Coop opinions?

UKchooks

Chirping
Nov 18, 2018
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121
96
Hi everyone,

So, before I get my girls on Saturday, I just wondered if you could cast your expert eyes over my coop and see if there's any obvious issues with it? It's built from flatpack (which is about the limit of my DIY skills) so obviously designed for purpose, and states it's suitable for 5-6 hens (I'll be getting three - all medium-sized Warren hybrids). I'm aware the run is on the small side, but they'll be able to free-range in the garden whenever I'm home, so several hours each day. I was wondering if the ventilation will be OK? It's already been subjected to strong wind and rain in the last couple of weeks since I assembled it, and seems to have held up pretty well, though a small amount of rain did get in through the window (not sure how that could be prevented tbh when the wind is high). Also, should it have a bolt or something on the pop-hole? I live in an urban area and we don't get foxes as far as I'm aware - just lots of cats! And our garden (yard) is fully surrounded by 6ft fencing.

Many thanks in advance
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to anyone who has taken the time to read this and offer advice!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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My Coop
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These pre-fabs NEVER hold as many birds as they claim to.
This is nearly the same model I use as an isolation/sick coop. I attached an 8' x 6' run onto the back of it (the side you have closest to the fence) and cut a hole through the HC so they could access the addition.
I just moved three petite LH / LH hybrids out of said coop and into the main coop.
If this is to be your main coop, you really need build on a nice sized, secure run onto it for your chickens. Being confined in such a small area will cause behavioral issues even if you plan to let them out a few hours a day.
I removed the ramp on mine as the chickens can jump right up into the coop. But you didn't mention if you are getting chicks or chickens.
I would leave the pop door open all the time so they can come and go as they please.
You may have to add something over the pitched HC roof of the "run" to prevent rain getting in through the pop door.
You can also drill 4-inch holes at the gable peaks and back them with HC to get more ventilation.
Good luck!
 

RoosterML

Make Ameraucanas Great Again
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
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I agree it's small but it is what you have. Best thing to do is get something that monitors the humidity levels. Levels should be very close to what outside levels are. So you actually need two monitors.
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Also not sure what the temps/weather are like where you are but if cold you can't have drafts hitting the birds where they go to seek shelter and get out of the elements. I would clean poop out often as smell build up will happen faster obviously the smaller your coop is. You have a nice metal pan that is easy to pull out. Maybe line it with sand so you can pull it out once a day and pick off the solids. I would make sure the roost bars are at least 3" wide.
 

imnukensc

Crowing
May 22, 2017
1,633
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SC Midlands
Add some ventilation and leave the pop door open as previously discussed. Humidity monitors would be a waste of money and totally unnecessary, IMO.
 

animalyodelers

Songster
Oct 21, 2018
187
512
136
Olympia, WA, USA
Just agreeing what some others have already said. This is WAY too small for 5-6 hens and likely pretty tight for 3. Yes, you can fit them in there, and yes, lots of chickens do OK in worse situations. You just have to decide if you want to take the risk. In addition to behavioral issues, disease spreads very quickly in tight quarters, and the risk of respiratory issues is pretty high as well. Are you getting fully grown hens, chicks, or pullets?

And yes, definitely get a bolt to secure it. Even in urban areas, you probably have racoons and o'possums and just don't see them. Better safe than sorry and latches are only a few dollars.

I agree you should at least attach a bigger run. If it were me, I would probably board a lot of this up, leaving ventilation at the top, and use it as the coop, with a much bigger attached run.

Not an expert at all, pretty new to chicken keeping and learning as I go. Just sharing what I've learned :) Good luck to you whatever you decide to do! :cool:
 

UKchooks

Chirping
Nov 18, 2018
49
121
96
Thanks all. I won't be getting more than 3 hens (point-of-lay) so the actual coop should be OK size-wise. I was wondering about getting an extension run but that will make it hard to move to new areas of grass, which I read should be done every so often? What do you think about letting them free range when I'm not around to supervise (daytime only of course)? In that case I could board over the run as suggested by @animalyodelers. Oh, and we don't have raccoons or opossums in the UK, so the only worry would be foxes, but I've never seen one around here!

@RoosterML I was already planning on spot cleaning under the perches daily, as you suggested :)
 

MotherOfChickens

Songster
Jun 29, 2017
506
808
217
Middle Tennessee
Size wise, I'd say it is ok for 3 hens if they are just in it at night to roost. I have a prefab coop that is probably identical in size. I've had it 2 years and it has held up well. Granted, mine sits inside a run that is 8 ft x 20 ft. Only 3 of my hens sleep in it at night. I am about to build an 8x8 coop for all my hens though. But my lil coop suited me well for the time being. I would however make more ventilation.
 

Ptera

Songster
Oct 9, 2017
152
451
176
Maryland
I have a similar model for my pigeons which I upgraded. I strongly recommend you staple chicken wire to the bottom. Predators can lift up or tunnel under & grab the birds. I bought an additional free standing run that I used wire to attach in front of the open door (blocking the gaps with chicken wire), but I don't move mine. I added an additional unlatched padlock to the doors for extra predator protection. I also put a tarp (or sheet plastic) over the roof so it would last longer. I don't have an inside humidity problem, but I leave the inner door open all the time except when the temperature drops well below freezing. I also added the thin, foil coated insulation to the inside of the house, and I put in a lot of straw when it's really cold. (It can get -10 degrees F in the winter here & 105 degrees F in the summer, with high humidity). One time it got -5 degrees F & I was worried about them being too cold, so I put a remote sensing thermometer inside & it stayed 50 degrees just from their body heat & insulation, but you'd have to test each situation separately.
 

Ptera

Songster
Oct 9, 2017
152
451
176
Maryland
I forgot to mention that the mini staples used by the manufacturer to tack down the hardware cloth were so flimsy I reinforced it with regular construction staples plus extra wire to secure it to the wood. We have a LOT of predators here.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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My Coop
My Coop
Sizewise it's probably ok for 3, though you may have issues getting them to use the roost bars because they're so low and it's so dark inside. More ventilation is needed, that tiny window is insufficient (and if rain is getting in you may want to rethink the direction the coop is facing, in case it's facing prevailing winds).

A larger run would be recommended as well. If you're not wanting to build anything from scratch a dog run/dog kennel kit would work with some modifications, i.e. covering up the large chain link openings with smaller opening wire mesh.
 

MANNA-PRO

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