Originally Posted by elliehouse
A few months ago I got some buff orpingtons and I got the cutest little green and white coop from Tractor Supply Co. They have the best coops and they fair prices too. If you want a new coop, Tractor Supply would be a good place to check.
Hi! I'm new here, and to chickens, too but feel compelled to pass on my experience with this coop. In addition to your recommendation to others, I feel is necessary to pass on a warning.
I couldn't find anyone to build me a coop and thought this would work. I was just starting out with chickens and knew I would never have more than a few. So I bought the Precision Pet Hen House Chicken Coop at Tractor Supply in April. It never has been square and the latches haven't worked properly from the start. This wasn't a big issue for me because I don't really use them. The "stay open" latch on the nesting boxes worked so it didn't fall on my head, so I was happy. In went my 3 chickens and all was well. Everything seemed to be fine for the first few months. Then I started noticing water in the tray under the roosting bars. I thought it was rain coming in so I tried changing the direction it faced, sealing it, etc. Nothing worked. A while later, I saw water dripping from the ceiling. Well, right about then, we had about 10 days of rain every day and there wasn't much I could do other than keep them as dry as possible until we had some clear weather. The first couple of days of clear skies, we had clean up duty. When I got to the chicken lot, I cleared the roofs of debris and this is what I found.
The roof is covered with asphalt and the coop made from Fir wood. Chickens are, for the most part, kept outside; therefore, a chicken coop should be able to be outside. Not these. They can not tolerate the rain. Apparently, Fir wood absorbs water. The roof, under the asphalt, is completely saturated with water, to the point that the wood is wet and you can see water spots on the roof even with days of no rain. It looks like it was built of pressed board instead of a solid sheet of wood. You can see ripples in the roof from the outside, it's that bad. The inside is contaminated with mold and mildew and the cute green stained wood is peeling off is layers. It's worse where the coop joins the run but it's bad even on the far outside areas. The roof over the nesting box is completely warped and the asphalt is peeling up, no longer covering the end of the wood. The white trim is starting to pull back on those corners as well. The side door into the roosting area doesn't open at all. It's swollen from water, and with being off square, is stuck shut. The door into the run doesn't close because it doesn't fit into the frame.
We don't have predators in our area, which is the only reason I could consider this coop to start with, but for someone who does, this would be a huge issue. My huge issue right now is the disease and illness my chickens are being exposed to from the mold and mildew. I was finally about to find someone who builds chicken coops. I've seen his coops that are years old and they holding up fine. I've got a bit of a wait because he has so many orders right now. As a matter of fact, he said the majority of the ones he's currently building are replacing some model of Precision coops. Now I didn't expect this coop to last forever, but for the price, I certainly expected to get more than 4 1/2 months. For the bit more I'm paying to have my own design built, it's definately worth the wait and the price. Meanwhile, I'm constantly cleaning and spraying this one down with bleach to kill the mildew and mold. That's not all that wonderful for chickens either, but it's the best I can do at the moment.
Long story made short, please inspect your coop daily for any signs of moisture and/or the beginnings of mildew/mold. For the others reading this, I would highly encourage you to look elsewhere. If you don't know anyone who can build one, visit your local flea markets, feed supply stores, etc., that may be able to give you a recommendation. Look at CL for chicken coops, as it seems like our local builders advertise there too. It's worth the time and investment to get a solid coop that will last.
Just my experience and opinion, for what it's worth.