Buy? Or Build? Heeeeellllllppppp!!

Awakening Forest

FreeBird
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
644
1,916
246
North Central Florida
I live in a neighborhood, so small is the key for right now...maybe 3 chickens. I live in Central Florida so it’s hot. I think winters are freezing, but I get cold with anything below 80! My plan is to purchase a small coop and run and a sail shade for them not to get too hot. I don’t think we have predators around here, we have a vinyl fence all around the yard so I think they will be safe.
Hawks and owls if you let them out and you will probably want to let them out from time to time. Get the largest coop you can afford and be prepared to put a watertight sealant on the wood and cover the roof with something. They all leak.
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
I would build the coop. I know it sounds like a crazy amount of work, but I built mine with absolutely no wood working experience. If you build your own, you can make it exactly as big as you want, and with the exact dimensions that work best for you. You can also make it a lot more durable and secure than any pre-made coop.
If you do decide to buy a coop though, keep in mind that they are always much too small to house the amount of chickens they are advertised for.
Good information! Thanks a bunch!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
I've handled only one and it was as strong if not stronger than either of my full grown coons so build it to keep 'em out.

Before I talk up them stalking coops too much you might want to go in your state thread and find out if it's a big problem. I only know ya'll have them down there and the pet one my buddy had loved raw eggs.
Oh my!! That’s for the suggestion about the state site!
 

cheer4michelle

Chirping
Sep 30, 2020
46
104
53
Welcome to BYC! Many on here, myself included, would recommend building a coop or hiring someone to build one. Building one is much more cost efficient, and you are able to customize the coop to your needs. Most prefabricated coops are very small and made out of poor quality materials. As @neo71665 said, many people spend more many than they're worth trying to upgrade the prefab to work.
Thanks for responding!
 

BleuSaphir

Songster
Oct 24, 2012
480
679
231
Santa Clarita, CA
I applaud you for thinking ahead and preparing in advance.

Prefabs are so flimsy. And small. Go to your local tractor supply and have a look at the displays. Imagine putting a half dozen small dogs in one...too small. Imagine trying to keep a large dog out of one...too flimsy.

There are so many ideas on BYC. I've seen coops built inside dog kennels, coops built from fence panels, and hoop coops built from cattle panels and posts. Some require nothing more than an electric drill and some screws.
Also consider craigslist. Playhouses and sheds are easily repurposed.
The chickens will not care how it looks. They just need a safe, covered, and well ventilated area.
Good luck and enjoy!
Another great idea, shed from Home Depot or Lowe’s are good idea to repurpose them as chicken coops! Much bigger and sturdier. And can last for a LONG time!
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
Jul 10, 2009
3,496
6,518
496
North Carolina Sandhills
isn’t it okay if I purchase a cute little coop,
To be bluntly honest,

If a "cute little coop" looks like a dollhouse it's only suitable for toy chickens.

No matter what the manufacturers of the pre-fabs say their coops will hold, you need 4 square feet of space in the coop plus 10 square feet of space in the run per bird.

You need to have enough height for the chickens to perch above the nestboxes but below the overhead ventilation.

You need approximately 1 square foot of ventilation per bird year round. Windows that will be closed in the winter and the pop door that you close at night don't count.

But you don't have to suddenly turn into a carpenter if building isn't your thing. :)

Converting a shed or making a cattle panel hoop coop is much easier than building from scratch. You might also find handymen among your acquaintance to trade skills with in a barter arrangement.
 

aembry1

Chirping
Aug 2, 2020
58
154
63
Centertown, KY
As I am sure you are aware, I am such a newby to the chicken arena that I haven’t even gotten my first chicken yet! I have been studying coops. Now, since I am just beginning, isn’t it okay if I purchase a cute little coop, or do you really have to build one?? Honestly, I would much rather buy one! A builder I ain’t!! And, I would like to the the beginning of this new adventure as simple as possible for me! Now, since I have all that outta the way, which brand is best?
I hope I am not becoming a bother! I want to be successful when I do actually get a chicken! And thank you for all of your help!
I am a newbie to chickens this year, as well. I bought a coop. Then I bought another coop because I got some pullets and had to slowly introduce them to the existing flock. Now I am building a coop that is more to my liking. As stated earlier, if you build it, then you can build it to your liking. That is what we are going to be doing. Our new (and hopefully last) coop is going to be a walk-in coop. This way I only have to worry about cleaning one coop out and heating one coop, instead of two. I am going to keep the bigger of the two coops in case of needing to separate the birds for any reason.
 

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