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Placement of coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HBChicken, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. HBChicken

    HBChicken New Egg

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    Mar 28, 2016
    West Chester Pa
    Hi folks, I'm new to the site and was wondering what is the best location for a coop? I've sectioned of a part of the yard and one section gets sun the majority of the day and the other section gets shade the majority of the day. I'm reaching out to see which section would be better to place the coop.
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hello & welcome! [​IMG] You don't say where you are, so here's my best take. If you live in a very warm place (desert etc.) probably shade will be best so they can have respite from the heat. If you live in the snowy, cooler regions sun would be better.
    Ideally, if you place the coop in the sun, you would be able to provide shade for them if they want it. Think awning or similar for the heat of the day. Obviously, the perfect spot would be half & half! [​IMG]
    Hope this helps,
     
  3. HBChicken

    HBChicken New Egg

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    Mar 28, 2016
    West Chester Pa
    Thanks for the advise - we are new to chickens and just want to do it right. By the way we are in Chester County right outside of Philadelphia so we similar climate to yours.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Direct sun is desirable in winter, not in summer. If you are lucky, find a high and dry spot under deciduous trees. Face the Windows south.

    Otherwise, I would pick the shadier option. Winter sun is weak and short anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  5. HBChicken

    HBChicken New Egg

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    Mar 28, 2016
    West Chester Pa
    Thanks - I'm working on building my coop and was planning on putting windows on 3 sides, guess I should rethink that since you recommended facing the windows south.
     
  6. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Chicken coop designs are as numerous as chickens themselves! If you want 3 sides of windows - do it! Just bear in mind that windows will lose heat faster in winter (unless they are double paned) so you may have to cover them with cardboard or similar.
     
  7. HBChicken

    HBChicken New Egg

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    Mar 28, 2016
    West Chester Pa
    So now my next newbee question. Am I wasting my time trying to plant grass inside the run although the chicks will not be in there for a while and are only a week old today? The grass should have plenty of time to get established. But from what I'm seeing most folks runs are dirt. My coop will be 6 x 4 and the run will be 6 x 12 for 6 chicks but they will have an additional secured free range area that is 15 x 24.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    My most important criteria in positioning a coop and run has nothing to do with the sun. Put it where it will stay dry. A wet coop and run is a danger from a disease standpoint and can easily stink. Do not put it in a low spot where water collects. Put it where water drains away.

    Heat kills a lot more chickens that cold further north than Pennsylvania. With just a little bit of help they can handle cold really well. They do not need additional heat any more than the songbirds that overwinter in Pennsylvania. They need good ventilation like songbirds get when roosting in trees but they also need protection from direct wind blowing on them. Songbirds can get that by moving out of the wind but we usually don’t give our chickens that much freedom in the coop. Openings up over their heads when they are on the roosts will give them good ventilation and prevent direct winds hitting them.

    We all have our own personal preferences on a lot of this stuff. I like a darker coop, I think my chickens are calmer if the coop is a bit darker. My one window is on the north. But some people prefer a brighter coop. Plenty of people have very bright coops and do fine. Put the windows where you wish. You will be OK. But don’t worry about adding heat, it’s not necessary.

    How fast and how thoroughly chickens destroy vegetation in a run depends on the chicken density as well as the growing season and your climate. If you only had that smaller run area it would not be long before it is bare dirt. With that larger area and only six chickens it could last quite a while in the good part of the growing season. They may eventually wipe it clean, they may not. As a minimum they will keep certain areas cleared out, where they sunbathe and maybe in the shade where they will probably spend most of their time.

    One way to assure them of at least some forage in the good weather months is to make a grass bed in the run. Make a frame out of 2x6’s or 2x8’s on edge. Maybe two feet wide and as long as you wish. Cover that with some type of wire they can’t get their heads through, chicken wire works. With the roost well established they will pluck off small bits of green that they can reach without eating the grass to the roots, then scratching the roots up and eating them.
     
  9. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My run is 8 foot by 24 foot. Was full of grass and my 9 hens had it down to bare dirt in2-3 weeks. So I wouldn't bother planting anything in there if it were me.
     
  10. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    as ridgerunner stated, if you plant grass/greens for them, you will have to cover with wire. They can easily pluck what grows up and through, but can't destroy the roots. Many people plant salad greens too..
     

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