When is it all too much?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mlorne, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. mlorne

    mlorne Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2010
    Hello all,

    Please take this post for the spirit in which it is intended. It is not meant to be mean spirited, just intended to foster thought and discussion.

    After having taken a look at the threads like "my new coop" or "how to decorate", etc. etc., and being totally amazed at the complexity, quality of construction, effort and time, creativity and overall 'spleandor' of some of these coops, I started to ask myself "when does it all become too much?"

    I have seen examples of coops costing up to or even beyond $1000, skillfully crafted and lovingly cared for. Within these homes reside perhaps a dozen chickens, each with their own comfortable roosts, easy access to food and clean water, treats, toys, whimsical knick-knacks and such. To be honest, all I could think of was the scenes of people in Haiti living under plastic tarps in the mud and filth. Or closer to home, the man pushing into a line to get a meal and a thin cot infested with bed bugs rather than sleeping on pavement.

    Now I know that the issue of pet pampering is not unique to poultry owners, and to be sure the teacup poodle with the 24 carat gold collar is a real ambomination, but again I ask when is it all too much?

    For the sake of transparency, my coop was built using 80% recycled materials. Have no misunderstanding about my motivations however: I was motivated by the fact that I can't afford a fancy poultry hotel. Or more accurately, and maybe this is kind of the point, I choose not to afford a fancier coop. I have a few vices/obsessions in my life that take priority over such things.

    Thanks for hearing me out.

  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    I'm with you; see my BYC page for a simple utilitarian setup built by myself out of mostly recycled materials that have been working out for me for over 15 years.
  3. my3chickens

    my3chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    I too am guilty of spending too much on my chicken coop. I am a single woman with no construction skills so I purchased a small coop for 3-4 chickens (first time chicken owner). The coop matches my house and cost $650.00. I guess it all depends on what your interests are... I don't have a big screen TV or fancy high tech equipment in my house, I drive a 5 year old SUV, I have basic cable, and live in a 110 year old cottage on a couple of acres, grow my own herbs and tomatoes, recycle, and am a vegetarian.

    Rescuing and raising animals is my guilty pleasure and I have always wanted a couple of chickens as pets.

    So there's my justification [​IMG]
  4. tobin123

    tobin123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2009
    That is a very nice coop,
  5. woodlumn

    woodlumn Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2009
    I spent too much money building my coop ($250) but I chalk that up to naivety. I was having a hard time visualizing how all the chicken needs (nests, roost, light, security) fit together, which lead to over-engineering. It wasn't very long after we got the birds that I realized all they probably need is a lean-to.

    Some folks do go over the top with vanity coops, but some people go over the top with vanity cars, houses, clothes, etc...
  6. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    I think there's a difference between providing your chickens (or any pets) with more space than they need, and putting a 24K collar on a toy poodle. Improving the quality of life for an animal is a noble use of funds, in my opinion. Animals are deserving of comfort and respect for the life they're living, and I see nothing wrong with providing them the best quality of life one can. We took on this responsibility, and it's up to us to give them the best we can, because their whole experience is dependent on us and our largess with them. I don't agree with the suggestion that people give their money to people in Haiti instead. To expand the suggestion, why do people eat all organic, when most people can survive just fine on plain ol' regular food, and give the difference to the people of Haiti? Why buy clothes new, and instead narrow your wardrobe to three outfits only, never purchase replacements (cause you can sew the holes), and give that money to Haiti? You're asking where the line is (I think), and that is dependent on every person's individual financial circumstances. The mess in Haiti (or anywhere else) has nothing to do with people making nice homes for their chickens, and no one lives their life using only the bare minimum they need (like No Impact Man), and donating the rest to charity. Except Mother Theresa.
  7. my3chickens

    my3chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    tobin123; Thank you! I have to admit I debated for some time before spending that much on it. But again I live a very simple life and I like my cottage and property to look nice " [​IMG] and I have to admit I spoil all my animals, but they're rescues and I guess I want to make up for the injustices done to them before they found a home with me.

    I love that you are trying to be self sufficient and live off the land as much as possible.
  8. agnes_day

    agnes_day Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2008
    why should anyone ever feel guilty that they have the means to live a better life? thats just silly. i am pretty low on the income scale, but i dont think its the more affluent classes job to hand me money..they earned it, they can do with it what they want. no one owes anyone anything.
  9. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    We have an expensive coop, though most of the expense didn't go for the coop itself, but for the tool shed that the coop is part of. In our case, since we live in a suburban area, and have chain link fence, it has to look good. I can't cobble together something from bits and pieces, though I would like to. At every turn, I have been checking out the "cull" bins at Home Depot, and looking for recyclable items. It has to look good to inspire good will in the neighbors.
    We have our next coop disassembled and on a trailer, and under tarps in the backyard. It cost much less than the first one, and is larger, but, we did have to do demolition on the interior, and take it apart to transport it here.
    The original reason I got chickens (besides the fact that I love the idea of having a touch of the farm in my backyard:) ) is that I kept having dreams of being able to feed people. In my dreams I was responsible for feeding many people I know. With the economy as bad as it is, I feel very good about being able to offer as good a food as eggs to anyone I want.
    I do hear you about those suffering in Haiti, though I'm not sure how to fix that. With corruption in government as bad as it is, money sent may never reach the poor. (Similar to the situation in very poor areas of Africa, where aid has been held up for extremely long periods of time, or has been diverted to the wealthy in order to starve those of poor clans or families.) I don't know what the answer is, but I appreciate what you are asking.
  10. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    I guess if that's what people want to spend their money on, then it's their choice and their money. If you want to send your money to Haiti, well, then by all means do so.. it's your money. I've probably spent a couple thousand on my chicken coop, but life is short and I work hard for it, so if watching chickens peck in my backyard relieves my stress and makes me happy, I'm going to do it.
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