1. bartonlynch

    bartonlynch Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2010
  2. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    I would love to know the exact dimensions inside and out first. Also if it comes with elect outlets as it's all lit up. Would like to see what the inside looks like. If it's meant to be movable - like a chicken tractor, how heavy is it and are there wheels?

    It looks really cute, but they don't give a lot of info.
     
  3. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    I started off with an Ark/Tractor - and while it was cute (pics on my page) it wasn't all that practical on my back, and the girls don't get very much sun. . .depending on where you are and your weather. . .

    At 1,200 plus whatever add-ons and shipping/tax. . .it's not cheap at all, so you want to make sure you get all the info you can and be sure it will be a good fit for you. The ark/tractor deal would have been fine for us, if we had teenagers to lift and move it to get it to another fresh area and clean every couple of days, and as the girls matured, I worried if they would have enough space when our winters set in. If the ground is frozen, they tend to stay inside - if the inside isn't that spacious and places to walk around a bit, they may pick on each other [​IMG]

    How many chickens are you planning on getting? One thing to keep in mind is introducing newbies to a flock is not always smooth - so you might want to get what you want in the beginning. I wish I knew then what I know now. . .I would have gotten 8 instead of just 4. . .oh well, maybe come spring, I'll get brave.
     
  4. bartonlynch

    bartonlynch Out Of The Brooder

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    i plan on about 6
    I live in lexington, KY and the winters aren't too bad, but you know
     
  5. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does look cute but as was stated before we would need quite a bit more information before we can really comment.
    From the pics it looks to be about 3x6 with internal nest boxes. (18sf - nest box space= approx 15sf) That would be ok for 4 chickens.
    They have an extra large one that looks to be 4x8. That would be better for 6 hens.
    Also be aware that unless you are going to let them free range you will need a run with 60+sf as well. These come as the building alone without any fencing.
    Also they come primed but not painted so be ready for that as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  6. bartonlynch

    bartonlynch Out Of The Brooder

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    i'm doing free range with lots of space
     
  7. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Free range is great. Your hens will be happier because of it.
    I would still add a secure run for them so you can go away for a weekend without a hen sitter.
     
  8. sheepfarmer70

    sheepfarmer70 New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2010
    way to small for happy chickens may be 3
     
  9. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking about this when I was out with my girls this morning. I woke up to 14F and it's up to a whole 15F now (2 hours later) [​IMG]

    See if they don't have a contact number where you can talk to a representative and inquire about if they've shipped any of these to your area. Perhaps the party who bought one from them will allow you to come by and take a peek. Cleaning and being able to reach everything inside is important to keeping your hens parasite free, healthy and happy. Some tractor/coops are a bugger to clean! The request isn't all that out-of-the-ordinary and most people who have backyard chickens like to show them off and tell people all about them. I've had half my neighborhood stop by after I got the larger coop - asking about it as you can see the peak and top of the roof from over my 6' privacy fence and it's location isn't where one would place a shed.

    I could have gotten my Amish coop for $1,300 without the tack area - it would have been 8' x 6' instead of 8' x 10' What I liked about it was I can stand up and walk around inside and easily reach every nook and cranny to clean. There is a cute window in the back that opens - complete with a screen and the front door has removable lucite panels so in warm weather you can open one or both for great ventalation. We opted for the tack area to give us the extra 3 feet in which the girls can't access (they got an extra foot on thier side)so we can store most everything for them in there (feed will be in the house in the hot summer and will just bring out a few days worth at a time so it doesn't get funky) I'm a neat freak and also like to spend time with them, so I can take a short stool into their coop and have plenty of space to sit inside with them and hand feed them some uncooked oatmeal or whatever their treat of the day is. . .pet them and have shelter from the rain, snow, ice and wind. When it's nasty out they spend a lot of time inside and it's a comfort to see they can mill about inside with two roosts and lots of floor space, and eating area, so they don't get to bickering.

    While I'm pretty new to chickens, you tend to learn some things fast - the term "Chicken" like 'don't chicken out,' or calling someone a 'chicken!' I totally know where this came from, as does everyone else who've gotten any - Chickens are 'chicken' Birds in general are, but chickens OMG. . .anything new or different they are suspicious of - sometimes waiting as much as a day or more to approach it. . .the first time I gave them string beans - too funny. . .and as much as I love my girls they aren't all that bright when it comes to a lot of things. I was on here all upset about how my girls wouldn't go upstairs in the chicken tractor/ark - and crawling under to catch them. . .wasn't gonna happen. Those birds stayed on the ground for a solid month - in the pouring rain even. . .nothing would make them go up the ladder/ramp and it wasnt too steep, and I had three in total all slightly different styles that I tried. They would walk up, look and go right back down. I put lights in, I opened one side and screened it in so they could see daylight in half of the top. . .no dice! When it was wet, they huddled together almost on top of each other and were soggy. I actually went to bed crying over it. So one month to the day later, they had the big coop. Because they are "chicken" I followed the advice of many on here and locked them in for 3 days so they would bond with their new home. . .on the first day I let them into their run, they slept outside - so I waited till it was good and dark and went out, caught them and popped them through their hen hole. After that they went in on their own. So, consider that if you have young birds, you might have to assist them if you are getting them in winter time, so they don't get wet and stay out (chance of frostbite).

    My girls were 5,6,7 and 8 weeks old when I brought them home. . .now, 16, 17, 18 and 19 weeks old and how they have changed! Very sweet and friendly, although the Partridge Rock is a bit reserved compared to the others.

    I'm sorry for the length of this, but I don't want you to end up with something you and your girls aren't happy with. Resale even for gently used will not get you all that close to full cost - so better to be certain than kick yourself. Since you've decided on spending that much and dont have to build a run, doing free range, and keep your number lower than 10-12, I'd suggest looking for a coop you can walk into. Like I said, mine without the tack area was $1,300 and that included delivery and set up (the place I bought it from is local though) but it's very likely you have something similar near you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I will bet you that the dimensions are 4x6'. First, because they claim 12' of roost and since thre is no way any linear dimension is 12' it is almost certainly two parallel 6' poles down the middle. Secondly, because they claim 15 chickens which would give 1.6 sq ft per chicken if it's 4x6, which is a pretty common space allowance. And finally because 4x6 is a SUPER common size for commercial coops.

    Unless you live somewhere paradaisical like Maui where they will LITERALLY only ever use the coop for sleeping in, I would not personally put more than 3 chickens in it, though you could most likely house 6 without too high likelihood of problems. I would also not use that style coop in a cold-winter region as it will be extremely hard to manage for good air quality and nondraftiness over winter.

    You would be much much much better off buying a small garden shed and converting it to a coop (just cut a popdoor, add a roost, and there ya go... very very easy)... you will get a lot more bang for your buck and it will be better chicken habitat too.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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