Eglu or Handcrafted Portable Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickadee01, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Chickadee01

    Chickadee01 New Egg

    Feb 16, 2011
    I know a lot of Backyard Chickens members are "build your own coop" buffs.
    I live in an urban neighborhood and don't have the time or skills to build my own, so I want to ask for BYC opinions on 2 ready-made coops that I'm looking at purchasing.
    I've narrowed these 2 coops down after extensive research and the need for something with a small footprint.

    So my question is should I go with the "Eglu" or the "Handcrafted Portable Coop"?
    At this stage I'm leaning towards the "portable coop" from Handcrafted Coops.
    I like the portability and the pulley on the ladder which allows me to raise and lower it.
    The egg collection door is also at a better height, rather than having to stoop down to get my eggs everyday from the Eglu.
    While the Eglu is an uber-cool design, I'm just not sure about my hens living in a plastic box.

    Thanks for your opinions on these 2 coops.
    Does anyone own one of these coops and can comment on the benefits of each one?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  2. thylton

    thylton Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 27, 2011
    Hi Chickadee01,
    I can't comment on the use of either coop, but am currently building a Catawba coop which is basicly the same as the Handcrafted Portable Coop. Do a search for Catawba coops and plans can be bought for $19.95 and are very good plans and instructions. The coop is very simple if you have any woodworking skills. If not you could buy the plans and have a friend or local handyman build the coop for you cheaper than the Handcrafted Portable Coop. I don't know if their price includes shipping, if not it will be very expensive to have it shipped to your location. Hope to have my coop finished this week and have chicks in March or April. Hope this helps.

  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    A very small shed built on your property by someone would be more cost effective, larger and better for the hens than a plastic box. I am not a fan of the Eglu at all. Surely someone could build you a 4x4 or slightly larger wooden coop or you could buy a playhouse for kids and retrofit it.
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Is this the one you mean?

    First of all, don't go by what a manufacturer suggests their product will hold. If you go below 4 square feet per chicken indoors plus 10 square feet per chicken as bare minimums, you're asking for trouble (in my opinion). At the very least, with very high stocking density you'll be guaranteeing yourself a lot of work to keep the housing clean enough for health and odor control.

    I am not a big fan of the Eglu or of A frame coops. Unless you're housing a breed like Silkies (who can't really fly anyway), it always seems to me it must be stressful for chickens to be forced to roost down low in those kind of coops.

    The A frame design has extremely limited head room at the top of the A; there's practically no place to put vents other than right next to the roost. Unless one whole long side opens up for cleaning, how do you clean those things?

    By the way, where in heck are the vents in those Handcrafted Coops? I didn't see them. Maybe on the back, unpictured side?

    So I also vote for "neither one."

    What climate do you live in? Maybe with that information we might be able to suggest a better alternative to you.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I agree with elmo-they always way overestimate the number of hens that would be comfortable in their products.
  6. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Disclaimer: NO connection to anything

    In defense of the Handcrafted coop people, the smaller one has 12 sq ft of roosting space and says it will hold 3 chickens. At least in that respect they are on the numbers. The venting is another issue entirely.

    I bought a "Hen Hoop" back last summer. At that time the one I got (the 9x4x4) was quite a bit cheaper than they are now. It is ideal for 3-4 LF. It is extremely predator resistant and well built. ON the down side, it is rated for "up to 8 chickens", yeah, right. The ventilation is OK in the summer, but would be drafty in the winter. We got a different coop for wintering my 7 LF girls, and I'm REALLY glad we did. The Hoop will make a great grow-out pen or isolation coop, but for almost $900, it wasn't the best purchase.

    I don't much like the lack of headroom in the pyramid style coop/runs and I don't much care for the egglu, but that might be different if we didn't live in a area that is alternately very hot and very cold and wet (Kansas).

    The big issue with either would be ventilation and air circulation and/or sq footage depending on how many chickens you plan to get. You need 4 sq feet in the coop and 10 sq ft in the run unless they will be free in the yard a fair amount of time.

  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Depending on how many chickens your looking to get there are much cheaper alturnatives browsing through local craigslist.

    Like ice shanties,

    or Rubbermaid sheds or wood sheds,

    and children play houses.

    As others stated you'd have to retrofit these things to use as a coop. Ventilation, roosting poles and nesting boxes.
    Finding a local neighbor that's handy and building one from sctrach is probably your best bet. I built mine in 2 days, the run was an afternoon. Click my page to get yet another idea of tractor type coops.

    If your set on purchasing one I'd go eith the A frame tractor. And again coops built and for sale are local to you on Craigslist too. Seriously, see how easy and few materials this sort of thing is, a neighbor thats handy would gladly build one for a few hundred in labor.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  8. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    My first coop (which lasted about 1 year) had me bending down to collect eggs and clean out. Let me tell you, that gets really old really fast. I just bought a new coop off Craigslist by a local person who handmade it off his own design. It is tall and everything opens from the front. No more bending and misery. There are so many options out there without building yourself. What kind of climate do you live in?
  9. Chickadee01

    Chickadee01 New Egg

    Feb 16, 2011
    Quote:yes, shipping is included in the price of "Handcrafted Coop"
  10. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I am building a portable coop that is mounted on an old boat trailer. The trailer was a fixerupper, but cheap and serves my purpose! I won't be small portable though, 8'x8' and big enough to walk into. Kinda using the same idea that ice fishers use to make ice shanties that they move onto lakes once they freeze.

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