Hi there I would like to start keeping chickens and am looking for a house. The plan is to build a walk in run approx 2m x 3m and put a house in it. Thinking 4 large chickens atm.
I have totally confused myself looking at plastic vs wooden houses etc. Cost is a major issue but obviously want something decent. We don't have access to van/trailer etc so will need to get something delivered. I want to get a timer thing for the door so needs to be a slide up door?
What do you think of this one - price seems v.reasonable but I am clueless - am I missing something? V.grateful for your advice - I'm sure I will be picking your brains through this whole process!
I started with Eglus - first a classic for my 3 hens then a cube as my flock explanded to six and then 9. I wanted them to have more space and couldn't let them out as they had completely trashed my garden.
In the end, I sold both Eglus & got a carpenter to build me a 2x3m ish run, tall enough for to to stand in. The wire mesh is fox-proof and extends about a metre beyond the run in all directions to prevent foxes & rats from digging in.
I got a wooden growhouse which I adapted for the girls to roost & lay in - plastic sink bowls on the bottom for laying & they roost on the top shelf or even on the top of the lid. It's worked really well.
If you are new to keeping chooks, be careful with wood as it can become infested with red mite which can be lethal to hens. You need to make sure you clean everything properly.
Are you intending that the hens free range all the time in your garden? Unless your garden is totally secure and fox free it might be better to buy a coop and run, then you just let the hens free range when you are home.
If you buy a wooden coop, you can creosote it then allow it to air for a few weeks and this will deter red mite mite.
We have a flytessofancy one too - Maggie's Six on legs. Brilliant. Expensive but amazingly well made, never had to worry about them in the torrential rain with leaks, or freezing to death in the snow. Can put food and water underneath the house when weather is really bad, so extra space for free! We have 4 Bluebelles so reasonable size hens and they snuggle up warmly together but with enough room for another 2 if we wanted them. Nest box is removable and cleaning house out is really easy with removable dirt tray. They have an electric fence to run round in too. Once a week I clean them out and replace their bedding (we use the Hemp-E bedding from flytessofancy) and once a month I scrub the whole house down (not as bad as it sounds as I clean them out, spray, leave to soak in, and scrub/wash down and leave to air dry while their free ranging in the garden). We have lots of foxes near us so I make sure we're in the garden with them just in case! The hen house has an automatic door timer for morning/evening which has been great (we got them last May so have done a summer & winter clock changes). They've been caught out a few times when evenings have got shorter into autumn but generally it's worked really really well and gives me piece of mind when I'm doing school runs in the winter when it gets dark at 4pm etc. Good luck! I love my hens - they're mental and neurotic but have great personalities too and of course lay wonderful eggs! 4 a day pretty much every day, even through winter, since they all "came of age"!
I got an eglu cube last September. I was terrified about red mite in my reading up on the subject of chickens! Best decision I made. Easy to clean - so easy. I admit they are not exactly pretty, but great for the first time chicken keeper.