Pre-made coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BCollie, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. BCollie

    BCollie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a friend who met my chickens and fell in love with them(I swear it's a vicious cycle - I originally wanted chickens after I met a friend's hens and fell in love!)

    I'm helping her look at pre-made coops w/run, however it seems every coop I look at online with a built in run only has about 10 or 20 square feet of run space. She wants a flock of about 4 hens and we don't know if she'll be able to let them free range(killer outdoor cats might find chickens to be a yummy snack) so she'll need at least 40sqft of run space.

    Where can we find a coop with run appropriate for 4 chickens? I know it'll probably have to be shipped from somewhere. Please keep price in mind, something around a few hundred dollars would be ideal.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most built on runs are that size, best to buy the coop she wants, then add your own run to your desired dimensions. Runs are easier to build than the coop. Although a run of 20SF for 4 birds is doable.
     
  3. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd buy the coop & make the run.

    We had the same issue, I could only find runs which, to me, just didn't seem big enough to entertain my birds for long. They now free-range in the garden, but at our last home I built a massive 20 x 15ft run for our birds. At the time we had 3 bantams & 5 standards.

    The designers always say it holds a maximum of "?" chickens, but bear in mind that does not mean the space is necessarily going to make the birds you put in there happy. Active breeds for example, or larger breeds.

    Quite frankly, I believe the minimum requirements for space are followed in too many pre-made coop designs.

    I went to a zoological college for 2 years & there I was told:

    Minimum requirements for space are just that. Minimum requirements. They are not ideal requirements. Most animals will not be happy kept in those requirements full-time because they are all generally active & require mental stimulation & exercise to remain healthy. This includes the space to play / forage etc which minimum requirements are not designed to meet.

    Apparently not many people know this, but even the laws are not that clear about it. There is no mention I think of it is not suitable to keep the animals in the minimum space full time & long term. It just says those are the minimum requirements & that is what every design uses.

    This is why sometimes when you are browsing online or searching many enclosures & runs seem too small for your pets needs to you. Its because it is.

    If you ever feel something is too small its probably because it is [​IMG]

    The aim should be to give the birds as large a run as possible for that number of birds without it being OTT. Why they increase the expense for those bigger runs so drastically is beyond me. Its not like a run is difficult to build.

    You don't have to go anywhere near as big as the run we concocted, but I tell you it was easy to build & was up in 4 days. Also the chickens loved it because it was full of perches & toys etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Post an add on craigslist asking someone to build her a coop. Chances are you'll be able to find someone interested in chickens who can build a coop on the cheap with higher quality materials and better put together. Than a pre built one. You could also check the local feed store and ask if they recommend anyone. A small coop would only take a day to build, not including paint. Maybe $2-300 plus materials.

    Might also look into picking up a pre built shed or small playhouse and then just adding a run and modifying as needed. There are a lot of folks on here who would love to help out with walking you through something like this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The quality of those cute ready make coops leave much to be desired. Most will not hold up to any predator. Chainlink dog runs can make a sturdy chicken run. Keep your eye out on CL for something like a small storage shed that can easily be converted. It's amazing what you can find for free on CL.
     

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