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Suggestions on Store Bought Coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by taylormarie, May 10, 2016.

  1. taylormarie

    taylormarie New Egg

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    May 10, 2016
    Hello everyone,

    I've been looking into getting chickens for quite some time now and I finally have decided to pull the trigger. I'll be picking up my three silkie chicks (under a week old) this weekend.

    With the brooder already set up, I know I have a little more time to make some decisions. BUT I really need help with suggestions on picking out a coop online. I'm a single mom who will be putting it together by myself. I definitely don't trust myself with a saw so I will not be building one from scratch. I'm not home all day and my fence line has a daily visit from a red tail hawk. Needless to say, they won't be free ranging unless I am in the yard. Is there a good coop you can recommend that is spacious enough for 3-4 silkies without spending over $300? I want to make sure they have enough room!
     
  2. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Coops can be very dusty & dirty places. So you'll want to choose a design that allows you EASY access to the inside of the coop. There are repetitive chores that you'll need to do, for example you'll need to be able to add and remove litter from the coop. If the design does not allow easy access, then chores will be avoided because of the hassle.

    You'll probably want to be able to access the eggs from outside the coop. Again, coops are dusty dirty places.

    The coop needs to keep the birds protected and sheltered from weather and predators and at the same time allow plenty of air exchange to maintain healthy birds. Coops that don't have enough airflow become damp in winter making for unhealthy environment.

    Those are the big hitters off the top of my head.
     
  3. MrsMommaB

    MrsMommaB Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2016
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    Hey there! congrats!! I adore silkies!
    We bought this one...It was on sale for $200. I like it a lot but it's not sturdy enough to keep out raccoons without some reinforcement in my opinion...
    It says up to 6 chickens and I got 6. It, or something similar, would be great for your silkies! We are building a bigger outside area for them but I know they make an attachment specifically for this coop you can purchase too. I just felt like it still wasn't enough space for mine.
    Post pics when they're home with you! :)

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/precision-pet-farm-house-coop?cm_vc=-10005
     
  4. mollymoore

    mollymoore Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2012
    Congrats on your new silkie babies!
    I'm in a similar position as you. My four chicks are on order and set to be delivered before the end of the month. I chose this coop for them. I bought if from a store in the next town over called Rural King.

    I had a small flock of 7 birds before, made my own coop and it did not work out. Lots of people suggest making your own, some will even insist it's the only way to go. I tried building my own but could never get the roof right for the run and coop. I went with aviary netting and a solid tarp all held to the frame of the coop and run with zip ties. An opossum got in anyhow and destroyed my flock.

    The kit I have needs some modifications such as weather resistant paint, some sort of weather resistant sealant where the asphalt roof and wood meet, upgraded hardware, added ventilation, an extended run and some sort of platform to keep it lifted off the damp earth to help the wood last longer. I'm thinking patio stones at this point to go around the perimeter of the whole thing. I don't have any burrowing predators in my suburban backyard. If I did, I would also need a buried skirt around the perimeter. I did my best research I could, and decided that many of the coops' shipping fees made it prohibitive. I did see a very small one at Home Depot but it looked small for even two chickens, even just for night time lockup, even with the separately available run extension.

    It seems the things to consider are how much time you will let your chickens out to roam around your outdoor space, what sort of predators will be in your backyard and the climate of your area. I hope that can help you narrow it down. Lots of people will tell you lots of things and even be contradictory. Just remember they're your birds and everyone enjoys their flock differently. Do the best you can with what you have and I think you will love being a chicken parent.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  5. captivatedlife

    captivatedlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2016
    We went to the feed store and talked with them. We were very blunt about our price range ($300) and none of the coops they were selling were less than 350 and they only housed half of the chickens we wanted. Once we got all that out of the way (and they knew we weren't budging on the price) they let us know that they did have some pre used chicken coops that could hold more than we wanted for 325. We upped our budget to 325 and went preused. I would not recommend any of the prefab coops anywhere that has snow / rains. I went and actually looked, touched, pushed and played with a few different prefab coops and while they look ok in the store, you can tell how flimsy they are when you touch and work with them.

    The one exception I have found in my research are the plastic coops. They seem to be pretty sturdy... I just don't love the way they look. That said, if you don't have monsoon rains, or serious snowfalls, you should be fine with a prefab coop.

    Is there someone you can trade something for to make one for you? Is there a local technical college that will make one for the price of materials and a donation? Call your local technical college, speak with the construction teacher and see if they would recommend a student to come and build you one for the cost of supplies and $100 under the table. Would someone from your church/synagogue / whatever help you out? Do you know a couple of handy college students who will work for pizza and soda / beer?

    Good luck!
     
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Try looking on Craigslist or Freecycle or some other local bulletin board system. When we were in the city, I regularly saw people giving away entire coops and sometimes chickens for FREE.

    Silkies are small, so you don't need a huge coop. Most of the pre-built (one you buy and put together) coops are extremely small. If you are sure you won't have any more chickens than three, then a small coop should be okay.

    We once acquired a homemade dog house (it is very large for a doghouse) and made modifications to it to turn it into a chicken coop. It's not perfect nor perfectly predator proof, but it has worked so far for a couple years. Some people live in areas that are much thicker than others with predators.
     
  7. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)

    store bought coops can be expensive and do not last as long

    look for craiglist for cheaper coops

    or shop around first

    these are the ones they have at costco
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    and petsmart

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