Chicken People: Where should I put my coop/run?
Hi chicken folks,
I am so excited to be getting chickens this spring. I am thinking of a flock of about 6-12 egg layers, and have narrowed down what breeds I am looking at.
I am hoping you can help me decide where to put my chicken coop. Here is a link to what the layout of my place looks like: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5174/...cb165955_o.png (Excuse the mess...this aerial was taken a few years ago before our pasture fully came in....)
The red areas are the places I am considering for the coop and fenced chicken area. The blue area is where our large vegetable garden is now (it wasn't planted when this image was taken.) The top of the image is North.
I am expecting that during spring-summer-fall, the chickens will be in their run from 8-5 while I am at work, and I'll be able to let them out to roam in the evenings while I'm outside working with the horses and in the garden.
The advantages of the spot by the horse barn are that it is on the south side so protected from weather (I am in Michigan, it gets cold here) and plenty of sunlight during most of the day. Also, with it so close, it will be easier for me to manage the chores--quicker in the mornings before work, and closer to the supplies stored in the big barn. The disadvantages of this spot are that it's closer to the neighbor (whose yard is about 300 feet farther down the driveway) and closer to the driveway.
The advantages of the spot up by the house are that it's farther away from the neighbor and the neighbor's dog (the neighbor has chickens too so I'm not anticipating any problems with the neighbor or the dog but you really never know), and it's closer to my garden. But that area has more of a slope and farther away from the barnyard, so less chance for me to check in on them as I'm running back and forth.
OR, would you choose a different spot entirely?? I'm open to suggestions because I'm totally new at this!