I have the Chick-N-Cabin by Ware Manufacturing and had a question....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bayareapilot, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm new to raising chickens (my chicks aren't even old enough to go out in the outside hutch I assembled for them). Rather than trust my 'carpentry skills' I bought a prefab (you assemble) Chick-N-Cabin by Ware Manufacturing. I live in San Francisco area and our temperatures are faily mild.

    The only question I have about the design of this coop is that the upper roosting bars on the upper floor [​IMG] ... The upper roosting bars sit right across from the hardware mesh and I was wondering if this would be too drafty for the chickens? Or will the chickens crawl into the covered area on the upper floor (where the water and feed will be located) if they get cold?

    The second question I have, is when the upper floor board is removed to permit the chickens access to the lower area of the pen (where the lower roosting bars are), there is no ramp to get back to the food again. I guess chickens will just fly themselves up to the level if they need to ?

    BTW, I called the manufacturer about the 'heart latches' (they pivot to a precise position to unlock) asking about the 'latches' and predators. The fellow in the design area said that since both latches must be pivoted precisely to identical positions to remove a panel that raccoons should not be able to do that. I am not that convinced and am thinking about adding supplemental latches to the design. What do y'all think about the 'heart latches'? They look cute, but I'm not certain how secure they are ( we DO have raccoons and possums in our part of the city, come through our backyards).
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    One of the biggest thing you need to do it paint it or treat it with something against the weather. They are great as a starter but if exposed to the environment its going to get ugly quickly.

    Don't underestimate raccoons. I would put on a hasp with a lock just to be safe.
     
  3. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

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    I had presumed the wood was stained/treated already - but I guess you are talking about sealing the wood as well. Good thought!

    Wrt the locks - I was thinking the hasp with the lock, too.


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  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Whatever they use on those coops, doesn't seem to hold up all that well to rain. That includes the roof, unfortunately. Then the wood starts to warp. It's very cute, though. Plus, you have a coop in your yard already, without having to go through a lot of work.

    The 3 best things you can do to many of the inexpensive prefab units are seal the wood, add a more water proof roof and add more secure latches. Those seem to be the things that are most often the biggest problems with them. Some models may not need all of that, depending on the manufacturer.

    I realize that the whole point of buying a prefab, is so that you don't have to do much work on a coop. Unfortunately, if they want to produce an inexpensive coop, the manufacturer has to skimp on the materials. There's just no other way to hit that price point. Still, a can of sealer, a paint brush and a couple of latches shouldn't be too bad for you. I'm not sure what to suggest for the roof.

    As for getting from the lower level to the upper level, that coop really seems to be designed for use with the run and not without the run. With the run, the bottom section of the coop is open to the run and the chickens would just use the ramp to get back upstairs. Without the run, it's kind of an odd design. Did you buy a run or are you planning on building a run, to go with it? Or are you just going to let them free range?
     
  5. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    My Coop
    I have a hutch with similar "locks". Here is what I did.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

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    I guess my impetus for buying it was that I had never built a chicken coop before and since this was my first foray into raising hens; I thought I'd go with someone that had built them for awhile. I hope I have the 'good' roof [​IMG]

    Yeah, I've already ordered the run (Premium Chick-N-Pen), which I had planned to do anyway (since there isn't a whole lot of room in the 'cabin' coop) - the design is actually functional, as you said, with the run added.

    I guess I could use a waterproof sealer on the outside? Little danger of chickens gnawing on it if it is on the outside? Any suggestions on a safe sealer to use on the outside? Most of the ones I've seen warn of toxicity.

    Yep, those 'heart latches' will be supplemented with something more substantial. I have to say, that this has been one of the best, 'you-assemble' products I have ever bought. Everything was in the kit, every screw was in a numbered/referenced cardboard card holder.



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  7. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, I can't trust those 'heart latches', either. I guess they were added to make the design 'cute', it would have seemed a better choice to use latches instead... oh well...I can identify the latch on the right in the picture, but what is that on the left of the door?


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  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Once it's dry, pretty much any sealer meant for outdoor use should be fine. They won't be chewing on the wood. It's usually just the fumes while drying that are an issue. Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and sealers have fewer fumes. Do you already have the chickens in there? If not, just seal away and don't worry about it. Well, maybe you might want to wear a mask or to be upwind. [​IMG]

    I think that coop will work fine with the run. You might want to add an apron of wire on the ground around the outside, to prevent any animals from digging their way into the run and coop. If it was my coop, I would do it.
     
  9. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    My Coop
    I can't think of the name for the one on the left. It is a bolt that slides through eye-holes and has a clevis pin to hold it in. It is more "permanent" without being a screw. I would use it for something you want held together and only opened every now and then (like a roof or monthly cleanout door or something like that). I use my hutch for temporary iso, so don't use the ramp and want it to stay shut.
     
  10. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Paint it inside with some good oil based paint and let it dry. You will be happier when cleaning it out. I have two coops - one is painted and the other is not - the painted one is 1000 times easier to clean with a hose mostly the other I have to scrub.

    I miss San Francisco - It is my hometown. I would trade some of these hot humid Jacksonville Days for a couple cold summer Days!
    Caroline
     

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