I purchased a Kit Coop from Sam's Club this year. A lot of positive, some negative reviews. You know how that goes. More positive than negative though, so I bought it. Afterwards I decided to make it a bit more rodent/snake resistant by buying some treated 2' x 4's, some braces, 1/4" wire mesh, and some U-nails along with some Weed barrier fabric. With that I made the base, now wishing I would have used 2' x 6' boards instead, but if necessary, I'll had another 2' x 4' rectangle to it. I filled that with play sand for them to dust in. Built a feeder and a horizontal watering system. Had a problem with a couple horizontal nipples biting into the PVC just right, so now I've found a leak I have to repair in one of them. Nonetheless, It all works fine. Purchased two Plymouths and two Buff Ophingtons. The girls took about 30 minutes or so before they all figured it all out. They won't be laying until around end of May, First of June. So they're just acclimating now. They're happy, I'm happy. Life is good. Love the website! A plethora of great information! Thanks.
Coop is Built , Feeder Systems In, Girls have arrived. Let the Party Begin
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Welcome to BYC -- are you planning to allow them to free range and use the coop and run only as a night shelter? The coop is cute, but is not sufficient in size for four large fowl hens to be in on a long-term basis - if you are able to allow them to have run of the yard this will take the space concerns out of the equation during good weather at least -- during poor weather conditions you may start finding yourself having some issues caused by overcrowding.
I would suggest modifying things on the side that is open into the covered run area -- you can open that up and screen over it to provide ventilation for your girls, which is one thing sorely lacking in the little pre-fab coops. Doing it on that side maintains protection from rain, etc while allowing much needed air flow to your birds.
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm currently fencing off the bottom of my vinyl fence. As you might see in the photos, the fence was originally built (not by me!) too high off the ground, so they'll get right under that on both sides of the front of the house. Once I get that up which I'm in the process of doing, I will let them roam some, but I'm also not letting them take over the entire backyard. Lest we forget the word "Urban", we don't prefer chicken crap over the entire yard, so I'm trying to find the happy medium. I have farmer/rancher friends with years and years of chicken experience. They've given me their opinions as well. Let's just say your comments sound a little more domestic and possibly more on the order of "give them the Hilton experience". I'm learning as I go and if what my experienced farmer friends are telling me isn't correct, then I'll have to make changes. You know that commercial with the free range chicken that's on television lately? The one that writes home to the couple? My chickens aren't getting that much autonomy! Thanks again!