Buy? Or Build? Heeeeellllllppppp!!

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
I have looked at the Carolina Coops website and can I just say drool???? Absolutely beautiful well thought out coops. Living in S. California just have a hard time spending at least $800 shipping (but I get it.....). If money wasn't an issue I would have one of these coops in a heart beat.
Thanks a bunch!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
You can buy a good quality (well made) sturdy shed and then add finishing touches inside with perches & nest egg boxes. You could even insulate & add windows or electric. One thing for sure, there are hawks, foxes, raccoons, loose dogs or cats that may want chicken dinner so you will need to build a predator proof outdoor pen & add hardware cloth window or vent covers. We all want to free range our birds, it's healthy, but not always safe & we can't be there 24/7 so do make sure you put safety & the chickens' wellbeing at the top of priority list. (Photos of my 1st little coop & 2nd larger coop with pens.) As you learn you will make changes & become a bit of a builder lol.
Oh my goodness! Your photos are impressive! And the critters eying your chickens are a little bit scary! I have a feeling I’m gonna need to toughen up to keep my chickens safe!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
I am sorry that I did not read through all the posts, but what we did at first is buy a used coop. Pretty quickly we realized what we liked and didn’t like, and then built a coop. We then sold the first one for the amount we bought it for. It was a good way to figure out what we wanted. Also, chicken math is real. Get a coop that holds at least twice as many chickens as you are starting with. We started with 4 in April, and currently have 11.
I have heard chicken math is magical!
 

Cookncluck

Chirping
Oct 24, 2014
17
22
92
Metter, Georgia
Wow! How many chickens do y’all have?
We gave them away when we moved, so now we are starting over. I ordered some chicks on-line (it is FUN to get a little box of day-old chicks in the mail .. that’s a whole ‘nother conversation, USPS does great, they call you when the chirping box with airholes arrives at your local facility and you have to go pick it up ASAP). The minimum order was 15 chicks, I ordered a random assortment (daily deal, ha) and 18 arrived. Gotta get rid of some, cuz I want 5 hens and a rooster. We just moved them from brooder to coop a few days ago.
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
I bought one of those flimsy kit coops. I have 4 shavers and they get closed up in there every night. I also have the Omlet run (low one). Omlet makes a fence for extending your chooks' run space. My set-up looks like a bidouin tent at the moment with both structures under a huge tarpaulin. I find that I'm forever extending their space. If I could start again, I'd go for the Eglu coop but still keep the Omlet run and build a connection between them.
Thanks!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
Michelle, as a new chicken keeper myself, I can relate your reservations about building a coop with no prior building experience. I can say that I am so glad we built our own coop. We had never frame-built anything before. While it was time consuming and challenging, it is super rewarding. Plus, you learn some skills needed to maintain the coop over time, swap out materials, customize, or add on in the future. We adapted ours with a larger covered run. We used the Garden Coop plans - very precise and user friendly for a first time builder. You can view here: http://www.thegardencoop.com/ We planned, prepped, and built months before we had chicks. I agree with others who have noted that prefab, ready to purchase coops are flimsy and too short. I appreciate standing and walking in the coop without ducking. If I could do it over again, I would have built bigger. I am so proud of our coop! If you decide to go for it, good luck! There is so much support here in the community, and if you search the posts that already exist on the forum, you will find tons of advice already offered.
Thank you for the encouragement and the link!!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
We gave them away when we moved, so now we are starting over. I ordered some chicks on-line (it is FUN to get a little box of day-old chicks in the mail .. that’s a whole ‘nother conversation, USPS does great, they call you when the chirping box with airholes arrives at your local facility and you have to go pick it up ASAP). The minimum order was 15 chicks, I ordered a random assortment (daily deal, ha) and 18 arrived. Gotta get rid of some, cuz I want 5 hens and a rooster. We just moved them from brooder to coop a few days ago.
How exciting! Keep me posted on your progress!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
With dyslexia, I’m pretty much building impaired and it really struck home as a carpenter friend and I built a grow out pen for my chicks this month. Not everyone can build and it turned out to be much more expensive than I had considered. It’s safe and secure though and won’t be going anywhere for a couple of decades.
That said I also just bought a prefab for $215 with tax and shipping. I’ll add it to a 4x8 kennel run. It adds nest boxes, shelter and an additional four ft. Length I’ll be giving it a water sealant, some snake proofing and a new roof when it gets here. That will give me about 70sf total (48sf run) for 1:2 with the recommended 4sf per in the coop and 10sf in the run plus my chickens rotate free ranging. The total cost for run and coop was $419 not including the Hacks I’ll give the shelter when it arrives. I know handy people can build larger coops for less and they are very blessed in that regard but there are also creative ways for us nonbuilders. I’ve had prefabs before and it’s true they are flimsy but even someone like me can fix them up and make them stronger. Best wishes in your chicken adventure. It’s such an enjoyable labor of love
How do you “snake proof”?
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
Perhaps you can compromise. Can you buy and have delivered a small, cute prefab shed? Then you can modify it with a door to the run? Which you might have to build or have someone build? It’s like adding a screen porch to their home😂, but with using hardware cloth and digging below ground all around the run to bury more hardware cloth. In the shed add tree roosts and nesting boxes, make the roosts higher than the boxes and reinforce window openings and air vents with hardware cloth? If you can find a handy person to help? I love black austrolorps, as well as Buff Orpingtons.
ThAnd you!! Very helpful!!
 

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