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Is direct sunlight a requirement?

 
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
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I have what is probably a dumb question:

I'm probably moving back to Seattle in a few months, which would mean I could have chickens.  Neighborhood predators include:  Cats, dogs, rats, opossum, raccoons, and coyotes.  (Yes, coyotes in the park a few blocks from my house.)  For this reason, a coop and run need to be bombproof.  I have a carport with a concrete floor, which would simplify bombproofing.  It's also a good place for a coop for other reasons, like I would see it every day, it''s not visible from the street, etc.

However, obviously the carport is covered, so there would be no overhead sun.  The south side has a fence and then a solid mass of apple tree and holly belonging to my neighbor that blocks all the light.  The west side has more fence, a hill, and more trees.  So they'd likely only get morning sun from the east, and maybe not even that in the winter.  There would be ambient light visible to them outside the carport.

Would this be terribly cruel for chickens?  Would it mean they would never lay?
 
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I don't think light will be that much of an issue, my birds spend most of their time in full shade anyway (their favorite is under my pickup truck).  What concerns me a bit though is the concrete. A major part of a chickens life is scratching in the dirt looking for bugs and dust bathing, they can't do that on concrete. You would have to use the deep litter method and make it really deep, and I would make them a sandbox type thing to put some good quality dirt in for them to dust bathe in. It can work, not ideal imo though.

Also, just know that concrete will never look the same again, if you ever decide to move the chickens elsewhere. I still have chicken poop stains on my garage floor from before my coop was finished. Even after I pressure washed it...
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Miranda Converse wrote:I don't think light will be that much of an issue, my birds spend most of their time in full shade anyway (their favorite is under my pickup truck).  What concerns me a bit though is the concrete. A major part of a chickens life is scratching in the dirt looking for bugs and dust bathing, they can't do that on concrete. You would have to use the deep litter method and make it really deep, and I would make them a sandbox type thing to put some good quality dirt in for them to dust bathe in. It can work, not ideal imo though.

Also, just know that concrete will never look the same again, if you ever decide to move the chickens elsewhere. I still have chicken poop stains on my garage floor from before my coop was finished. Even after I pressure washed it...



Thanks, Miranda!  I was planning on using a plywood floor over the concrete and a deep litter system.  I just think that over concrete I wouldn't have to worry about the plywood rotting invisibly and predators digging/breaking their way in.  (I mean, it could still rot but that shouldn't compromise the security.)

This project isn't until next year at the earliest so I'll do more research before any birds hit the property.
 
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