Placement of coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mel Kel, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Mel Kel

    Mel Kel In the Brooder

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    Hello,
    I'm trying to decide the placement of a medium sized coop. I don't have much grass on our acre of property, most of it is graveled, and about 1/4 will be turned into a garden.

    I'm wondering - does a permanent coop have to have grass? Where I plan to build, it would be situated on gravel. I hope to let the chickens out most days to forage and wander around the yard, but am unsure if this will happen daily (for example, when I'm away for the weekend). If building the run/coop on gravel is ok, should I put anything down? Like straw? Or sand? Or is the gravel sufficient?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  2. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Crossing the Road

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    I think gravel as the only surface would be hard on their feet. But a small grass area will soon be turned to a small dirt area by chickens. How deep is the gravel? Could it be raked away so the chickens have a less harsh surface on which to stand?
     
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  3. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

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    Chickens like to peck and scratch, imagine living your life walking barefoot on gravel.
    Can you scrape off the run area so it is mostly free of gravel? If you do this, then you can deep litter the run area. Just add an armload of straw or hay or shavings every week or so. I go for hay as it has seed in it for the chickies to scratch for. If you have lots of rain, you might have to use a pitchfork and turn it after big rains so it doesn't mat down. Nothing big, just scoop and turn, the chickies will do the rest.
    If you can't take the gravel out, I'd definitely try to scrape at least some away and cover it with hay. And hay over the gravel makes it a bit softer.
     
  4. Mel Kel

    Mel Kel In the Brooder

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    Awesome, thank you!
    I just visited the plot again, and there is a 15x15' spot that doesn't have any gravel where I think I will place the coop. It is all dirt though, with no grass. Sounds like I could supplement with some hay/straw, but I think that should suffice. Plus, like I mentioned my hope is to let them out nearly daily to move around the yard.
    Thank you for the information!
     
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  5. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Crossing the Road

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    A space that size would be all dirt in no time once you put chickens in there so no loss having none to start with ;)

    Oh, I forgot to say :welcome !!
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    This is my advice and wished I'd had it when I started. Place your coop so the windows are faced East and West. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Thereby giving you as many daylight hours as possible. Too, place your coop on a knoll. As hill of sorts so drainage goes away from the coop. I couldn't find a decent picture of one. If you don't have one already, you can build one easily by piling soil in a mound big enough to fit your coop or coops. When it rains water should run down and away from your coop. ( Unless you're keeping ducks) No matter what type of coop you have these two things will serve you well.
     
  7. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    Great advice so far!

    It sounds like you found a nice spot now off to the coop section in Articles to get coop plans!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Very important when siting the coop and run!

    Good to have a secure run too tho.

    Welcome to BYC!
    Please add your general geographical location,
    climate is an important consideration in most thing chicken,
    it's easy to add then it's always there!
    You'll garner more helpful suggestions(from those that pay attention),
    if we know your location.

    upload_2018-4-3_17-55-19.png
     
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  9. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

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    Well, there you go. I like hay over my run. Especially since right now, the whole of my farm is like walking on a sponge lol. Usually clean the run and coop twice a year, stick it in a pile for a couple of months and BANGO, great compost for your garden.
     
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  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    I like to use a mix of hay, straw, grass cutting, peat moss, coop cleanings and any other composting items. Tossing scratch in there every few days and they work it and work it some more. Then when I clean the run it's a nice mix to add to my three compost piles or directly to my raised beds. You can even use coop cleanings around your raised beds, or as mulch in between rows. Remember coop cleaning are your SECOND harvest. Unless you eat your birds then I guess it'd be your third.

    rosecomb leghorns 105.JPG
     

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