looking for much-needed opinions on coop location

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mominator, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Mominator

    Mominator In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    Killingworth, CT
    First of all, let me say what a pleasure it has been for me to lurk endlessly on this website! I have learned so much by reading the posts of others, so now I am hoping that you could offer me a bit of advice. I'll try to be to-the-point...

    I am trying to find the best location in my backyard to put my eventual coop. I'd like to build this fall, and get chicks in the spring (in a perfect world!). My yard is heavily wooded on all sides, with lawn in the middle, and the house is on the northern side. The back of the house faces south.

    Is it okay for the chickens to be in the deep shade of the woods all the time? I gather that it is great for them in the summer so they can stay cool, but I have lots of memories of my hens taking dust baths and lounging in the sun . (I had chicks as a kid and now want my own kids to have some fun with them as well!) I suppose that I could thin out the trees a bit. I imagine that they would enjoy the floor of the woods very much for all of the bug scavenging...

    Do any of you have your coops in the woods? How do your chickens fare? And what would the ideal location be for a chicken coop if you could dream it?

    I am SO excited to get started, but I'm afraid that I'm going to mess up and I want to do it right the first time, starting with location. Thanks so much for your input!

    Sandy in CT [​IMG]
  2. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    How big is the coop and run going to be? They need to have a safe place with no trees near the edges unless it is totally enclosed. Raccoons and other predators can climb trees and jump off limbs into the pen if it is under trees.
    If severe cold is an issue, then sun would be a big plus. My birds love the sun.
    Shelter from the wind and rain also are a big issue. Down here in the south, I put up plywood on the north side since winter storms come in predominantly from the NW or NE. Southerly storms are mainly in the summertime or warmer weather.
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Growing up our coop was in the "open" and our run was definately in the woods. The big advatage of this is we did not have to buy fence posts we just used the trees, therefore, the run was much bigger because the expense was less.

    They will love the forest floor for scratching and dust bathing. We did use old lumber for the bottom of the fence to anchor it down, as you know trees are not straight so openings occured at the bottom that had to be secured.

    Can you build the coop so that the coop is in the open and a small portion of the run is in the sun for sun bathing?

    In the summer my hens will sun bath a little in the morning but generally save the sun bathing for chilly days.
  4. Mominator

    Mominator In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    Killingworth, CT
    The plans are for the coop to be 6' x 8', and the run size is yet to be determined. I'm hoping for the bigger side, maybe 20' x 30', if I can convince my husband to help with digging the post holes in this hideously rocky soil! [​IMG] And yes, it will be resembling Fort Knox due to the predators...hawk, coyote, racoon, fisher, etc... there won't be a roll of hardware cloth left in CT when I'm through, for sure.

    I could possibly build the coop in a location where there is some afternoon sun, but that is in the sloping portion of the yard where I won't have an ideal view. There's always that possibility though. The west side of the backyard does get some morning sun, so I'm leaning that way at the moment. Ugh. One day I want it here, the next day over there...I better just build the thing so I can commit and be done!

  5. CountryBumpkinsofLumpkin

    CountryBumpkinsofLumpkin In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2008
    Dahlonega, Georgia

    We built the entire enclosure from dog kennel fencing purchased from seller's on CraigsList. The 6' x 6' hen house is covered with rough cut lumber.

    We have hundreds of trees on our property too. I stood in the back yard with my fence post digger, looked up and around, and dug my 1st hole. Later that day we had our 6' x 14' run.

    The rough cut lumber and tin roofing was installed later.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    1. The shade and sun is great
    2. Be mindful of any slight grade to the flooring. I have slipped a few times in the run.
    3. Electricity in the run or hen house is an extra plus
    4. ALWAYS plan ahead for the expansion project !! You can never have enough chickens.


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