To avoid any mystery.............SOUTH!!!!! ************** Have seen a number of posts in recent days about coops some first timers are building. Due to lack of knowledge and/or experience I see many of them inadvertently creating a lot of problems for themselves and more importantly their birds. So with that as background, time to review some very basic rules of the road as far as where you want to put your chicken house. Think SOUTH! First thing to know and understand is you want your site to be high, dry and well drained. Chickens kept in houses are almost ALWAYS adversely affected by cold, wet, damp, poorly lit conditions. So unless you want them to get sick, to suffer from disease and/or die, never, ever put them there. So instead, putting your chicken house/coop up high on a south facing slope, on a light or well drained soil, and with full exposure to the winter sun is your PRIME location. Anything less than that is......well less. The issue is the angle of the sun and how it hits and reflects off the surface of the earth in winter months. As days get short, the sun goes low in the sky. Sunlight can only find it's way to south facing surfaces and slopes with a direct line of sight to the low hanging sun. North sides are shaded. To elaborate, take any house.....yours, mine, any house. It will likely have 4 sides facing north, south, east and west. The south side will always be the warmest and driest. The north side, the coldest and wettest. If it snows, the south side will be where it melts first. The north side last. The same holds true in the forest. Look around. Notice what trees grow on the north slope, and what grows on the south. In natural settings, the north slope will be populated with larger trees, not so close together. They will be mostly majestic oaks, maples and such and there will be a heavy leaf litter and very little underbrush. What there is may be ferns and such and you may see moss growing on stuff. Pull back the leaf litter and the soil, if not frozen solid, will be cool and moist. It stays that way all winter and most of the year. So cold and moist. Exactly OPPOSITE of what you want for chickens. By contrast, a south facing slope will have an entirely different makeup. A lot of short, brushy trees, heavy underbrush, thorns, etc. The soil will be dry from being baked by the winter sun and compared to the north side, much warmer. These are the exact conditions you what you want for chickens. Then there is the nature of the winter winds, which in winter blow hard and cold from the north. So put them on the north, and they will be in a cold, damp, poorly lit, location with brutal cold winds howling around them. Not good. Put them up high on a well drained spot facing south, and under the same conditions, a bird in that house will be having fun in the sun and be happy and doing well. And they may not be more than 100 feet away. It makes that much difference, although it can be improved even more if you put a wind break in for them to protect them from the winter wind. East and west make much less difference, but it is still important which direction the front of the coop faces. (also south) To take advantage of the winter sun, any openings such as windows and such need to be facing south so any light from the sun shines in. Sunlight for the natural light, for the cleansing affect and to generate modest amounts of free heat in the dead of winter. That also dries out what moisture might be found. But facing south also faces those openings away from the brutal north winds of winter. That hits the solid back of the house and bounces off or goes around.......but not through the house as it might if your windows and vents faced north. And lastly, consider drainage. Water is the enemy. Make sure water runs away from the house and run and not towards it. Gravity works! The best way to take advantage of it is to put the house up high and let water run away. Think of it being like a bowl. Turn the bowl upside down and water will run off it. Turn it right side up and water will be trapped and held within. So in summary.....high and dry and facing south on a well drained site with all surface water running away from it. Windows, if they exist......and they better exist....... facing south. If you have those and want more, for more light or ventilation, put those east and west but not on the north. If you put any opening on the north at all, such as vents for summer breezes, make sure you can close them up in winter.