Two coop location choices - which do I pick?

tcpchickens

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2018
12
9
39
I have the opportunity to put my large (12x10) coop on gravel on one side or the other of my barn. I am floundering on choice - what are your opinions?
One side will get a mix of sun & shade (faces south) with a line of deciduous trees beside it. The trees would shield the run in the summer but not the coop.
The other side faces north & is perpetually in shade.
I know that chickens do better in shade than sun but I can’t help but cringe at always being in the shade. I also know how hot coops get in the sun. I feel like the coop would be better buffered from wind on the north facing side (my barn runs east to west) and cooler in the summer. But to forever be in the shade seems sad.
Both locations are on gravel. We are in northern Kentucky. I do not use any heat or lights just FYI. They will have a long run but we have too many predators to let them free range.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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My Coop
My Coop
I have the opportunity to put my large (12x10) coop on gravel on one side or the other of my barn. I am floundering on choice - what are your opinions?
One side will get a mix of sun & shade (faces south) with a line of deciduous trees beside it. The trees would shield the run in the summer but not the coop.
The other side faces north & is perpetually in shade.
I know that chickens do better in shade than sun but I can’t help but cringe at always being in the shade. I also know how hot coops get in the sun. I feel like the coop would be better buffered from wind on the north facing side (my barn runs east to west) and cooler in the summer. But to forever be in the shade seems sad.
Both locations are on gravel. We are in northern Kentucky. I do not use any heat or lights just FYI. They will have a long run but we have too many predators to let them free range.
Can you position the coop to be in perpetual shade and the run jutting out so it gets some sun?
Can you post pictures of the areas you have designated as potential locations to place the coop and run? With a 10'x12' coop, the run must be very large.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,055
22,736
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Southeast Louisiana
You did not touch on my two areas of concern though maybe gravel takes care of one of them. What is the drainage like? If water stays away it is good. If water drains to the area or stands there it is not good. Drainage is my top concern.

Next is your comfort and convenience. How convenient to you are those locations? Where will you be storing feed? You'll need to move the feed to storage as well as feed the chickens. Where will you get water? Will you have to wade through water, snow, or mud to get to the coop? Are you going to be dumping chicken poop into a compost pile? If so, how convenient is that? Are you going to be feeding them stuff from your garden? How convenient is that? Are you running electricity to the coop? How would you do that?

I personally don't worry that much about sun shade, and stuff like that, they can be managed. To me drainage is huge. So is your convenience.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
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If overall the southside would turn out to be more convenient for you, you could mount some canopy construction to keep the coop in shade.
 

tcpchickens

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2018
12
9
39
Thank you!
Drainage is excellent in both areas & convenience is the same since they would be on either side of my large horse barn. I do not plan on running electricity to my coop since I have exterior lights on the barn :) My previous run at another home became a muddy pit within months so I am extremely leery of trying to put the run on my grassy areas.
Here is a photo of the barn in winter - north side is completely in shade, south side dappled shade Bc trees no longer have leaves.
I am hoping to build a run that would travel the length of the barn (either side of barn, coop at front of barn where doors are located in this photo with run attached behind about 40-60 feet) and want to keep the coop at the front to keep things tidier looking. Coop will be a large wooden shed with lots of windows & feed will be stored in my feed room in the barn. Water is available anywhere - very convenient. Same as brooms, cleaning supplies, etc. all would be there in my barn. I already have stall mats to use for the coop floor & will probably create a dirt/dust bath area in run for them with a little mat in a frame on the ground.
My garden is just to the top right of the photo by my house out of view so again, convenient. I already pull my truck & trailer in and around that area to unload feed & hay so chickens will be the easiest thing to feed around here!
I have considered putting coop/run right under trees in grassy area but don’t want to damage any tree roots digging and it isn’t very level. Plus I would deal very quickly with mud Bc it doesn’t drain as well. I also like to be able to swing wide around barn with hay wagons & coop tucked close to barn would make that easier.
 

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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,055
22,736
907
Southeast Louisiana
I'm looking for a tie-breaker and not seeing a lot. I can't tell if you have gutters on that barn or not. Water will run off of either side without them, could cause a muddy run or even coop.

To me it looks like the ground slopes down to the north. I'd probably go to that side. If you need to do something with drainage over there you have a good place to take it.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,313
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If you do have enough room inside your barn, how about creating a partition and having the chicken coop inside the barn with only exit/access to the exterior through one single chicken door in your barn wall.

This would leave you with ample options to design their space and would make the upkeep much easier, even more so in nasty weather.
 
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