lawnmowers and coop location

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Grateful Dad, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Grateful Dad

    Grateful Dad Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2012
    Massachusetts
    My Coop
    I am trying to think of all the possible problems before I build a permanent structure for the hens.
    #1 I do mow my lawn, how far should they be from this scary noisy machine?
    #2 my property has a large steep hill on the back side so it only gets late day sun , like after 2 pm..where should I situate the coop when it comes to this, the hill would provide some nice wind and weather blockage ( its to the East, here in Massachusetts)
    though where I am thinking Ill put it I also have a garden so it does get enough to grow food.
    #3 I want to free range in the day , will the hens come back on their own? how worried should I be about neighbors dogs? old brown lab and over on the other side 2 shitzus and some 25 lb mutt thing , hehe ugly/cute and chases my 2 cats. which is another question, the cats...
    Joe
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    #1 I do mow my lawn, how far should they be from this scary noisy machine?

    The first two or three times I mowed near the chickens, they panicked and ran away. Then they noticed the mower was throwing bits of green grass inside the run. Now when they hear the mower, they come running. The mower means treats.

    #2 my property has a large steep hill on the back side so it only gets late day sun , like after 2 pm..where should I situate the coop when it comes to this, the hill would provide some nice wind and weather blockage ( its to the East, here in Massachusetts)
    though where I am thinking Ill put it I also have a garden so it does get enough to grow food.

    Don't worry about sunshine. They do not need to bask in bright sunlight. They are quyite happy with a lot of shade. My concern for positioning the coop would relate to drainage. A wet coop and run is an invitation to disease. When it sets in wet, it is really hard to keep a decent sized run really dry, but position it where water does not collect, where rainwater run-off will not go in, and where it will drain when it gets wet. I like berms and swales to direct rainwater runoff away from the coop and run because they are gentle and can be mowed.

    #3 I want to free range in the day , will the hens come back on their own?

    The hens will return to the coop at night. Just leave them locked in there for a week or two before you let them range so they get in the habit of sleeping in there.

    how worried should I be about neighbors dogs? old brown lab and over on the other side 2 shitzus and some 25 lb mutt thing , hehe ugly/cute and chases my 2 cats. which is another question, the cats...

    Don't worry about cats and grown chickens. Baby chicks are another issue. You are talking about living animals so it is not 100% certain what they will do, but I don't worry about cats.

    Dogs are another issue. Several of my neighbors and I all have dogs. Those are not generally a problem. But people have dropped dogs off in the country here and those dogs have killed my chickens. One neighbor's new pup did chase my chickens, but it also chased the neighbors cows with young calves and aggravated the horses. That pup disappeared before I had to do anything about it. I have neighbors that take care of problems.

    My take on the free ranging dogs here in the country is that they have a job to do. That job is to keep certain critters away from around the houses, gardens, and crops and coyotes and such away from baby calves. They can't do that job locked up. If the dogs start harming any of the animals they are supposed to protect, somebody shoots them. That is the way dogs are handled in the true country. If you are in suburbia, it is different and dogs should be contained. I consider it my job to protect my chickens, not control someone else's animal. I have discussed this with my neighbors. They actually brought it up. They said if their dogs go after the chickens, shoot them.

    But yes, the dogs are a real risk.
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida

    I love your response...good common sense. Do you realize you are a rarity nowadays?
    sharon
     
  4. Grateful Dad

    Grateful Dad Out Of The Brooder

    59
    2
    33
    Mar 3, 2012
    Massachusetts
    My Coop
    it is a good reply, the drainage issue has alot to do with my location, but also in spring here when the snow melts its always wet, then its gonna rain like crazy...so I guess a little more sun is better then to help dry things out.
    im going to keep the coop off the ground and cover the run,I may dig and throw down some gravel or rocks around the perimeter of the run as a mote/drain
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012

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