Coop & Run Placement

Buggys Beaks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 21, 2013
Below is a picture of my backyard and where I'd like to put the coop and run once I get it started. There is about an acre out back, but this only shows a little less than half. The tree line to the left marks the south side, so it gets morning and late afternoon sun. (The wood pile will be removed soon, too.) The telephone pole is just there, it's not attached to anything, and I don't think it ever was. The pine trees may be coming down, as well as the large silver maples along the line. (The maple to the right will be staying for now. And we will be replacing the maples with Forest Pansy Redbuds and October Glory maples.) I think the ground where I have the coop and run pictured was a garden at some point, so it doesn't have grass so much as thin weeds and dirt. It's also beneath the pine branches a bit, so it gets needle droppings. The small crabapple also shades the area a bit, but it, too, may be coming out.

I'm thinking 4' x 6' for the coop interior, plus nesting boxes, and 4' x 16' for the run so that it includes the area under the coop. If I had 6 chickens, they would have 4 square feet inside and 10 square feet outside per bird. (Or would it be better to have a run that's not so long and skinny? Say 6' x 10'?)

My question is the placement. Is it all right from what you can tell?

Opinions on any part of my plan are more than welcome. Thank you!

Nice plot you've got there! Do you plan to free-range?

You've got to do what ever feels right by you. I like being able to look out my kitchen window and eat supper while watching the chooks do their thing. Also, I find that having a place to sit and interact while not getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes is nice.

The only think I can think of is access to water. It’s a burden to carry water from the spigot to the coop. So I would put it somewhere there is easy access to a spigot or hydrant or where I could run a water line.

With that much space, think bigger! Chicken math, 6 will turn into 20 before you can blink an eye....
Another thought, if your doing the homestead thing, the pine trees are nice to have; we've got about 40 on our 1 acer lot. Think twice before cutting them down. You could build an open or partially covered run around the trees. The pines will provide you with lots of free bedding and material for deep litter and also keep arial preditors from snatching up your girls from the sky.
I I should really think twice before I with the post button, lol.

Another thought, our girls love apples as a treat, and if you were to ever keep duck or geese, I have read they will gobble them right up.

Check out the pictures in my profile, there are a few shots of our yard and how we incorporated the coop around the trees so that we didn't have to build a roofed run. I would save you the hunting, but for some reason the computer I am on won't let me post a picture.
Thank you Yogi. I have big concerns about the foxes, owls, and hawks we have--we also have the occasional bald eagle--so I definitely want to keep them covered.

I hadn't thought about water! Thanks for that. If I remember correctly my hose almost reaches to that spot. Maybe a longer hose will be on the purchasing list? (very tight budget I have)

More to chew over. . .
Wonders if that post was a yard light, might be power to it...or at least a breaker on the house panel to feed out there?

I agree go bigger if you can, would be good to have a place to store feed and supplies within the building.

Not sure you'll be able to use a garden hose in the winter in Maryland. can edit your posts instead of adding more posts. :)
My husband told me that he believes the area I want to use was housed chickens. (Thus the telephone pole.) Do I need to worry about ground contamination? It's been at least 11-15 years, if not more.
Why does he think that? Good change there was a building out there, but maybe not chickens.
Any evidence of power?

I don't think you have to worry about contamination from 10 years ago.

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