Placement of coop around house--help please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tankernav1, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    65
    0
    39
    Feb 20, 2009
    OK, so our coop is almost built. Used plans that we purchased online. Now I just can't decide where we should put it. I'm hoping for some input please. We live in the country on 5 acres and definitely are visited by coons and possums. We have 3 dogs and 3 outdoor cats (but not feral). We were going to place the coop on the concrete pad in front of the barn that is on our property line. There is a small 4 foot plastic fence dividing us and the neighbor's driveway--he is NOT an animal lover. It is more out in the open and near our front pond. We would like the chickens to free range but I am a bit nervous about my dogs chasing them as the love the squirrels around here. OR we could place the coop at the back of the house, out my back patio door where there is about 20 feet before reaching the edge of the woods. The dogs are on a perimeter collar so they don't go in the woods. It is a bit more quiet out back---we do have a lot of bird feeders out there as we have a rich bird environment that we love to watch. I would love for our girls (now 2 weeks old) to free range as much as we can and find their own food and come in to their hen house/coop every night. Obviously if we put it out back we will need to protect against digging animals so we thought we would put in a hardware wire floor with some dirt on top and then pine shavings. Any thoughts? My children say there are hawks or some kind of big birds they see flying around in the sky. So I am thinking the chickens might be safer from them back in the back, nearer the woods? Because out front it is very open with fewer trees and the pond and horse pasture. Of course I don't know how far they will wander from their coop every day. Our neighbors down the road have chickens and we see them out along the side of the road (probably getting grit) but don't know them very well so haven't called them. Any advice on where to place the coop that I haven't thought of? Thanks. We have 2 days to finish this before my hubby leaves on a business trip.
     
  2. nightshade

    nightshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you want them to be safe you are going to want to rethink your free ranging. Most chickens are not safe free ranging and you will lose some. Maybe not all but you will lose some. Also if your neighbor does not like animals I would not put the coop so close to the property line with him, especially if you do decide to free range them because they are going to certainly wander onto his place and that is only going to cause you problems.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    109
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I cannot improve on what nightshade said; listen to her [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  4. luvs2garden2000

    luvs2garden2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    936
    0
    129
    Jul 16, 2008
    Norman Oklahoma
    I free range mine or most of mine. A few weeks ago I want out let them out of the coop at 10 am and with in an hour a bobcat got my turkey hen and had her almost eaten and the rest buried. In broad daylight.
     
  5. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    When we first decided to get chickens, we wanted them to free-range, thinking we didn't have very many predators to worry about. However, after talking to neighbors and also reading on BYC, I realized that we would surely lose some chickens that way and that's not what I want. One family with free ranged chickens, about 3 miles from me, only has 1 hen left from last spring who didn't get eaten by a predator. This year, they bought 8 more pullets and have built a better coop and secure run!

    So anyways, we decided to put our coop and run about 20 feet from our back door so it's very easy for us to visit them every morning, night, and any other time during the day. I also sometimes leave the back door open and I can see and hear them from inside. It's convenient, and I feel like they are pretty safe.
     
  6. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    16,153
    65
    361
    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Quote:[​IMG] Sage advice!
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can offer limited ranging in an enclosed space like a roofed run. I agree with what has been said- we have the same predators as you and possibly more. A neighbor two lots down free-ranges and loses most of his birds every year (duh). Our birds are in a biosecure run /coop and we bring the treats to them!

    Shown in home page...

    And be sure you check your zoning laws, we're agricultural but any coop must be 150 feet from any dwelling.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  8. tankernav1

    tankernav1 Out Of The Brooder

    65
    0
    39
    Feb 20, 2009
    So it sounds like if we want them to be safe, then maybe I want to think again about them free ranging! Yikes. I just thought they would be happier milling about. Could they get to the point that they could do that when we were outside possible? for an hour or two? and then they go back in the coop? We have a swimming pool so in the summer when we are out I was thinking they could be out too and we could put our dogs inside. I'm hoping the cats will leave them alone once they are full grown. There are no other neighbors close by with animals. And the neighbor whose driveway is next to our property line---there is a 4 foot high fence there. But I don't know if that would deter them enough? Thanks for all comments!
     
  9. luvs2garden2000

    luvs2garden2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    936
    0
    129
    Jul 16, 2008
    Norman Oklahoma
    I am usually home 24/7 (my kids call me a hermit) so my birds do free range all day. When the bobcat got my turkey I was in the house cleaning. Dang house work anyway. I do try to keep a better watch out now.
     
  10. notsostupidafterall

    notsostupidafterall Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Feb 28, 2009
    Central Utah
    Predators................we live in a small rural town of 1,000 souls. Most folks have a little acreage. I know of at least 20 guys (me included) that keep a live trap open year round..........coons, skunks, feral cats, etc.

    Sure works for us...........and either day or night............24/7
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by