoon sun shines inside heating the coop so look at the east and north sides for windows. Some people like a coop to be bright and sunny but my personal preference is for it to be darker and cooler. I just think they are calmer and more comfortable in shade than bright sun, especially in the coop.

    Heat kills a lot more chickens than cold. A lot depends on what your coop looks like, how you build your nests, and your climate, but don’t put your nests where they will become ovens. That may mean put them on the north or east wall or in an area where they will be shaded. I built mine a little tall and with some ventilation holes up high so the heat doesn’t build up as much. And the wall they are against is in full shade.

    I’m not sure why you are concerned about a prevailing wind hitting them when they are on the nest. When I envision a nest I think of something out of the weather, both wind and rain. Perhaps if you could explain why you are concerned about the nest and prevailing wind I could address that.

    I don’t have a clue if you are building a tiny little elevated coop or a big walk-in coop. I have no idea what your climate is or if the coop is in shade or full sun. I don’t know what your property looks like or how the coop is situated. It’s hard to get real specific with all these unknowns. That’s why I’ve tried to tell you the things I’d consider instead of telling you how to do it. Good luck!
    2 people like this.
  3. kaileen20

    kaileen20 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 14, 2014
    I just finished building my coop, I built it out of an old playset, I just used wood created and placed them around on the top and bottom sections of my coop and the lay their eggs in those, one of my girls won't lay in the crates, she has her favorite spot in the corner of the top coop on the floor with hay, the way I built it, I didn't have an option to make nesting boxes but the bottom the nesting boxes are in the rear and I have a place where there is a lid on the rear to open up and gather eggs but some of my girls just lay wherever, its like an egg hunt sometimes lol

    Here is my coop
    1 person likes this.
  4. Connie57

    Connie57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2012
    I am located on 2.5 acres in Central California, and the coop we are building will be a walk-in, close to the 120 sqf (plus runs) allowed by our building code. I plan on building it larger than I'll initially need for 8-10 hens. Just want to try and get it right the first time :)
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    My coop is moveable as it is mounted on a 2 wheeled trailor. I had it facing north in this photo. I found east gave me less hassle and less snow to shovel to open the doors as well.



    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014

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