Commercial coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by brandywine, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

    381
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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    I'm looking at some of the coops being sold for urban/suburban backyard hobbyists (not to buy -- I'm putting my girls in a converted stall in the barn), and wondering, WTH?

    The one in the banner ad that may or may not be at the top of this page, promoted as stealth housing for chickens, is literally the size and shape of a trashcan, and claims to be for 2-3 hens. It has a tiny, tiny run attached -- smaller than my now-too-small brooder.

    There are others I've seen advertised through this site and other places, and IMO, they present no improvement in husbandry or humane treatment over the most crowded factory production conditions for laying hens.

    At least with an industrial low square footage per bird in a larger space with more birds, they can move around and maybe have a chance of getting away from a specific bully, if not "each other" in general. Two chickens (not to even mention three!) in the trash can stealth house would be like Fry and Bender in Bender's closet apartment. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you don't watch enough cartoons.)

    Even if such birds free-ranged some of the time (which would defeat the purpose of stealth housing), what are the animal welfare implications of confining them so tightly together at night?

    Wouldn't there be lots of troublesome stress behaviors in such birds?

    I love the idea of guerrilla housing for invisible urban chickens. If i was to do it, I'd buy the biggest deck box I could find and fit it out appropriately inside. Then fence the area under the deck (decks are just about always over slopes in Pbgh, so there's plenty of headspace underneath), cut a hole in the deck and the bottom of the deck box, install the appropriate trap door and ramp, and woo-hoo. One could easily get 12 square feet of space for the "coop" and over 200 square feet of run -- enough for 2-3 birds to be comfortable.

    So what is up with these teeny-tiny commercial coops? Does anyone here use them?
     
  2. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    I noticed that too. It did look pretty darned small, and not at all predator proof.
     
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    I can think of a lot of better ways to spend 500 dollars. If the are looking for inconspicuous, what about a playhouse? Looks better too. [​IMG]
     

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