Build or Buy?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Maya Vance, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Maya Vance

    Maya Vance Chirping

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    Hi Guys!
    I was wondering if I should build or buy a coop.
    If I should build it, what are some of the main elements to remember when building a coop?
    If I should buy, what supplier should I use?

    Thank you,
    Maya Vance
     
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  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    How many birds do you have/plan to have? Any restrictions on size of a coop by your town, HOA, etc?

    You'll always get better results building a coop to suit your needs, or having someone build to your specifications. If you're not inclined to actually build something (hey, I'm no carpenter) you can also buy something premade like a shed or a large playhouse, and modify it. Prefab coops are probably the "worst" option in that many of them are built to look nice without being functional for either chickens or owners, and may be made with flimsy materials which won't last long. Some prefabs are much nicer than others, which usually gets reflected in the price.
     
  3. Ribh

    Ribh Songster

    If you are going to buy you should consider these things:
    • Predator proofing
    • ease of accessibility to coop, nesting boxes, run
    • ventilation
    • how many roosts & that they are both high enough & the right size & shape for your birds' feet
    • Ease of cleaning
    • size for the space available
    • How many birds you want will determine the size of your coop, run, & how many nesting boxes you need 37378034_10210945705942691_9137096018007949312_n.jpg This is my pre~fab set up for 5 hens. It has a slide out tray for ease of cleaning the coop. The nesting boxes are accessible from the outside. I deep mulch the pen, Have my water set @ chest height so it doesn't get so dirty so quickly & a treadle feeder to discourage rodents & wild birds. I have since run fencing from the coop to my verandah to keep my birds out of the garden & encourage them to forage on the hill so they have heaps of space.
     
  4. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    Definitely build or get built for your needs! I so badly wanted to refurbish a playhouse, but I went the cheaper route and built from recycled materials. It's sturdy, but it ain't pretty. You can find a link to it under my avatar. I built it in about a week all by myself. I spent maybe $150 total on the coop (hardware cloth, the roof, a couple of boards, and oops paint were the main expenses).

    Now that I'm done, I've seen lots of good structures for sale on Craigslist. Wish some of those had been available when I needed them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  5. lottethepekin

    lottethepekin In the Brooder

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    personally I would build. First of all, it means you can make it the way you want to, but it depends whether you like building or can build ;). I have 3 ducks and we have built everything for them so far. However, chickens are more prone to be eaten by predators then ducks are, so u might be best off buying
     
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  6. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    I would think building would be better for predator proofing, IMO. You can customize it for the predators common in your area. Like I added hardware cloth under my coop because I have rats, etc. But you might be able to fix up a pre-fab to be more secure.

    I built because the pre-fabs I encountered used staples instead of screws/washers and thin wood. Some had windows that weren't secure. But I'm sure there are those out there that are good.

    And I wanted a walk in coop. I didn't find any pre-fabs that were walk in. I love that I don't have to be a contortionist to clean it.
     
  7. Shamo Hybrid

    Shamo Hybrid Songster

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    OK, if I have tools laying around and I'm pretty good at it, I would definitely build one to my liking. It's cost saving and you get something that you like. BUT, I would look on Craigslist first, sometimes you can find good coops for sale on the cheap! Sometimes free too! Saw one but some lucky bastard beat me to the punch, I hope that coop fell off the road while he was transporting it..... anyway, pre-made coops are often avoided due to their flimsy material and the number of chickens that could fit in (cut that number in half).
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  8. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    You can also get a prefab shed and convert it. Much better than any coop you can buy at a store.

    JT
     
  9. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    Easy for you to say, @jthornton . You could customize anything, from what I've seen!
    :bow
     
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  10. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Thanks, I was thinking that starting with a good structure would be a good place to be even if you only have basic skills. You just need to add a roost and a place to lay eggs and if you talk to the builder perhaps get them to add nice overhangs and vents.

    Ok, my weakness is abstract stuff so don't ask me what color goes with your chicken...

    JT
     
  11. Ribh

    Ribh Songster

    Here are some pics: 48944773_242166576677545_5663747951323774976_n.jpg 49098472_283151512388177_4426711363355672576_n.jpg 49243620_387211468505885_1833002191216967680_n.jpg

    The back of the coop is solid & faces the neighbours to the north. The nesting boxes face east. The lid of the nesting boxes 2] lifts up for easy access. You can see the handles for the slide out tray. The roofing is waterproof.

    I don't think it would hold up real well in your winters but we are sub~tropical & it has weathered our storm season pretty well ~ including our big winds, hail & lightening.
     
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