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chicken coops

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am having a hard time finding a coop I love for a decent price...

Anyone know someone who makes custom coops? Or know of the best place to buy them? I am looking for a medium sized coop for 6-8 hens. Something similar to this one

post #2 of 7


It may work out a little cheaper if you can identify a suitable design in the Coops section and then possibly consider hiring a carpenter to make one for you. I'm a fan of wooden sheds personally -alot cheaper and easy to adapt to what is bound to be an expanding flock :)

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 7

Good morning Lexie!
I'm a local carpenter, 20 years of experience. And I have to say, we don't come cheap. Prefab coops, which at first seem prohibitively expensive, can be a lot more cost effective than a skilled carpenter. Now, I could build you the cutest **** coop you've ever seen, but depending on travel time and weekend schedules, for side work I have to charge $35-$50/hr to make it worth my time. And then there's material  costs... You could fine someone cheaper, someone young and hungry, but you'll still be looking at $20-25/hr, so a day's labor could easily cost you $200. 

Your best bet, honestly, is to find the cheapest pre-fab SHED from HomeDepot, and then just cut in a pop door, put in some nest boxes and some roosts. Don't buy the pre-fab coops, those things are cheaply made, over-priced, and are way to small. The one in the pic you posted will never keep that many hens comfortably. Manufacturers might list it as ideal for 4-6 hens, but they are wrong. The more room you can give your girls, the happier they will be. Keep in mind chickens can be absolutely wretched creatures, if they get bored or feel confined they will eat the weakest alive. I'm not kidding.

Buy a shed, and get some fencing, give them as much room as you can possibly manage. Several hundred square feet.

I promise you I'm not trying to be mean, just set reasonable expectations. I see in some books people will suggest you can need 1 sq ft per hen in the coop, and only 2 sq ft in the run! I have 3 sq / hen in the coop, and 50 sq / hen in the run, and that's BARELY enough, I wish I had gone bigger... Always go bigger. Same thing I tell people when designing decks, go big or go home. I've seen countless people say they wish they'd built their deck bigger, but i've never, ever seen someone say they wish they'd built it smaller.

Better yet, if you can at all allow it, let them run free in your yard. Your slug/snail/grasshopper problem will vanish, and it's so much fun to watch their antics!

Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

"It is a sometimes appropriate response to reality to go insane." Philip K Dick
Pets: Two Frustrating Little Daughters, One Roller Derby Grrl Wife, 1 3/4 dogs, 2 Spazzy Cats, 4 ridiculous Chickens(RIR, 3 EEs, and Wellsumer), and 4 Beehives!

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever invented." Isaac Asimov

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"It is a sometimes appropriate response to reality to go insane." Philip K Dick
Pets: Two Frustrating Little Daughters, One Roller Derby Grrl Wife, 1 3/4 dogs, 2 Spazzy Cats, 4 ridiculous Chickens(RIR, 3 EEs, and Wellsumer), and 4 Beehives!

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever invented." Isaac Asimov

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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your advice! You seem very knowledgeable. I will look into the shed idea and maybe contact a few handy friends. I am willing to pay for something that is good quality and will be what I need. I plan to let the chickens play in the back yard, but will want them in the coop at night. So the coop should be about 20 sq/ft for 6 hens? And would 150-200 sq/ft be enough for the run if I plan to have them out and about most of the time?

post #5 of 7

When I was looking into coops last year I had a similar problem in that I couldn't find a decent coop for the number of birds I wanted for a reasonable price. I wanted a flock of 25 so in reality I couldn't find anything even available for that many birds. I needed a coop with attached run too since we have a lot of predators in my neck of the woods. There was one company that built larger coops with runs on-sight, and they appeared to be good quality but I felt like they weren't anything I couldn't do myself for a lot less money, so I elected to build my own. Just curious but is there any reason why you haven't considered building? I'm not a carpenter or anything close but a good book on shed building will teach you 99% of what you'll need to know. It's not that hard and in fact I had so much fun building my coop/run that I'm planning to build a storage shed later this year, and a second coop/run for broilers later this month. Just thought I'd mention it in case you haven't considered it. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I think we could do it if we had some help. We don't have a ton of building tools and have 4 little boys (one is 5 months old) so sometimes projects are a little hard to take on. I was just hoping to find someone who has experience to build one for us :) Curious... how much did the supplies cost you to build it yourself? I don't need one quite as big as you do I am sure... 

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexie1214 View Post
 

I think we could do it if we had some help. We don't have a ton of building tools and have 4 little boys (one is 5 months old) so sometimes projects are a little hard to take on. I was just hoping to find someone who has experience to build one for us :) Curious... how much did the supplies cost you to build it yourself? I don't need one quite as big as you do I am sure... 

I made my coop similar to a shed with 6 nest boxes attached (see pictures). I didn't use any plans but just read about how a basic shed is constructed and drew up my own that included the nest boxes. The building is 8'X8'X7 1/2' high at the peak and the run is 8'X24'X8 1/2' high at the peak. I didn't keep exact details on the cost but it was somewhere around about $1,800 for everything down to the last nail. Of course for 6-8 birds you could build one a lot smaller, like maybe 6'X5' for the coop, and you definitely don't need to make it walk-in height unless you're like me and want everything as easy to clean as possible so you don't feel like not doing it. I'm guessing, and this is purely a guess, that you could build a coop/run combo like the one in the picture you attached for under $500 comfortably. Off the top of my head, and assuming you don't have any tools at all, you'd just need the basic stuff like a hand saw, phillips screwdriver, tape measure, and a hammer. Of course if you have additional power tools like miter saw, etc. it'll make things go quicker but they're hardly necessary. If you do elect to buy a power tool or two and you're like me you'll definitely use them again later so they're a good investment.

 

 

Just to add, while it might appear to be a big, complicated mess of a project, if you approach it like most other things and break your plans down into sections you can just focus on a piece at a time and it's a whole lot more manageable. Believe me I know because I can't think of more a than a few simple details at a time and it's getting worse every year.

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