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Maybe new coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kidfarmer, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. kidfarmer

    kidfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Massachusetts
    I'm thinking about possibly getting a new coop. I have been looking at the pre made ones but I'm not what is the best for my 8 girls. I've read that those ones are not as good but I've also seen that they work for some people. We don't have the time to build one on our own which I would be doing if we had the time. Any input is great in helping me decide on what to do!:)
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens

    I'm a great great fan of the pre-made coops. They have worked really well for me. I have a variety of them purchased on line and from local places. Over recent years, I have seen the prices kind of skyrocket.

    Depending on how you manage your chickens - one may suit your needs well. I see that you are in Mass too though...so your concerns will be different from mine in hot old TX.

    Eglu are pricey -- but double insulated and portable -- easy to assemble and have a run incorporated. Snap-Lock a bit less pricey and some good engineering ideas.... I have two of the original Eglus now (they look like little pods) -- they are no longer available in the USA but the 'GO' and the 'Cube' are for sale here. You may want to check eBay and Craigs list for them -- you may even want to put in a search that will notify you if they come up on eBay. They have ability to attach the run.....

    Snap Lock are pretty durable -- and I once had a raccoon trying to get access and not succeeding -- same with the Eglus -- I like Snap lock because they come apart for easy moving to a new house -- which mine have been relocated twice now -- and they are as good as ever. Snap Lock also gives you a plan to build 'legs' so you can easily put legs under -- and get that extra 16sq ft or so of floor space under the coop -- and the chickens can shelter there.....dust bath central...

    I have bought the ones that you assemble and the quality goes down significantly -- but it depends on your usage. I use them for grow outs -- and housing a few chickens..... IF you get the kind with the nesting boxes as a pop out -- take the extra step to screw down the flooring -- it is a very thin piece of wood (like luan plywood 1/8") Once I had a raccoon pop up the bottom of the nesting box and kill a broody mom and her 4 newly hatched chicks -- because I relied on the gravity to hold the base of the nesting box in.

    [​IMG]
    This one is on a table now that has wheels on the bottom.... and now the bottom of the nesting box is screwed down. - was bought at end of season sale from TSC long time ago -- but it is in a chain link run with a tarp over the roof.....so not exposed to a lot of weather.

    [​IMG]
    This was bought as a rabbit hutch -- about 6-years ago -- and is good for grow out cockerels -- the 'hoop coop' made from cattle panels is what keeps the chickens safe from preditors... probably the lowest - low end -- these were once about 70.00 and now they are probably in the $100's. Before I retro-fit the sides and front with 1/2 inch hardware cloth -- a team of raccoons terrorized some juveniles in it -- one scaring them to the far side and one pulling them through the 1" hardware cloth that it came with - Sometimes I put a pet carrier in there for added housing for the grow-out bys -- but they prefer to be on the roof. If you had 8 you would probably need to do a lot of reinforcing and you would probably need 2.


    [​IMG]
    snap lock with a walk-in-run made from cattle panels.....

    [​IMG]
    rabbit hutch as a brooder on the front porch

    [​IMG]
    legs made according to snap-lock's plans

    [​IMG]
    snap lock on the ground....

    A snap lock can be put together in about 20 minutes -- and it can be disassembled and put flat to move or to scrub the inside for spring cleaning.....
    [​IMG]
    in the back ground an original Eglu with run attached.

    [​IMG]

    The Eglu Cube with two other eglus in the background, the rabbit hutch (back wall is solid ) and poultry netting fence in the foreground.

    Here's a thread about the Eglu Cube and a tour:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-friends-very-cool-cube

    So that is a LOT of images and some tips about pre-made..... to summarize - here are a couple more
    • Know your criteria - good things are -- pull out poop tray, easy access to gather eggs -- most important is security of your chickens
    • The small Snap Lock comfortably held 4 hens and a roo on the roosting bar and they kept each other warm throughout the winter
    • Assembly coops are likely more portable -- so the trade off is the light weight -
    • my chicken only go in to roost and to lay for the most part they are outdoor chickens -- may not work in your climate....
    • The MyPetChicken dot com sight has a lot of new ideas about coops
    • This time of year -- you may find some reduced prices at your local TSC... I'm eyeing one where I bought feed yesterday.
    • If you get an Eglu - you have resale value -- probably the same with snap lock -- watch Craigs List and eBay for those products at lower costs (have yet to see anyone sell a snap lock -- usually Eglus come up because people get more chickens than the Eglu capacity.
    • Consider one that has an attached walk-in-run.... IMO a great help to your chicken safety and chicken management - for times you aren't there or free-ranging isn't in their best interest.

    Good luck with your quest!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  3. kidfarmer

    kidfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    1
    61
    Mar 29, 2015
    Massachusetts
    Thanks! Lots of good info and stuff to look for I will be doing alittle more research soon!
     

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