How Much Sun for the Coop?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by casa gagina, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. casa gagina

    casa gagina New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2009
    Hi,

    We are planning to get 4 hens for our family to begin with(yes, we are chicks in this process).
    Currently we are siting our coop and run. We would really prefer to locate them nearer to our woods but that will leave them quite shaded throughout the day. It's not deep shade by any means but you would not consider it for growing much. I would call it a dappled sunlight. I have diligently searched your site and others and have not uncovered much on this question. Will this impact our birds negatively?
    We have enough land(surrounded by very tall trees, only sunlight in center) that we may be able to let them roam some in the daytime but we do not know yet about the safety or reasonability of that question yet either.
    Kinda gettin addicted and don't even have the birds yet!
     
  2. da-cajun-angla

    da-cajun-angla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    laplace,la
    MY HENS DONT LIKE THE SUN, THEY TEND TO GO UNDER THE COOP WHERE OT IS SHADES INSTAED OF OUT IN THE RUN WHEN THE SUN IS SHINING THERE.. I HAVE MY NEIGHBORS OAK TEE SHADING THE TOP, BUT THEY SEEM TO SHY AWAY FROM THE SUN, EVEN DURING THE WINTER...WELL, IF U WANNA CALL IT THAT. MUCH OF OUR WINTER WAS SPENT IN SHORTS...HELL, MOST OF MY SUMMER GARDEN IS STILL ALIVE...LOL...SO PARTIAL SUN IS GOOD I THINK.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It depends. In a hot dry climate, the more shade the better. In a damp climate on chronically-damp soil, the more sun the better. For anyone else, somewhere in between [​IMG]

    Shade is valuable in summer (how hot do your summers get?) but tends to lead to the run staying damper, thus muddier/smellier/fly-ier. Sun on the coop itself will make it warmer in winter, but obviously also warmer in summer, so it depends what you need most.

    One other consideration, especially if these are evergreen trees (but even if they are deciduous but rather dense): the shadier the coop, the later "sunrise" happens, and the sooner "sunset" happens, from the perspective of the little whatsit in the chicken's head that tells it how many hours of daylight it's getting. Same as if you sleep in a north-facing bedroom with shades drawn; the night seems longer than if the sun beams into your window immediately upon clearing the horizon. In some cases this can accentuate the normal wintertime lull in egglaying. The extent to which that would matter to you depends on your latitude and how much you care about high egg production.

    Finally, be aware that wooded areas lead predators to want to hang around more than places out in the dead stark open. You are likelier to have more and bolder predators off in the woods than in an open area (esp. an open area near the house).

    I could see going either way with it, depending on your circumstances and location and priorities.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. casa gagina

    casa gagina New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2009
    Thanks. "The woods" are just our woods. I appreciate your reply. I think we are going to stick with the location and just thin out trees and branches until we get it right.
     
  5. casa gagina

    casa gagina New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2009
    I grew up in Metairie. Moved to Seattle when I was 20. If I was a chicken in Laplace I'd want AC in my coop
     
  6. embkm

    embkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my pen in the wooded area on my property. We put it there because we live in GA and the shade is needed in the summer. We put ours near the non-evergreen trees so it gets a bit more light in the winter.

    There has been a problem recently though that has us thinking about moving the coop/ run. We are finally coming out of a long drought. This spring has been the wettest I remember in a long time and the run is just not drying out fast enough with the shade. Just don't know where to put it yet.
     

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