NEED TO BUY A COOP!

Beekissed

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
5,161
682
This world is not my home.
When some folks suggest "build instead of buy"- I don't think that they are accounting for time -- if you take time as a factor - the prices move into reasonableness pretty fast. I'm pleased with the choice I made for plastic coops when I first got into chickens- because it doesn't require the maintenance that wood needs. :O)

It takes all of a day to get a delivery from Lowe's of a wooden shed that's cute and can be retrofitted into a coop that will hold a flock of 10 for half the price of a dollhouse coop that will hold 2 chickens. It took me all of 10 days to build an 8x10 coop with minimal tools and skills.

What's the hurry? It's chickens..they don't have an expiration date and you can get them at any time throughout the year.
 

mhelie1

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 9, 2014
6
0
60
VA
I really prefer using plastic sheds for a small flock of chickens. And like other's have posted you should really make sure you can walk in or cleaning will be a pain in the back. When it's time to clean (and I clean my coop out often to keep the smells down) I use a snow shovel, quick and easy. I have a run that is connect to the side where you see the dog door. While my run is very secure, I still close the dog door at night. I haven't lost a chicken yet. Good luck.




 

bluefrog87

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 17, 2013
170
6
71
Dallas, Tx
Yes
Building can be the cheaper and easier route in full spectrum. You get exactly what you want, the size you want, and all the features you want.

But there are many reasons why people can't build coops and with a lot of research and work you can find it. It took me 5 months to find one I was happy with. I didn't build mine because I got a neck injury. It was like buying a car. If I didn't have that, I would have retrofitted a small plastic shed. Sometimes you really can't build it. It's just life.

It is important to find what you can do and building is not the only option.
 

momofthehouse

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 5, 2014
212
11
88
Seabeck, wa
That's for the water thawing, doesn't heat the coop at all, and it's doesn't work to even keep water thaw below about 12 degrees.
I have lots of ventilation but no drafts....no drafts are the key.
Always same temp inside and out, unless the sun is out strong then it might get warmer inside. It's often colder inside the coop than outside.
We've had day after day of below freezing temps, a little bit of frostbite on combs and wattles but no frozen chickens.

It's actually harder to properly ventilate and eliminate drafts in a smaller coop.
What is the key to have the "holes" be ventilation rather than draft. You want the holes maybe higher where the chickens wont be in direct contact of the flow of air like soffits? We definitely get alot of wind and rain here so yes i would want to make sure I have options in regards to that but we will also have some tree cover.

Yes we will have a secured run in addition to the coop, but they will free range when I am home which is pretty much most of the time unless I am running an errand and picking up the kiddos. We have coons is all I am aware of that have tried to get the previous owners chickens.

What size do you suggest aart? I would really like 15 birds due to we will be eating them.

How can you tell if ventilation is accurate once you build your coop?
 

ChicKat

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
I really prefer using plastic sheds for a small flock of chickens. And like other's have posted you should really make sure you can walk in or cleaning will be a pain in the back. When it's time to clean (and I clean my coop out often to keep the smells down) I use a snow shovel, quick and easy. I have a run that is connect to the side where you see the dog door. While my run is very secure, I still close the dog door at night. I haven't lost a chicken yet. Good luck.




Nice coop mhelie1,

Did you cut the tops off the nesting boxes? Was wondering why.
 

nikki1

Songster
8 Years
Oct 16, 2011
492
26
134
Eatonville, WA
Brahma's I am hearing are also good meat birds? Are Easter eggers or buff orpington? What about cross breeding because I would like to produce my own chicks so would need a broody hen or two? Would you say a Brahma rooster would be a good choice because they are friendlier? We have three kids so friendly is a good thing :) 


I don't have a rooster, so I know nothing on that score. Orpingtons make good mommies, and they are a pretty chunky bird.
 

GentFarmer

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 10, 2014
147
27
73
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Remember, too, that chickens are birds, not household pets. They're more robust than they often get credit for. I used a cardboard wardrobe moving box as a brooder, and had my chicks in there while I built my own coop. If you want sturdy and readily available, check out using pallets and/or packing crates. They're readily available, and most places (my feed store, for instance) will give them to you for free or at minimal cost.

I stressed on building my coop. In hindsight, I went overboard and built a luxury resort for my birds. :)
 

mhelie1

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 9, 2014
6
0
60
VA
Yes I cut the holes bigger in the nesting boxes. My RRs are good size ladies and we're not using them. I cut one and they began laying in the box. I then cut the other and then both boxes were in use.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,690
147,710
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
What is the key to have the "holes" be ventilation rather than draft. You want the holes maybe higher where the chickens wont be in direct contact of the flow of air like soffits? We definitely get alot of wind and rain here so yes i would want to make sure I have options in regards to that but we will also have some tree cover.

Yes we will have a secured run in addition to the coop, but they will free range when I am home which is pretty much most of the time unless I am running an errand and picking up the kiddos. We have coons is all I am aware of that have tried to get the previous owners chickens.

What size do you suggest aart? I would really like 15 birds due to we will be eating them.

How can you tell if ventilation is accurate once you build your coop?
I think the key is the height of the coop. You want most of your ventilation up high so the humid air can escape the coop, as far above the roost as possible so any drafts from that ventilation does not create a draft on the roost area. You want air movement but not any strong drafts directly onto the roost area in freezing weather.

I think large eaves 1-2 feet would be perfect for your climate with windows tucked up high under the eaves so you can keep them open when it's raining. I have a clerestory roof (see My Coop Page) and the soffits are wide open and covered with 1/2" hardware cloth to impede predators as are the upper windows.

And you want your roost higher than the nests so they don't roost(and poop) in the nests. As you figure out the height of your bedding and pop door, the height of the nests, then the roosts, then the ridge and/or soffit vents...it adds up quick.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,930
1,197
291
Georgia
It takes all of a day to get a delivery from Lowe's of a wooden shed that's cute and can be retrofitted into a coop that will hold a flock of 10 for half the price of a dollhouse coop that will hold 2 chickens. It took me all of 10 days to build an 8x10 coop with minimal tools and skills.

What's the hurry? It's chickens..they don't have an expiration date and you can get them at any time throughout the year.

After you said that I started looking for sheds (I really don't want to pay $700 for a plastic coop, they are nice but so small!).

Can't find wood sheds at a cheap price but I am having my lawn man draw up a price on a plywood shed. He also has chickens so should know what to expect.

Question: I am only planning to keep maybe 4 chickens in this house. If I put large square pan type things UNDERNEATH the roosting bars would that catch most of the poop? So I could remove the large pans and dump without having to clean out the whole coop frequently?
 

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