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Where to put the coop...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nikki1, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. nikki1

    nikki1 Songster

    Oct 16, 2011
    Eatonville, WA
    Hi, All!

    We're making plans for our very first coop this winter, looking forward to chicks come spring. We have several locations in mind, and I was looking for advice more knowledgeable than my own.

    Option 1: Under fir tree #1
    Advantages: Shade. We could put the run across a slope that's a pain in the neck to mow. It's in easy view of the house. It's easy to get to from the patio, without being completely adjacent to the patio.
    Disadvantages: Could potentially be a pain in the backside to build a run on the slope. It's possibly a little close to a window. (15-20 feet) Tree roots could make it rough to dig in support posts.

    Option 2: Under fir tree #2
    Advantages: Shade. No grass grows there anyway, due to the shade. It's kinda ugly right now as it stands. It's right by the gate that leads to the compost pile. Easy view of the house. Easy access to patio again.
    Disadvantages: We still have to mow that slope mentioned before. Support posts and roots still an issue

    Option 3: At the turn in the fence
    Advantages: Few tree roots to contend with. Pretty close to the compost gate. Easy view from the house. Flat area for an easier build. That spot just needs something interesting in it.
    Disadvantages: Not as shady. Farther from the house. Would still need to mow the slope.

    My husband favors option 1, as he REALLY hates mowing that slope. I like Option 2 for its practicality, but can see option 3 for its aesthetics. We live in the rainy, cool side of Washington state, so shade isn't critical all that often, but for a few days in the summer it'd be nice. What do you folks think?


    What do you all think.

  2. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Songster

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, Welcome to BYC and good luck with coop plans. A photo of each location would help, but from your description of each site, I would lean toward option 3. Just makes more sense to me from what ya described to be the easiest location of the three to build on, plus ya need something there anyway. Why not a new chicken coop? Tell husband to suck it up and mow the grass at other sites. Show us photos when ya get started with build.
  3. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chirping

    Jul 16, 2011
    Hello, I believe putting the coop and run on that slope would be a good idea for you (since you don't like to mow it) and I really don't think the birds would mind living on a slope. [​IMG] But, I would NOT start to build if you are certain you can't overcome the problems it may face. So I would not choose option #1.
    Option #2 is NO better a choice, basically you have all the same advantages with an added disadvantage, #1 is better than #2!
    OPTION #3 BY FAR!! My coop is placed in an almost exact setting as you mention. Placing it there will make building a coop and run easy with NO problems as you've mentioned in the other options. As far as shade goes, mine have none, and they do fine! If they don't like the heat they go inside or lay in the shade the coop makes as the day goes on. And personally, I like having my coop farther from my house, it gives me somewhere to go to get away from it all. [​IMG] I hope I've helped you by giving you advice from my personal experiences.
  4. KDK1

    KDK1 Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    I vote for #1... let the chickens mow the grass. 15-20 ft from a window should not be a problem. Our coop/run shares a wall of the house with four windows and not once have I noticed any smell. Noise? that's another story, but I don't mind that at all. Love it!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  5. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    I also would go for #1. Chicken coops and runs are completely flexible. You'll be able to figure out a way to build it around the tree, the chickens won't care, and it will make your life easier.
  6. kcwazzu

    kcwazzu In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2011
    Auburn, WA
    Sounds like you have two potential projects. I would place the coop where you think it would be best. If not on the slope then you have project #2 which is to remove the grass from the slope and landscape it to something more pleasing and grass free. [​IMG]
  7. nikki1

    nikki1 Songster

    Oct 16, 2011
    Eatonville, WA
    Thanks for all the input! While all 3 sites were recommended, it give me more information to work with.

    I agree that building a small retaining wall and filling in the slope would be the best idea, and it's one of our long-term plans. We just bought the house this summer, and while the house was clean and in great shape, the yard was a nightmare. More of a weedy hayfield than a yard, really. After 3 months of repeated mowing and whacking, we finally have something resembling a lawn. We have some long-term goals, and the retaining wall is certainly among them. In the meantime, I suppose mowing uphill is good exercise!

    Thanks again!

  8. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine

    New homeowner syndrome. I know it well. the urge to have everything just he way you want it, and now, is hard to resist.

    I think you're going at it right. Take your time and don't lose sight of the long run.

    We get a great deal of snow where I am, so handy-to-the-house is a plus for both access for care and gathering of eggs, as well as keeping an eye on them. Still, FriendlyFlyer makes a good point about some distance between. A lawn chair near a properly-distanced chicken run can be a great help if one needs to decompress from a rough day at home or work.

    I'd vote for #3 and terrace up the slope as time and funds permit. I mowed one of those for years and dreaded every time. It was steep and high enough that a rider was out of the question, strictly a push-mower proposition. Mowing up from the bottom took some effort. Mowing down from the top was perilous -- I used to drag out my old soccer cleats for that job, prayin every moment that my feet wouldn't slip out from under me and under the mower deck. The folks that bought that house from me did a lot of work. The part of all they've done that makes me happiest is to drive by and see that they chose to keep and were able to save the azaleas (always a sketchy proposition here in Maine) and incorporate them into the terraces they built over that accursed slope.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  9. EggyErin

    EggyErin Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    N. Ga mountains
    I'd worry about wash on the slope, particularly once the chickens destroy the ground, which they will.[​IMG]
  10. KDK1

    KDK1 Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    Quote:Good point!

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