Which coop do I buy??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FelixFelicis, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. FelixFelicis

    FelixFelicis In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2014
    North Yorkshire, uk
    Hi guys! I'm soon going to be getting my first hens! We're going to have 4/5 Orpingtons or similar larger egg layers/pets. We're building a big, walk-in run and we've decided to buy a coop to put in it rather than building our own. My budget for the coop will be £100-150 (pounds, not dollars!), i understand that for that amount of money I'm not going to get anything special and what i do get wont be the best quality, but I shall make do because that's all I've got. I've seen a few I like the look of but I could do with some advice!

    Firstly, there's this one...
    It's £160. The things I like about this coop are that it's pretty, the plastic legs are a good idea to prevent rot, the slide out tray for cleaning, and the fact that the roosts are higher up than the nest boxes. It says on the website that it's suitable for 5-6 hens, but how many would you keep in here given the dimensions?

    Secondly, there's this one...
    This one is £100. The things I like are that, again, it looks nice, it's cheap! has plastic legs and a slide out tray, but the roosts are quite low (though i guess this could be modified quite easily if needed?), and I havent heard many good things about the brand Cocoon. It says it's suitable for 6-8 birds, but I'd like your opinion on how many you think it would be suitable for please!

    And thirdly, there is this one...


    This one is £100, so it's cheap. It has a slide out tray for cleaning and a roof vent. The roosts on this one are lower than the nest boxes like the one above it, but would be really hard to modify given that there is a door on one side of the roosts spanning nearly the whole width of the coop for claening and the nest boxes are at the other side, so if i raised them i'd have to fix them to the door meaning i wouldn't be able to get in it. the website claims that 12 birds would live in here quite comfortably, and a number of the reviews claim that they have 8-10 in here with room to spare, but again, I'd be more trusting of your opinions! Could you tell me how many orpington-sized hens would fit in here?

    And lastly, could you tell me which of the three you think is the better option?

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  2. katiepoole

    katiepoole Hatching

    Mar 9, 2015
    Gloucestershire, UK
    Hi Charlotte
    It's exciting that you're getting your first chickens! Orpingtons are great - so docile and majestic - definitely one of my favourites.

    I have a few reservations about the coops you're looking at, mostly because I have bought from similar lines and regretted it! (My first coop was from chickencoopsdirect.com). The coops are this cheap because they are made from really flimsy, untreated timber, so they really do not last very long at all - mine was on its last legs after two years. This is off-set by the fact that they are cheap, of course, so you can afford to replace them more often, but there are a couple of other issues (some with solutions) as well.

    The first is that the wood shingle roofs and wooden construction of the entire coops is asking for red mite infestation - you will have to be really careful to stay on top of this in the summer months with a spray and regular cleaning of the whole coop, which when you're looking at something this large is a real headache!

    Another point I would make, especially with the first coop, is that it will not house as many hens as it says - especially Orps as they are so big! I had a smaller coop and run configuration that claimed to house 6-8 full-sized birds - I was happy with about 4 in there, and even they were bantams! There are loads of different suggestions as to space, but generally you should allow a foot of perch space per bird, 2-4 square feet inside the coop per bird, and 4-10 square feet in the run per bird (you can get away with the smaller amount on this scale if you cover the roof of the run with something like Onduline).

    If you are dipping your toes in the water, then by all means buy one of these coops and see how it goes. But if you already know that chooks are for you, I would suggest buying something a little more expensive and reaping the benefits in terms of less-stressed hens and less-stressed you! Plastic coops are easier to clean and keep infestation-free. More expensive wooden coops generally fit together better with less room for the mites, and will almost certainly last longer. They also tend to be better designed both aesthetically and in terms of ease of maintenance and access. Some of the prices (for both plastic and wood) can be truly eye-watering, but if you look at them as a long-term asset rather than a short term solution, that might mitigate the pain a bit!

    My top tip, if you go for one of the coops above, would be to set it up on some stilts and fashion a ramp for the chickens to get up to it - this way you won't be constantly breaking your back bending over to clean it out. Your chooks will also benefit from the extra area freed up underneath, which is a good place to hang your feeder and waterer so that they are under shelter in the event of a shower.

    I hope you find some of this useful! Let us know which way you choose to go!
  3. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Crowing

    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    I personally like the looks of the second one, for a couple of reasons.

    The pull out trays for easier cleaning.
    The exterior nest boxes, and, for your amount of hens you only need the ones on one side, so the other side could be converted to storage for your supplies.

    As for the pests mentioned above, do you have food grade DE available in the UK? if so, use it and it will keep the mites and others pests at bay.

    I do agree that these coops are cheap because they're cheaply made. Just make a point to do regular monthly maintenance on the coop itself. Check for soft spots and places that are peeling. Keep it painted and don't set it directly on the ground, set it up on blocks of some type to help the legs last longer
  4. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    They all seem pretty OK to me, except that they are quite small. They offer roughly 3' x 3' floor space, which is not much room. Think how small that is, no wider or deeper than a yardstick. Still, they are possibly quite adequate depending on:

    How many chickens are you thinking of having?
    Are your chickens ever going to be locked inside the coop? Or are they only sleeping in there and can come out at daylight?
    Are they going to be confined to an attached run? Or will they be free to roam your yard space?
    Is the door going to be closed all night? (it affects ventilation)

    If it is just a place to sleep at night, I don't much care about space. As long as they can fit comfortably on roosting spots and there is proper ventilation.

    I would go with the last one for these reasons:
    1) It has a roof vent.
    2) It has the largest floor space
    3) It is simply built
    4) It is cheaper (hopefully because of its simplicity)

    If its door is closed at night, I would add a window to assist ventilation through that window and up through the roof vent.
    I wouldn't want more than 4 Orpingtons in there.

    I'm still thinking of this as a "starter" coop. Meaning that you will learn alot, you will probably modify this coop, and eventually move onto something more customized to your own preferences.
  5. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    I don't think any of those will hold more than 2-3 Standard Orps given their stated dimensions (figure you need 4 sq feet per bird). So if you're fine with a small flock, and you can put some kind of tarp over the run to keep water off the coop (cause otherwise it will likely fall apart very quickly), go for the one with the best ventilation.
  6. Nupe

    Nupe Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
  7. Gophfer

    Gophfer In the Brooder

    I find the commercially available coops lacking in quality. I build my own and that way I can put all the "features" I wan int during construction. I know they are predator proof, weather resistant (in Florida nothing is absolutely weather with hurricanes on occasion) and large enough. I have built 3 coops one for our first 7 girls, a bigger one for the 40 we got this year and another for our meat birds that is empty right now.
  8. Jakoda

    Jakoda Songster

    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I agree with the others, while the coops you see look really cute, they look bigger than they are and made very very cheaply. personally, I'd find someone to either build you a coop, buy a prebuilt shed and modify it yourself, or look for something on craigslist that IS made by someone.

    I bought one like the first one as a grow out pen, which its fine for..however, there is no way I would have my chickens living in it long term, it's just to cheaply made.
  9. RavenClawPekin6

    RavenClawPekin6 Chirping

    Jan 5, 2015
    Kilkenny, Ireland
    I've got a very pretty coop that my 2 ducks fit with spare space. The website is www.farmfowl.com and it's called the 'Katie Coop', which is the biggest of them there. The wood is light which makes easy to carry therefore is a bit weak and ours arrived broken but it is very easy to fix. It costs €249, a small bit extra to add a starter pack. Comes flatpack and really is a great feature in ones garden. Good luck with your chickens, they're going to be sooooooo cute![​IMG]

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