Hoop Coop Pros and Cons

katdur

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2016
9
4
11
Hey guys! I am a complete novice, my SO and I are starting this adventure together and I have a few questions. The idea of a hoop coop looks simple and easy for lots of reasons, like ease of mobility and construction. My SO is pretty against it though. I just wanted to get some ideas from people who have built them. Good idea? Terrible idea? Any advice is welcomed! Thanks!
 

SunHwaKwon

Crowing
Jul 19, 2015
5,605
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Coastal Bend, TX
I'm going to follow along. I was thinking of doing hoop coops when we build our next house, so it would be good to know the pros and cons. They seem like almost all pros other than being limited on dimensions.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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We used a hoop "coop" structure for our run at our last place, but it was off of an actual coop structure so I can't speak to how it works as a coop but can say it was beyond simple to build and I would absolutely do one again, and consider using it as the coop too.
You mention your SO is opposed to the idea - it might help to share their specific concerns so that those replying can help you to address them with "been there/done that" input about those particular issues.
 

katdur

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2016
9
4
11
We used a hoop "coop" structure for our run at our last place, but it was off of an actual coop structure so I can't speak to how it works as a coop but can say it was beyond simple to build and I would absolutely do one again, and consider using it as the coop too. 

You mention your SO is opposed to the idea - it might help to share their specific concerns so that those replying can help you to address them with "been there/done that" input about those particular issues.

Specific concerns he has:
Easily invaded by predators
Difficult to keep warm in the winter
Expensive materials
 

katdur

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2016
9
4
11
I'm going to follow along. I was thinking of doing hoop coops when we build our next house, so it would be good to know the pros and cons. They seem like almost all pros other than being limited on dimensions.

I haven't found anything that was necessarily a con for me.... Really at this point it's just getting others to back up points to show him it could be a sustainable idea.

We also plan on turning this house into a rental at some point, so I wanted something that would be transported easily. We don't think giving renters the options to have chickens is what we are going for!
 

SunHwaKwon

Crowing
Jul 19, 2015
5,605
2,628
407
Coastal Bend, TX
Specific concerns he has:
Easily invaded by predators
Difficult to keep warm in the winter
Expensive materials
I think that depends on how you build it and the materials used. If you are planning to make it like a tractor, then predators digging in is a concern. Otherwise you can put a skirt on on it like any other run. The same goes for the coop part, because you can still have an enclosed coop within the hoop run, either as part of the hoop or set inside, depending on your intended dimensions. Cost, again, depends on how you build it. PVC can be obtained cheap at places like Restore, though it may take you a while to come across enough. Really, any coop/run can be done cheaply or expensively. Finding recycled materials certainly helps.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Livestock panels can be a great structural component of a coop or run ....but like almost everything chicken, it depends.
I would not recommend using PVC for hoops.

Climate can play a great part in deciding what kind of housing to build.
Predator proofing almost always calls for 1/2" hardware cloth, which is expensive stuff and a hoop coop can need a lot of it.

Mobility can quickly become a trade-off between ease of movement and space for a certain number of birds.
I built one last year that was used for 2 batches of meat birds, neither mine, one for some free range cockerels and one for some pastured turkeys.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-hoop-coop-chicken-tractor
We are still tweaking the wheels, aprons, and handle.....but it cost about $350-400 in materials.

Check out the threads on this search link:
advanced search>titles only>hoop coop
 

katdur

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2016
9
4
11
I think that depends on how you build it and the materials used. If you are planning to make it like a tractor, then predators digging in is a concern. Otherwise you can put a skirt on on it like any other run. The same goes for the coop part, because you can still have an enclosed coop within the hoop run, either as part of the hoop or set inside, depending on your intended dimensions. Cost, again, depends on how you build it. PVC can be obtained cheap at places like Restore, though it may take you a while to come across enough. Really, any coop/run can be done cheaply or expensively. Finding recycled materials certainly helps.
I wonder if we could still make a skirt and use tent post to keep it down? I had planned on using cattle panels for everything.
 

katdur

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2016
9
4
11
Livestock panels can be a great structural component of a coop or run ....but like almost everything chicken, it depends.
I would not recommend using PVC for hoops.

Climate can play a great part in deciding what kind of housing to build.
Predator proofing almost always calls for 1/2" hardware cloth, which is expensive stuff and a hoop coop can need a lot of it.

Mobility can quickly become a trade-off between ease of movement and space for a certain number of birds.
I built one last year that was used for 2 batches of meat birds, neither mine, one for some free range cockerels and one for some pastured turkeys.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-hoop-coop-chicken-tractor
We are still tweaking the wheels, aprons, and handle.....but it cost about $350-400 in materials.

Check out the threads on this search link:
advanced search>titles only>hoop coop

We had planned on using cattle panels. They are about $22 a piece around here. We have left over lumber from the previous owners. So really all we would have to purchase are the panels and chicken wire or hardwire cloth.

I think we really are trying to go with the most cost efficient way to make it!

For a standard coop we will still have to buy plywood and whatever we need to make the run.

A lot of decisions!
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium member
5 Years
Feb 25, 2014
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Northwestern Wyoming
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Specific concerns he has:
Easily invaded by predators
Difficult to keep warm in the winter
Expensive materials
Well, I used it as a run, but the simple addition of an enclosure in one end would be wonderful.

Let me address your SO's cons:

Easily invaded by predators. Nope. At least not here, and I'm in northern Wyoming not too far from Yellowstone Park. We used cattle panels secured to steel fence posts, ran chicken wire over that to deter overhead predators, then ran a hardware cloth skirt up about 2 feet and folded it out at the bottom and out about another 2 feet to deter diggers. Works perfectly! Our dog tried to dig under it, broke and bloodied a toenail, blamed the chickens for her misfortune and never bothered them again - even when they were out free ranging she'd share their water pan. We stuck landscape fabric staples every few feet, the grass grows right up through it, and Ken can mow right up to the edge of the run, which takes away hiding places for smaller predators.




The run. The lattice was just added for looks because our setup is on a corner and we didn't want it to be an eyesore when people drove by.


Difficult to keep warm in winter: Again, nope. Here our spring chick season still has temps in the teens and twenties with winds of 60 mph, and I brood chicks out there in the run with just a heating pad cave. We cover it with greenhouse type plastic and our birds are out in it all winter long. The coop is not insulated or heated, and they thrive. Our winter temps are in the sub zero range - as in over a week of 23 below zero until it warmed up to 10 below zero. In summer we just roll up the plastic and replace it with landscape fabric for shade. Easy peasy!



Snow, wind, rain......it doesn't matter. The run stays warm and dry.



Chicks being raised out in the cattle panel run when our temps were in the teens. You can see how bright the run stays, and everyone does just great.

Expensive to build: Nope. Cattle panels are cheap. We picked up 3 of them in the beginning. A couple of years later we decided to expand the run so we bought one more cattle panel and 2 more fence posts. We removed the south end (it came off in one piece with the apron and skirt still attached), put in the posts, wired the new panel in and we were done. We didn't use any wood framing at all....just inexpensive cattle panels, steel fence posts, a roll of wire, zIp ties, and the chicken wire and hardware cloth. This winter we had a wind gust (logged in officially by the National Weather Service) at 90 mph, and that hoop never budged. The best part is the ease of building. Ken and I are both in our 60s, and both of us have some disabilities. It took us no time at all, and we did it all ourselves.



Expanding the run. In the first photo you can see how the end piece came off in one piece, with the skirt and apron still attached. We just added the new panel and wired the end back on.

I hope this info and the photos help. A more complete description of how the run was built is on My Coop. Just click on the link under my avatar and the run build starts about halfway down. This run would make it so easy to simply put a enclosed structure on one end for a coop/run combination. Good luck!
 
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