Trying to decide where in our yard to put the chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rachelwillow, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. rachelwillow

    rachelwillow Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2013
    Hi there! I'm new here and just posted in the intro forum. We just brought home 8 chicks yesterday and while we have a huge yard, and thought we had an ideal location picked out, I'm now second guessing myself and considering somewhere else. Here is what's going on in our yard:

    We have 4 cherry trees that are infested with cherry fruit fly, a really irritating pest that destroys our crop if we don't pick before they ripen. Our original plan (and main reason for getting chickens) was to somehow keep the chickens under the trees, so they can help us with this pest problem. The larvae burrow into the ground and come out of the ground, morph into flies, then lay their eggs in the fruit. If we have chickens under the trees, not only can they help with the larvae when they come out of the ground, but they can also help with the fallen fruit and prevent larvae from burrowing in. We are hoping they can alleviate this problem within a year or two. BUT. The cherries are toward the front of our property, on the side of our house. They are right next to our neighbor's driveway, so the chickens would be right on the edge of the property. I'm not sure the neighbors would be too happy about it, they are already annoyed that we built a fence to keep our kids in.

    Other possible locations: Up against the house in the back (would be further from neighbors), other side of the property which is bordered by a small creek. Do chickens stay out of the water? Would the creek act as an effective barrier for them if we let them roam a little? We still haven't decided if we are going to let them roam around the yard or if we are going to keep them in a specific run. If we build a coop and run on the creek side of the property, I would be able to see them from my kitchen window. We could also locate them on the neighbor side but behind the 6 foot part of our fence (it is 3 feet toward the front, under the cherries, and 6 feet in the back). If they were in that area the neighbors wouldn't see them, but they also wouldn't be under the cherries.

    Sorry, so much info and so many questions!

    I'm wondering how feasible it would be to make a moveable run so we could just put them under the cherries periodically. Or if it makes more sense to just build them an area under the trees and call it good, even if the neighbors are annoyed. I like the idea of them being further back in our yard, just for their own privacy and protection ( we have LOTS of dogs walking down our street, though they are leashed) and we also have a lot of theft on our block and I worry about them getting stolen (is that weird? do people steal chickens?).

    So whatever advice or ideas you have I will take it! Thanks so much, sorry this got so long. --rachel
  2. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2012
    Burns, Wyoming
    I think you could drape netting around your trees to make a run of sorts for them. You could just keep them in there for a day and then put them back in the coop.
    Mine free range and I've seen them in the duck pond. They don't wade in exactly but they do dip their toes and drink. They are also more than capable of flying over my 14' pond if they feel threatened so they could probably fly over your creek.
    People do steal chickens. Someone was talking about it in the frugal thread.
    I'd put them back from people for your own sanity. They're LOUD!
  3. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2012
    Burns, Wyoming
    Should have added, seen any hawks, etc in your cherry trees? Make sure your run is predator proof. I scoffed at the thought of predators getting past our dogs and we lost 1/2 our flock.
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    If you are in a neighborhood then there may be restrictions with coop placement and even having chickens. I would investigate your rights since the neighbors don't sound to "hunky doory" about things. Alot of building codes want out buildings farther from the street than your residence and even have set-backs.... Not trying to scare you or anything. My choice would be further in the back yard to be less conspicuous. I suppose you could also have a chicken tractor (movable) but this may not be what you had in mind.
  5. The chickens probably would not go in the creek they might drink from it though.

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