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coop & run recommendations please (not Eglu)

(20 Posts)
Doraemon Mon 03-Apr-17 18:59:26

We are looking into getting chickens but DH (whose idea it is) has vetoed the Eglu, I think mainly because he doesn't like plastic....
I think we would probably have 3 bantams, and they would be in an area in between the side of our house and next door's garage so fairly sheltered. They could go in the garden when we are around to keep an eye on them but would need enough space in the run to be happy if they need to be left in there for the day. The area at the moment has a paved path down the middle - I think DH intends to pave it all and put wood chip down for them to scratch in. Any recommendations for decent coop & run set ups that don't cost the earth, or advice about how big a run we would need, would be gratefully received! Dh likes the look of the Forsham ark but I think they would need a bigger run really. We're in West Yorks if that's relevant.... thank you!

Pixel Wed 05-Apr-17 17:54:31

Hi, I can understand why you don't like the Eglu as I think they are quite ugly but you might want to have a look at some of the other plastic ones which can be in a more traditional style. I'm just saying as I've just spent the entire afternoon spring cleaning the run and coop and spraying and dusting everything including the hens because I've found some horrible red mite in the nesting box. Am wishing I'd got a plastic coop instead of a wooden one!

Do you need the bit between your house and next-door's garage for access or is it just a little extra bit of garden sort of thing? Only we have a similar sort of space between the shed, back garden wall and the back gate, which we have turned into a walk in run with a roof (clear corrugated so nice and light). It works really well as there is plenty of room for them to have perches and a big tub for dust baths so if they can't go out much it's fine. Plus you can clean out the coop in the bad weather or sit and give the girls a bit of a fuss without having to get soaked!

If you don't fancy doing that I've seen some quite nice looking coops with built in runs on Ebay so you might be able to pick up a bit of a bargain. You'll also need a proper water hopper as they soon knock over a bowl, even a decent heavy one (or they'll walk or poo in it), and as well as layers pellets they'll need a constant supply of oyster grit so you'll need feeders for those as well. Bear in mind they will all take up space in the run when you are deciding what to get.

BarchesterFlowers Thu 06-Apr-17 18:42:06

I have always had homemade wooden coops and never had red mite.

Would you think about making one? Have just posted a photo of our home one on the other thread.

czechpie Sat 08-Apr-17 07:45:23

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PossumInAPearTree Sat 08-Apr-17 07:47:09

I have an eglu and have red mite so don't believe the hype.

BarchesterFlowers Sat 08-Apr-17 10:11:00

My friend with an eglu has a constant battle possum, I don't have any proof but I wonder if the size of the coop/space has something to do with it.

I only have six hens but my coop is 3ft x 4ft x 5ft high at the apex. Tons of room. They are in a small orchard but in the winter have the run of the place and we use an old stable rather than a coop.

I am the least precious chicken keeper I know, they are bedded on straw which we empty completely once a week.

czechpie Sat 08-Apr-17 11:02:03

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PossumInAPearTree Sat 08-Apr-17 16:14:17

My eglu is actually an eglu cube with three chickens in it, so plenty of space. I think any coop with dark crevices will get mite. So don't think plastic ones are worth the extra money. I had a wooden coop years ago from Smiths sectional buildings which was very well built and good value. No idea if they're still trading.

PossumInAPearTree Sat 08-Apr-17 16:16:49

This was the one I had, great house and run combo.

Doraemon Sat 08-Apr-17 17:22:06

thank you for all the advice. The area we have in mind isn't needed for access so could be entirely chicken-ized and turned into a walk in run. If we used the whole space I think it would give us about 3m by 5m - I think building our own coop is not really a practical option for us (lack of skill and time!) but DH is quite keen to sort out fencing the run himself and buy a coop to put in it. He has started moving the compost heaps that are there at the minute and we have a bit of time free over Easter so we might actually get it sorted out, very exciting :-)

PossumInAPearTree Sat 08-Apr-17 18:19:10

I fenced our permanent run very easily with a roll of chicken wire fencing and some electric fence posts, twist tied the wire into the posts and used bricks and tent pegs to pin it down at the bottom.

Took me twenty mins and 15 years on is still standing though I admit after about 18 months dh replaced my electric fence posts with proper wooden posts.

Pixel Sat 08-Apr-17 18:59:38

Mine have plenty of room and free range as well so I don't think that is the problem. I've been using shavings in the coop so I wonder if that is it. Have cleaned it all out and will stick to hay for a while and see if that helps.

Doraemon don't let your Dh do what mine did then. He bought me the coop as a Christmas present and put it all together, then he didn't build the run until the warmer weather came and he built it around the coop. Unfortunately the door is too narrow to get the coop out which is rather a pain if I want to give it a good scrub or a lick of paint!
I can't complain too much as he has made a really good job of the run and it's as foxproof as anything can be, what with the shed and the walls at the sides, and the wire frontage being buried so nothing can dig under. It makes it easier if we want to go away as our neighbour doesn't have to worry about putting them away at night or letting them out in the morning. As long as she visits sometime during the day to make sure there is food and water and have a quick clean up they are fine to be left.

Doraemon Sat 08-Apr-17 20:16:32

Pixel thanks for the warning.... perhaps I should encourage DH to choose the coop before he actually starts constructing anything!
It would be really helpful to be able to leave them safely if we're away over night - we have neighbours who can pop round and check on them but if they could be left to potter in and out of the coop at will it would obviously be easier.
Our elderly guinea pig often spends the night out in his run over the summer and we've never had an issues with foxes going for him but I wonder whether chickens might smell more tempting....

Imbroglio Sat 08-Apr-17 21:12:23

Re red mite - I have an eglu and the advantage is that it is very easy to spot an infestation early on, and I can give it a regular thorough wash down inside and out and have it dry and cosy by nightfall.

However, last summer my girls decided to roost out in the run area on a sturdy branch which I had put there for interest. By the end of the summer the branch was crawling with mites. I had never thought to check! Lesson learned. I now give their favourite perching places regular treatments of diatomaceous earth.

Pixel Sun 09-Apr-17 18:55:26

Imbroglio I never thought of that either! Must check tomorrow as we do have a branch out there for perching on and I dusted evertything else but not that.

What's with all the zombie threads today?

OVienna Thu 04-May-17 08:57:45

pixel would you be willing to post a photo of your set up?

Pixel Thu 04-May-17 22:39:25

Hi, will try and remember to get some pics at the weekend. smile

Pixel Sat 13-May-17 18:37:08

Hi, sorry it took so long. blush.

Ruhrpott Sat 13-May-17 18:40:18

I love my eglu cube. Have extra run panels and 5 bantams in there.

SweepTheHalls Sat 13-May-17 18:41:00

Our coop is from Flyte so Fancy, we have the light sensor motorised door as well which is brilliant! It's 8 years old and going strong.

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