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Producer's Pride Defender Chicken Coop

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've read and learned a lot. And I've specifically read what's been written about this coop http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-defender-chicken-coop?bvrrp=0519_5_0/reviews/product/2/116823999.htm
But that's the coop and run i am working with.

Reality: I've got 23 chicks from McMurrays in 2 brooders. 13 are frying pan specials and the remaining are suppose to be hens. Each hen is a different breed, but all were rated as cold hearty. I received them on march 1, so they are 3 weeks old. I'm in central Missouri.

My thoughts are to move my meat birds to the coop on April 1 and wait until after they have been moved to the freezer to move my girls out. That's still 10 girls growing up in a coop that many on here agree is only ultimately large enough for half that many. They are big girls, not bantams.

2 big questions:

1. Someone on here made the comment that this coop would need a lot of work before it's ready for chickens. Before i kick my boys out, could you elaborate please? I plan to coat the outside with water seal. And i plan to make close inspection for areas where wood may not have come together correctly, and caulk it well. Ventilation seems ok. I may change out the roosting bars. As small chicks, they have all preferred tree branches or the sides of 2" lumber ,,, but they hate slick finished dowels. I'll see what they like closer to time of transfer, and I'll move their bars with them. I plan to block the nesting boxes from the hens until they are ready to lay, but do i need to block them from the boys when they have run of the place before the girls? I haven't peeked inside for awhile...might need to paint with a glossy paint to keep it easier to clean. What am i missing? What else is wrong or could be better about this coop?

2. When my girls get moved out, how long before they outgrow this? I'm considering closing in the bottom area (covered feeding area) and providing interior access to it. This would basically double the size for them. Problems you see with this plan? Ultimately i want to add a converted shed and another run in such a way as to have this area able to be incorporated or, when necessary, easily separated into a quarantine area. But i was kinda hoping to put off expansion until fall?

Frankly, i didnt know whether the chicken thing was for me. We live on many acres, but we don't have any extra sheds. Looking through classifieds, used coops were gross. I could start with a converted shed, but I'd be buying new or nearly new and converting with no experience as far as what works and what doesn't. That could be a time killing money pit....not likely to encourage me to keep going. I figured if i hated the birds, a fresh new coop with upgrades would easily resell. If i loved them, having a clean start would make it easier and give me something to add to. So far, i love them. I wanted 6, but min order was 25. Since i figured on several deaths and more than half were meat birds headed quickly for the freezer, i thought maybe I'd end up with 8. More is fine ... If i can find room. And I'm eager to turn their pre-fab shell into a lovely home for them.

Ok,i know many here dislike pre-fab....with good reason....so let me have it. I'm tough, i can handle it. Lol. I'm really looking forward to your advice.
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMopar View Post

I've read and learned a lot. And I've specifically read what's been written about this coop http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-defender-chicken-coop?bvrrp=0519_5_0/reviews/product/2/116823999.htm
But that's the coop and run i am working with.

Reality: I've got 23 chicks from McMurrays in 2 brooders. 13 are frying pan specials and the remaining are suppose to be hens. Each hen is a different breed, but all were rated as cold hearty. I received them on march 1, so they are 3 weeks old. I'm in central Missouri.

My thoughts are to move my meat birds to the coop on April 1 and wait until after they have been moved to the freezer to move my girls out. That's still 10 girls growing up in a coop that many on here agree is only ultimately large enough for half that many. They are big girls, not bantams.

2 big questions:

1. Someone on here made the comment that this coop would need a lot of work before it's ready for chickens. Before i kick my boys out, could you elaborate please? I plan to coat the outside with water seal. And i plan to make close inspection for areas where wood may not have come together correctly, and caulk it well. Ventilation seems ok. I may change out the roosting bars. As small chicks, they have all preferred tree branches or the sides of 2" lumber ,,, but they hate slick finished dowels. I'll see what they like closer to time of transfer, and I'll move their bars with them. I plan to block the nesting boxes from the hens until they are ready to lay, but do i need to block them from the boys when they have run of the place before the girls? I haven't peeked inside for awhile...might need to paint with a glossy paint to keep it easier to clean. What am i missing? What else is wrong or could be better about this coop?

2. When my girls get moved out, how long before they outgrow this? I'm considering closing in the bottom area (covered feeding area) and providing interior access to it. This would basically double the size for them. Problems you see with this plan? Ultimately i want to add a converted shed and another run in such a way as to have this area able to be incorporated or, when necessary, easily separated into a quarantine area. But i was kinda hoping to put off expansion until fall?

Frankly, i didnt know whether the chicken thing was for me. We live on many acres, but we don't have any extra sheds. Looking through classifieds, used coops were gross. I could start with a converted shed, but I'd be buying new or nearly new and converting with no experience as far as what works and what doesn't. That could be a time killing money pit....not likely to encourage me to keep going. I figured if i hated the birds, a fresh new coop with upgrades would easily resell. If i loved them, having a clean start would make it easier and give me something to add to. So far, i love them. I wanted 6, but min order was 25. Since i figured on several deaths and more than half were meat birds headed quickly for the freezer, i thought maybe I'd end up with 8. More is fine ... If i can find room. And I'm eager to turn their pre-fab shell into a lovely home for them.

Ok,i know many here dislike pre-fab....with good reason....so let me have it. I'm tough, i can handle it. Lol. I'm really looking forward to your advice.
Hi there. I don't have any advice, because we just ordered that very coop! We too, will have 10 hens in it, 9 regular size and 1 banty. From what I've read, the pen should give ample space for each hen. Equal to 100 square feet, plus roosting bars and plenty of flyspace.
post #3 of 5
Actually, my husband and I have been talking about it, and we're going to go with a plastic Suncast yard shed and attach a huge dog kennel to it.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
I will check out that shed. Did you decide on it because it's bigger? Chicken math will strike and i will need to add on! I haven't found them yet, but I'm thinking that i should be able to buy additional panels to expand my run.

I'm moving the chicks to the garage this weekend. The brooders will go with them, but I'll leave the brooder doors open and put the whole mess into a dog pen set up in the garage with a tarp over the top. I'm not quite ready to move them to the coop yet. I have 2 little runts I'm a little concerned about. I'll have to use cardboard up the sides a bit to keep the little ones in. As much as i love having them in my home, I'm ready to be done with dust and dander.
post #5 of 5

My only concern with this coop (which I think I've seen posted on here before) is that the actual coop is on the small side.  Looking at their link they don't seem to have the actual coop measurements listed? 

 

The run is enough for 10 chickens.  Since you said the meat birds will be gone before the layers move in, it should be enough for your layers.  I'm just wondering if that's a 40 sq ft coop attached to it and from the looks of it, I'm guessing it might not be.  You might want to contact the manufacturer for more information to be sure of the coop size, as I'd hate to see anyone drop 1k on a coop to find that it's smaller than expected.

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