Starting out

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ksalerno, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. ksalerno

    ksalerno New Egg

    Jan 30, 2017
    Hi! This will be my first year with chickens of my own. We are starting to get the coop situation together.

    We seem to like the combination coops that are able to be moved around the yard. Wondering about any pros/cons?

    Also, i have been researching places around me (central nj) for coops to buy, and have also visited a few. Do you think it's worth spending the $800-$1000 coop or should I consider other options as far as coops go?

    Thanks for your feedback!
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I think if you are handy at all, $800-$1000 would build you a pretty nice coop - the ones for sale (like at farm and ranch stores) seem too small and too flimsy for my liking. As for as the pros of the movable tractor: they always have fresh pasture to graze and fertilize. The cons - you have to be diligent in the moving. This can get to be a pain when it's muddy or snowy. Also, I see this is your first post. If you'd like, stop on over at the New Members Forum and say hello so we can give you a proper BYC greeting! Here's the link:
    Good luck in your coop search and eventual chickens and thanks for joining BYC!!
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    It sounds like you are thinking of a chicken "tractor" - the practicality and suitability of any design will depend on a few factors. How many birds are you planning to house? Will you want to have an attached "run that confines the birds or will they be free ranging in a large area in which you want to move just a coop (house) unit?
    As to the potential cost of the coops you have seen -- again, this will depend on a few things -- is that within the budget you are able to afford to invest in this venture? Are you unable or not interested in building your own unit (this does not require being particularly skilled in building and generally can cut your costs by 50-80% or more - many folks manage to build free coops using reclaimed materiel)? *I* personally would not pay that much, especially for what sounds like a small unit (based on being a mobile setup), but there is nothing wrong with you choosing to do so.
  4. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2014
    Mobile coops are great if you've got the space and time to keep it on fresh pasture. How many hens you're planning on is also an important question that will determine the size.
    As far as cost, that depends on how much time and money you've got. If you're working a full time job and accustomed to a recreational focused weekend, $1000 for a ready-to-go coop might be a great deal. On the other hand, you can probably build your own comparable coop for less than half that. Depends on your circumstances.
    Good luck to you!
  5. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    To me, the traditional site-built coops seem more predator resistant. You can beef up a coop with underground skirting to prevent digging predators and cover openings with hardware cloth. The attraction of a tractor that can be moved around the yard is that they are open on the bottom (from what I've seen anyway) which is great for the chickens to scratch around in the dirt, but it won't keep out things that dig under them. I do like the idea of a tractor in addition to a site-built coop, especially if free ranging is not an option.

    As for the pre-built coops, the manufacturers seem to overstate the number of birds that will fit in them and aren't made out of sturdy materials. They might be handy for broody girls or as a sick bay set up but are not a good investment (IMO) as a full time, permanent coop.

    For $1,000 or less, a traditional site-built coop would be a better, more long term way to go. If you can't do the building yourself, find a neighbor or high school kid to help you out.

    And before I forget...[​IMG]
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    Assuming you can do the work yourself, or borrow friends, neighbors, family etc to help, you can get twice the coop for half the price if you build it yourself. There is a learning curve, but on average, most chickens are not too critical of what they find once they move in. Whatever you build you can be certain there are birds living in something far worse.

    On pre-fab coops. ALL of them, by definition, are portable. You either assemble a kit, or if it was built complete somewhere, it is hauled to your site and off-loaded from a truck or trailer. You then drag it where you want it to go.

    You can do the same thing. All but the very largest of coops can be made moveable. Maybe not by hand as the small "tractor coops" are, but moveable by one means or another. Mine is 8' x 12' and is moved by a small tractor. Just hook on and go. Principle is the same with all of them, only the scale changes.
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
  8. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    [​IMG] Funny (but not intentional)!

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