Help me decide coop location!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lizzy14, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. lizzy14

    lizzy14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We ordered our chicks!! [​IMG] Picking them up August 15, so we've got some time to prepare. Anywho, now I can't decide where to put the coop! We have a large yard and attached 8 acres of woods. Our back yard is wide open with little option for shade.
    Location #1: We have cleared out some space in the woods to the side of the yard and I have had my eye on a spot behind the shed where the ground stays relatively dry. The downside to this: it is full of poison ivy. Also, the chickens would have full shade there, so I wasn't sure if that would negatively impact egg production...
    Location #2: At the way back of the yard under some pine trees that provide a small amount of shade. This area of the yard is really not used for anything and is just a pain to mow. The downside: it gets quite wet in the spring, which I've read isn't a good option for coop location due to messiness and hygiene. No poison ivy, though.
    So I don't know, DH liked the idea of the way back, pine tree location and then I thought of the wetness the next day (It's not wet at all right now.)

    Which problem is easier to deal with - eradicating poison ivy or battling poor drainage??
    Thanks!
     
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    A lot of the decision is predicated upon what part of the country you're in and how hot/cold it gets.

    I'm in southern California but near the ocean so it stays pretty cool here all the time. We sited our coop on the East side of our house because we had an existing concrete pad there and the location doesn't impact our neighbors greatly (we're only on 3 acres; with 8 you can probably do whatever you want!)

    We've been really happy with the Eastern exposure - I was worried it might be too cool/shady for them but it has worked out great.

    Good luck!
     
  3. nancypo

    nancypo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    If you build a coop with a run with a good sized covered, that will take care of the drainage issue....
     
  4. lizzy14

    lizzy14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well, I'm not sure if it will, because the yard slopes gradually down toward the back, where this would be located. The side of the yard that is drier, of course, is closer to our neighbors and wouldn't be a good option.
    To bawkbawkbawk: you would think that we could do anything we want on 8 acres! However, our lot is very long and narrow, with many similar plots around us, so our neighbors are quite close. There's plenty of space back in the woods, but that would be too far from our house! We get long, rather cold (but rarely below 10 deg) and rather snowy winters and warm summers (80's-90's usually). We will have to consider the wind direction... we are sheltered on the north side by woods, and on the west side as well.
    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Build your coop with removable wall panels so you have lots of summer ventilation but provides winter shelter. Build a run that is roofed for the rain and snow and frame the base with AW wood 2x6, fill the run floor with coarse sand or pea gravel and it will lift the birds out of the runoff water. A couple roost poles in the run will let the birds roost in the day and get fresh air even in the winter.

    My coop sits in a low spot in the yard but in the spring when there is 2" of standing watter, thy are kicking up dust in the coop, digging for spilt feed.
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Well, I'm not sure if it will, because the yard slopes gradually down toward the back, where this would be located. The side of the yard that is drier, of course, is closer to our neighbors and wouldn't be a good option.
    To bawkbawkbawk: you would think that we could do anything we want on 8 acres! However, our lot is very long and narrow, with many similar plots around us, so our neighbors are quite close. There's plenty of space back in the woods, but that would be too far from our house! We get long, rather cold (but rarely below 10 deg) and rather snowy winters and warm summers (80's-90's usually). We will have to consider the wind direction... we are sheltered on the north side by woods, and on the west side as well.
    Thanks for the feedback!

    [​IMG]

    Another thing to consider in Coop location. Access 365 days out of the year. If the area is low lying and has a tendency to being a swamp in the spring. You could do a "raised run" put down a layer of gravel over some weep lines to let the water pass on through. Then a layer of mulch felt and top with about six to eight inches of sand. Before everyone comments on how well chickens can dig I personally have this felt in my yard and you cannot cut it with a shovel. You have to get a knife and slice it first before you can dig a hole... LOL

    Or just put it where the land is less swampy and put up shade cloth for those hot days. (my personal preference) and that would be Choice number 3 LOL.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  7. lizzy14

    lizzy14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:And what do you use for shade cloth? I'm trying to think of some other spots that aren't too close to our neighbors. And if it's smack dab in the middle of our lawn, hubby will have to say goodbye to the grass in the area. The area under the pine trees, choice #2, is not the wettest spot in our lawn, and it doesn't get standing water, but for about two months out of the year, it's a bit sloshy to walk on. We are going to be keeping 4-6 hens, so, say the coop is ~40 ft from neighbors line and the run is on the side further from them, do you guys think that noise and smell would bother them at all? I'm asking because the side of the yard near our closest neighbors sits on higher ground and/or drains better.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Poison Ivy can be hard to eradicate. It usually takes me two to three growing seasons to get rid of Poison Ivy once it is established. I keep spraying any sprouts with a brush killer until it quits sprouting. And the darn wild birds keep sowing more seeds. They love those Poison Ivy berries. I don't know if the chickens would eat it and get rid of it in the run or not. I'd think they probably would, but you will still have it on the outside of the run.

    A wet run is a smelly run. There are things you can do to help out, but choosing a location that is not wet is a great start. I'll give you a link to Pat's Muddy Run page. She has some great ideas.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run


    I'll
    add a couple of other articles from Pat. I think the Ventilation one should be required reading for anyone building a coop.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    Pat’s
    Cold Coop (winter design) page:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-winter-coop-temperatures

    Don't
    worry about egg production being impacted if they are not in the bright sun. They are quite happy in shaded, filtered daylight under trees. I think the drainage issue is much more important than this.
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If at all possible, stay away from the spot with poor drainage! That's my opinion. It will just be a continuing headache.

    If you live somewhere with a hot summer (like we do, in Texas) siting your coop/run in the shade is critical. Our first two coops/runs get afternoon sun and are too hot in the summer; our third coop is in the part of the yard that gets deep shade in the afternoon and it's made a big difference making it liveable for the chickens. However, when it rains hard the run does get soggy, even though it's roofed, which is an enormous pain several times a year. We haven't seen rain here for more than a month, though.
     
  10. lorihadams

    lorihadams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's my two cents....I would go with something shady over something wet. I have had both and I like shady better. Is there any way you could extend part of the run out so they can get into the sun some? We have the coop in the shade but part of the "pasture" is in the sun almost all day. Our coop is raised up about 4 feet off the ground which gives them somewhere to go when the sun reaches in towards the coop, which is rare but happens in the fall when the leaves fall off the trees. Have any pictures, that might help us too?
     

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