Experience with the "Chick-n-Barn" Or Suggestions for Alternatives

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SunsetChicks, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. SunsetChicks

    SunsetChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2008
    We're getting ready to take the plunge and are leaning toward the Chick-n-Barn for a flock of 3-4 backyard birds.

    Does anyone have experience with this pre-fab coop? In particular, we're concerned about cleaning. The roof is on hinges but doesn't completely lift off. Will this make our lives difficult?

    Realistically, there's no way we're going build a coop. The result of such an attempt would be smashed fingers and a pile of scrap lumber in the corner of the garage after we give up! However, if you have suggestions for other mid-priced pre-fab options, we'd love to hear them.

    Thanks.
     
  2. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    You might want to consider a large size doghouse. They're cheaper then the chick-n-barn, fairly easy do convert into a coop, and you can attach a run to it. That's what I ended up doing. (Mine is a medium size dog house, as I only have two hens, but there's definitely bigger out there.)

    I can give you more details and pics, if you're interested...
     
  3. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    Quote:We have the chick-n-hutch, and we added our own run to it. Their products make sense for many reasons, but I throw a tarp over ours at night and we added spring loaded hook latches to the top for added security. If you'd like, I can post pictures since they are already loaded on this site. Let me know.....[​IMG]
     
  4. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    When we first started out, we got for free a huge saint bernard doghouse. It was great for three, great for five, cramped for nine and then we gave up and started building.

    Based on my own experience, and on everything I have read here, I wouldn't recommend spending money at the very beginning - your plans and goals will change, for sure, as you learn more, and you can always buy something spiffy later if that's what you want to do.

    Consider "winging it" for a while. Tat's what our birdies do . . .
     
  5. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2008
    I have the Chick-n-barn. It is extremely easy to put together -- it is fastened together with long screws and wing nuts.

    However you will need to predator proof it. Put latches on all the flaps and doors, and hardware cloth or wire screening on the wire and egg door openings, to keep out snakes.

    It doesn't have a floor, so you probably will want to add one.

    It is made of 1/4 inch plywood, and so is very thin. If you have cold winters, you'll want to insulate it, perhaps with straw bales around it, at least for a windbreak. I haven't gone through a winter with it yet.

    I had ten chicks in it, and I added two lower perches on either side as only 6-7 were perching on the top roost. It holds 6 3 month old RIR or Sex link (full size) on the top roost. It would hold your four comfortably.

    You'll probably want to floor it and put it up on either concrete blocks or a pressure treated frame, as that plywood won't keep long if left in contact with the ground for too long. The doors also slide in tracts and tend to warp a little.

    I'm not trying to discourage you, just give you my experience with it. I know how hard it is to go out and buy a sturdy (read expensive) coop, or to build one if you don't have the experience or tools ( as in me) just for a a few chickens. So far I have had my chickens in it for 3 months and they've been fine. But as they get older it doesn't really have a good place for egg laying, or for storing a feeder/waterer come winter.

    You might just want to hire someone to build you a more sturdy practical coop with more room for a feeder/waterer and a couple of nests and a bit more room for the chickens in inclement weather. Or just borrow or use a study (predator proof) doghouse till you are sure chickens are for you. My chickens so far free range from morning till dusk, so they only use the chick-n-barn for roosting. There are also some prefab coops other than the chick-n-barn -- tractors, etc, that will work for 3-4 chickens if you do some online searching. Shipping can be expensive, so it depends on where you are.
     
  6. chicken quartet

    chicken quartet Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2008
    Corona, CA
    I was debating between the Chick-n-barn or a playhouse from Lowes. We went with the playhouse because it was bigger and didn't look like a coop. It was about the same price, maybe a little cheaper than the barn. We got the Bellamy Playhouse for $299. Let me say though, it was a lot of work to put together. Tons of pieces. All you need though is a drill. We started it on Saturday and finished it yesterday (monday). I absolutely love it though!! I put latches on the doors, wire over the windows, and about 3 perches inside. We are going to be adding a floor before winter. The chicks spent their first night in it last night and did great!

    Here is a pic of the new finished playhouse:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    chicken quartet:
    Nice picture...thanks for adding that to this discussion! How will you modify it for eggs and perches and everything, and how many chickens do you think could be housed in it?
     
  8. chicken quartet

    chicken quartet Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2008
    Corona, CA
    veggie- I put (3) 2x4 roosts in there. I'm going to add nest boxes eventually. I'll probably just use screws and screw them into the side near a perch. My chickens aren't laying yet so I have some time. The chicken barn says it will hold 10 and this is larger so I guess it will hold maybe a few more. I let mine out all day though and they are only in the coop at night. They are all fitting just fine so far, I have 12. I just love it though!
     
  9. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    Quote:Thanks for the info. Super! When all of our girls are grown, we'll have 10 girls in a coop, maybe 11. We are about to start constructing the bigger coop, the one we currently have is only big enough for maybe 4 full sized chickens. (that's the chick-n-hutch I mentioned earlier) We are also building a "tractor" run that will butt up to the coop so I can wheel them around in the yard all day and bring them back at night. If I can get that Lowe's house on sale, I would consider it! Yours looks GREAT!
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:How many nest boxes are you going to put in. You could get by with 3. "Rule of thumb" 3/4 chickens per nest box. I have 1 nest box for every 3 chickens. Once in awhile I will see two sharing a box at the same time.
     

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