need coop advice

chickachicka

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
61
1
39
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has bought this coop?
http://www.critter-cages.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=22&products_id=85


I was thinking of getting it & adding a floor & an 8 ft run. Also, cutting a small access door on one side so I can clean it easier. I will be using it with 4 hens.
Any ideas? I also have another coop in mind here:
http://www.greenchickencoop.com/Our_Coops.html

The
Victoria is the one I am considering.

I can't seem to figure out how to build a run on this one due to the roof & I cannot afford to buy the run.

Please chime in with your thoughts!

thanks!
 
Last edited:

BioBob

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 14, 2009
61
1
31
Raleigh, NC
Random Thoughts:

With a 95 pound shipping weight #1 does not sound like it is very substantial.

#2 is a dog house with a run. Why not just buy a dog house and add an outside nest box (more accessible too) since you intend to build a run anyway.

I would build the "A" frame run, less weight, easier to build, and the chichens only use the bottom part anyway, and the roof line of the doghouse will not interfere.

I would think the doghouse would work fine for 4 birds if you get one tall enough to install the roost above the nest boxes.

I just finished a Catawba style Ark and I use a 12 x 14 tent style Gazebo as a run. The birds love it (they can forage in the rain) and I move it about every 3 days. The Gazebo was $84 from Amazon.

The Ark is 5 x 10 (one foot wider and two feet longer than a Catawba) and I kept the weight down by using cedar with a plastic roof. The birds only go "upstairs" in the evening and they are secure when I pull up the ladder.

Have fun with your project!

One last thought: The coops you are considering will arrive Knocked Down (KD). It will take you nearly as long to assemble them as it will to create your own design.
 

chickachicka

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
61
1
39
the first one is 3/8" exterior plywood.
I was wondering myself if that was sturdy enough.
The second one is 3"/4 plywood....looks more sturdy.

the second one is shipped completely assembled. I did look at other dog houses (thinking the same thing) but none were set up as well. the A frame run would be hard to cover so I thought a square one would be better.

I have no building skills at all
& I figured a 4ftw by 8ft long run wood be something my husband could handle. He has more skill than me but is very short on time.

thanks for you input!
 

dtimms

Songster
10 Years
Jun 20, 2009
164
0
109
NJ
I'm in your boat, trying to find the best (and most economical) backyard run. I heard about the Catawba and it does look pretty awesome. It was great to look at your posts and see the other options. I do admit, I've been seriously considering an Eglu just because they look so easy to set up and low-maintenance........ But $$$$$!

Biobob, did you put chicken wire or something around the gazebo to keep the chickens in/predators out? How did you attach it to the Catawba?

Chicka, I'll let you know if I come up with anything interesting... Please post anything good you find as well!!!!!
 

BioBob

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 14, 2009
61
1
31
Raleigh, NC
Good Morning dtimms:

No, I did not do anything special on the Gazebo as I move it every 2 or 3 days. It comes with a 6 inch flap around the bottom, and I use some heavy fire brick to hold it down to keep predators out and the chickens in.

They always have the option of going under the Ark, or if really threatened, up into the Roost/Nest area (the ladder only goes up at dusk). When a neighboring dog comes by, they run under the Ark, and wait to assess his intentions.

I secure the flaps of the Gazebo (it has two zippered doors) between the fixed and moveable sides of the Ark. I have considered snaps, and may yet install them.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll attach 3.

1. The original Ark (Catawba )

2. The New Ark -- 1 foot wider and 2 feet longer and a translucent roof to brighten things up a bit. The Catawba was just too small "upstairs" for my 8 chickens. I now have two roosts, and since the new Ark is a foot taller, I had room to raise them above the nest by 6 inches.

3. The Girls

img

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/img]
 

mikecnorthwest

Songster
10 Years
Mar 27, 2009
559
11
141
Vancouver, WA
My Coop
I'd steer clear of the Chick N Barn. I've seen these at our local feed stores and they're not very well built. The sealer they use on the wood is nothing more than a light coat of stain. I've also read several posts where people complain that after the first wet season the wood warps considerably.
 

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