Aluminum polycarbonate mobile Coop?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ecogirl2206, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. ecogirl2206

    ecogirl2206 Just Hatched

    Feb 26, 2017
    Hi Everyone, I've been getting all my chicken info from this site so I thought I might as well join since I have some questions. I'm about to close on a property that allows chickens and of course, I'm getting chickens and bees LOL. The backyard is 1/3 acre fenced with 4' chain link. Eventually I'd like to section off the back 30'x120' (where the orchard will be, trees are on their way :) for the chickens with predator proof fencing, but realistically that could take several years as the house itself needs a lot of work. I'm only looking at getting 2 chickens to start, the most I can have is 6. These would be forever pets as I'm vegetarian and don't believe in throwing something away (or killing it!!!) after it's done being "useful". I have a parrot, so I have a little experience with birds, none with chickens. I also have a dog who has been good with my parrot, but has very high prey drive and has caught and killed squirrels so I will need to keep the birds safe from her. Anyways, that's me, on to the question.

    I am very handy and love to build and design structures BUT as I've got my hands more then full with my job(s) and fixer upper house(s) I'm looking to buy something pre-made to get me into chickens, in a couple years I can construct their palace :) I like the idea of predator proof tractor which will allow me to move them every day to a new section of grass since the yard is fairly large (for the suburbs anyways). I won't be able to let them free range unless I'm home and out in the yard which might only be a few hours a day in good weather. I saw this and it looks promising. Its an aluminum and polycarbonate chicken tractor. I can't find any reviews other than on ebay. Seems like it would be more durable then the cheap wooden coops for sale. Thoughts? Anyone here have one? I know I could build something much better for less but time really is money to me and I'd rather buy right now just to get started.

    Side note: high on my list of chicken breeds: speckled sussex, hy line, buff orp, barred rock, and black australorp. But I'm torn, I'm uncomfortable adding to the commercialization of chickens by buying some (the poor boys) So I may just adopt whatever I can find locally (northern illinois/ southern wisconsin) :)

  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under ecogril2206 [​IMG] Welcome!

    First up, these are just my thoughts and you would probably get a more experienced critique from the users on this thread:

    To me, it appears to be lacking in ventilation and I wonder if it would get hot inside. Plus, I think it is still too cramped for even 2 chickens but, as I said, probably best to defer to the experts.

    Also, if I can, just on the getting 2 chickens thing … At the risk of sounding like a chicken math enabler, you might want to consider getting at least one more chicken. Sadly, we lose chickens along the way and if you lose one, your remaining hen will be very lonely. I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt! Had to race out and find my lone chicken a friend, waive quarantine etc. Now, I have 5 and make sure I never drop below 3.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
  3. ecogirl2206

    ecogirl2206 Just Hatched

    Feb 26, 2017
    Great catch! I didn't even notice that theres no veventilation in the coop! I suppose I could take out a couple panels and put in mesh. As for heat, I live in zone 5, so im much more concerned with the cold. It doesn't get hot many days here and they will always have shade, plus the run is all mesh.

    I will probably get 3, im trying to think small because I tend to get carried away with these things :)
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Chickens tolerate cold much better than heat, if you have a well built draft free coop with adequate ventilation they should be fine. Members in Alaska, Alberta, Canada, etc have thriving flocks of chickens. The cold in Alberta is industrial strength.
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice and links already so I'll just say hello!

    All the best
  6. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    I also would not recommend less than 3 birds. And when you're ready to add more, read up on isolation and integration for a smoother transition to a larger flock.

    Thanks for joining us!
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Hello from Kansas and [​IMG]! Happy you joined our flock! Looks like you've already received some great ideas and advice so I'll just say bet wishes and thanks for joining BYC! [​IMG]
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    That coop looks like a good idea with a bad reality. Ventilation is most important if you have cold weather to avoid frost bite. I understand that time is money because mine is more valuable than gold! And once you've spent your time you can't get it back or make more of it. [​IMG] That's why I like to do things right the first time if I can so I don't spend more time and money later on. Not saying it always works out that well. Being a part of the information age sure does help though.

    My very first thought when I read your post was... I never recommend less than 3 birds to start. They are social creatures and have such huge personalities. The conversations I hear between larger broods are much happier peeps than those of small broods. And as another poster mentioned, things happen sometimes and it's never good to be left with only one chicken. I personally like to have at least 5 but I realize you are working within certain parameters and need to do what will work for you. That's one great thing about BYC is everybody getting to share what does or doesn't work for them! [​IMG]

    One note about that coop... the roofing. It looked maybe thin, making me think it might sweat the way my metal pole barn does. Not matter how much ventilation I have, when the sun comes up on a cold morning it starts sweating so bad that it might as well be raining inside. [​IMG] I don't have that issue on my tractor with a wood roof.

    Dogs ABSOLUTELY can be taught to leave the chickens alone. All 3 of mine are shelter pets. A bully, a lab mix, and a Queensland Heeler. None of them have ever killed any of my birds (yet) and I don't expect they will in the future as we spent our time training and they know their place in our family and the expectations I have for them. They all hunt everything else on my property and they have to discern the difference between what's in the bush. Just two days ago, my chickens were standing around in a suspicious circle and when I approached, saw a gopher sitting there enjoying the grass he so lovingly uses to litter my property with ankle breaking holes for myself and other animals. Well, my lab quickly ended that situation without even batting a lash at my birds. They go after cats, opossum, squirrels, gophers, rats, stray dogs, and other bird... anything that doesn't belong on my property. But my heeler will even get between my birds and his K9 friends when he feels the need. Mind you this doesn't mean my dogs like the chickens. Quite the opposite, they are jealous. The heeler always brings his frisbee to whoever is paying attention to the chicken not the one who is standing there waiting to play with him. [​IMG]

    I don't know how big the rest of your property is... but wow, keeping bees on a third acre seems daring. Though I haven't researched it yet. Sounds like you will have a nice set up, with an unending barrage of projects to keep you occupied... congratulations! You get to live the dream. [​IMG] I also have an unending slew of things to do... And if I run out, will find more. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! Please make yourself at home here and enjoy yourself! :frow

  10. ecogirl2206

    ecogirl2206 Just Hatched

    Feb 26, 2017
    Thank you everyone for the ideas and welcome. This is a great website/forum!

    I have decided everyone is correct :) that coop LOOKS cool but i don't think it's the best choice. I'm leaning towards a cheap TSC coop that I can beef up with some 2x4's and use for one season until I build a big coop.

    My town zoning actually allows up to 6 hens and 2 beehives on any lot greater then 1/2 acre. ( I have .55 acres :D ) The bees can forage the nearest 3,000 acres or so, so size of the yard really doesn't matter. I've never had bees. I hear they don't sting TOO MUCH if you do it right and wear protective gear. I'm not allergic, so we will see how that goes!

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