Were should I place my chicken coop?
Chickens are most comfortable in the same temperature conditions that we humans like. That is about 72 °F. If the temperature gets above 95° or 100° they can die of over heating. If it drops below freezing for long, they will get frost bite on their extremities such as their comb and claws. So keep these idea in mind when you consider where to locate your chicken coop on your property. By the way, the term “chicken coop” refers to the whole enable of hen house, fenced yard, and nest box.
When it comes to keeping backyard chickens, try to arrange for a variety of environments that your flock can use to self regulate the conditions they need. There should be some areas of shade and sun available for them to move between. The hen house should be located in an area that will be shaded in the summer time and sunny in the winter time. For example under a deciduous tree. Obviously, the more space you give them the happier they will be. Keep in mind if the rain water will drain away and not form a muddy puddle. Chickens don’t like to be pelted by rain drops, so provide some extended shelter other than just under the hen house where they can hang out if it is raining. You can always let them out to free range for a while too. I have been experimenting with letting them out in the afternoon, so by dusk they will come back into the pen on their own. This way I don’t need to chase them around to get them to return. (They are too smart to fall for the old food trick if they really don’t want to come back yet.)
There are many people need that you should also consider in your location. You will be going out to the chicken coop to retrieve eggs every morning. So you don’t want that to be too long of a trip. However, you may not want the smell and flies to be located too close to your house either. When placing a hen house inside of a fenced pen area, put it close to the gate where you will be entering the chicken yard so you can reach the nest box without walking across the manure filled yard every morning to get your eggs. You can choose to place the hen house along the perimeter of the fence with the nest box sticking out of the fence area. This way you can access your eggs without entering the chicken yard at all. The same goes for accessing the poop tray so you can easily clean out the manure. Be sure to make the gate entrance to the chicken yard wide enough for a wheel barrow. You will find it useful for cleaning out the litter on a regular basis.
There are a wide variety of possible situations for keeping chickens that can work great, just keep these factors in mind when you are observing your particular location.