Ground Preparation

What to Do Before You Build Your Chicken Coop


What You Need to Know About the Location of Your Chicken Coop

What is important for you to know about the location of your chicken coop is something many people have trouble relating to. Chickens do not like to be hot. 60 degrees and up is hot to your feathered friends. If possible, pick a partially to mostly shady spot for your coop. Wooded areas and dense greens tend to increase predator issues so don't take it to the max on this one, simply be aware that chickens are well insulated and do not need air temperatures suitable for humans.

  • Ground Prep Step 1: The Standard (easiest) Way

    Ground preparation for your new chicken home is simple and strait forward. Your coop should sit on the ground or on grass on a flat location in the yard. Neither just the plain ground or grass are preferred. They are both fine.

    Water should drain away from your coop both for the health of the chickens and the longevity of your chicken coop.

    There are only two things to remember:

    1. The ground under the coop must be flat
    2. Water must drain away from the coop and chicken run

    NOTE: Concrete pads or cinder blocks are used by some customers. This works fine as long as water does not pool in the run or under the runners of the coop and run. The water should run away from the coop and run, of course.


    If you have a coop and run together, without wheels, or a chicken run that will not be moved and does not have wheels, you will likely want to choose to do Step 2 option A, B or C in order to keep your chickens safe. Without this step you risk losing your flock.

  • Ground Prep Step 2, Option A: The Traditional (hard) Way

    This is neither the easy way nor the recommended way, however, it is the traditional way to protect your flock while they are inside the hen house.

    1. Dig a Trench Before the new chicken coop is put in place, dig a trench 18" deep at the perimeter line where the coop will touch the ground. This will probably be a rectangular shape. When the coop arrives, the runners must sit directly on top of the trench. 
    2. Bury the wire Choose wire with the smallest openings possible. It needs to be galvanized and a heavy gage to resist both rust and critters. Re-doing this step would stink, good wire is essential.
    3. Place the Wire in the Trench. The wire should be placed in the trench and then covered. (It will be perpendicular to the coop.)

    Option B and C are proven techniques to protect your chickens that are a lot easier, so read on!

  • Ground Prep Step 2, Option B: Wire Under Run (easier)

    Order your coop and run, or just run with wire under the chicken run. No trenching needed! Phew!

    This method can use just course ground construction sand or, as you can see in the photo, sand and pond stone can both be used. First,  put the SecureWire Super™ under the chicken run and secure it to the wood beams at the base. 

    Then, so chickens will not have to walk on wire, preform the following add sand or stones with sand on top of it.

    • Sand Only If you are only using sand, once your coop has been placed in your yard, you can complete your exterior set-up by adding the sand to the bottom.
    • Sand & Stone If you are using both sand and stone, before your coop arrives, add the stone to a well or bordered section larger than the base of the coop. Remember that the end result should be a flat place where water does not pool.  Once the coop is in place, add the sand.

    TIP: Course construction sand makes cleaning up the run a lot easier than it would be otherwise. Simply use a small rake to remove chicken droppings.

  • Ground Prep Step 2, Option C: Wire Around the Chicken Run (easiest)

    Order your coop and run, or just run with wire under the chicken run. No trenching, sand or gravel needed! Phew!

    We use our SecureWire Super™ to keep your chickens safe. You will secure it to the base of your chicken run.

    1. When you receive your coop, remove the tie wraps that secure the wire during transit. Lay the wire flat on the ground. It should extend 18" to 24" from the coop. 
    2. Attach the wire to the base of the coop with the hardware provided and a hammer.

    That's it!

    Grass will grow through the wire making it invisible. Critters who try to harm your chickens will be thwarted by this simple measure. They may start to burrow but will tire before they reach your flock. Be sure to check for places that have been burrowed into and fill the holes to ensure your chickens will remain safe.

Digging a Trench to Bury Wire to Protect Chickens from Burrowing Predators

Digging a Trench to Bury Wire to

Protect Chickens from Burrowing Predators

Chickens inside chicken run on sand with gravel below

Chickens Inside Chicken

Run on Sand with Gravel Below


Detail of Photo Above

Happy Ladies!