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Anyone like to help me choose a coop?

30 replies

PuraVida · 07/02/2012 13:54

I'm still learning and doing lots of reading but I thought maybe
this one

Or may be this one

We can't afford an eglu

Would anyone be able to comment on pros and cons of these two. That would give me a much better idea of what I should be looking for in a coop

Also, we have a large concrete slab in our garden, formerly a shed base. I'd assumed they'd be better on grass but having done a bit of reading, might they be better to be on tr concrete, with regular outings around the garden when we're at home?

Thanks in advance for any help Smile

OP posts:
cobwebthegrey · 08/02/2012 00:31

Before buying a cocoon coop I would check out what juju has to say at the end of this thread

we have just spent weeks trawling though load of p
Aces and in the end decided to get one of these www.mumsnet.com/Talk/chicken_keepers/1395983-Chicken-coop-fantasies-come-and-share-yours-with-me it was, if I am honest, a LOT more than we really wanted to pay, but looking on a lot of poultry forums the message that came across was 'buy cheap buy twice.'

How many chickens are you thinking of getting?

These sites are worth checking out for highly recommended chicken houses...

www.chicken-house.co.uk/
www.forshamcottagearks.com/

cobwebthegrey · 08/02/2012 00:33

Sorry, second link should have been to here www.flytesofancy.co.uk/chickenhouses/Maggie_s_Hen_Houses.html

PuraVida · 08/02/2012 08:45

Thanks cobweb nice seen another bad review of the cocoon one too

Thing is we simply can't afford £400 or £500

I think, for us, we'd be better off buying a cheap one, parching it up to make sure it's warm and dry and if it falls apart in two years time we can buy another one and still have not spent £500

So many people recommend building your own but we just dint have the tools, skills or time

And if I'm completely honest we dont want something that is ugly and or dominates our garden

We're going to get three hens who can be free most of the time

The one you've got is lovely. The Maggie right? When we catch the bug I might start saving for one Grin

OP posts:
cobwebthegrey · 08/02/2012 12:10

What's your upper limit? www.flytesofancy.co.uk/chickenhouses/Hobby_Hen_House.html we almost got this one instead, but we wanted 6 chickens, it would've perfect for your 3?

cobwebthegrey · 08/02/2012 12:16

Sorry, don't mean to come across as a FSF pusher! :o

The other issue you may have with the cocoon is that the perches look like they are the same level as the nest boxes, this can lead to chickens crapping where they lay eggs, and as you are discouraged from washing eggs that's a real problem...

Viewofthehills · 09/02/2012 22:34

Would second Flyte so fancy. I have two. My oldest is 4 years old and still good as... Easy to clean, solid and well made.

Sometimes local agricultural merchants may have them. At least then you can look and see what you're getting!

jujubean · 11/02/2012 21:37

So now feeling like a right chump with our cocoon coop. The chickens are indeed pooping and sleeping in the nest boxes. Do I need to make it lower? FIL here at weekend and he's dead handy so can get him going on the alterations required.

PuraVida · 11/02/2012 22:26

Well having spent days trawling the web it seems there's you flytes of fancy / Forsham / smiths structural types. All others on eBay / amazon / chicken coops direct type places all seem to be exactly the same. Slightly varying names but I'm sure all just the same

The cocoon one, and the others ive linked to come up again and again. Thats the budget option

So.... Do we go budget with a view to patching and getting by

Or do i sell a kidney for this beauty

I'm in love. We can't afford it. But oh I want it so

If it's not that one it'll be this one with a double run extensio n. So at least it will be plenty big enough. And the whole front opens for cleaning which I like

Oh but I so want the other one. I want it so very much

OP posts:
PuraVida · 11/02/2012 22:32

Oh juju just saw your message.

I'm not sure I understand this box being at the wrong level. What's to stop them crapping in the box if it's higher?

Sonon balance would you not remommend your coop? I like the roof over the run. The one I'm looking at doesn't have that

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jujubean · 11/02/2012 22:38

Oh the 'sell a kidney' one is gorgeous. I know we went for the cheapy option - a decision we may regret in a few years but we plan on having ours free range with a massive penned off area for the summer. We've got quite a lot of woodland in our garden that is fairly unusable as garden but will be great for the chickens. So the plan is that the coop will be fairly sheltered under our lovely yew tree most of the year and hopefully that will compensate for it's shoddy quality. Hmmm who am I trying to kid?
Have you got a SCATS, Countrywide or Mole Valley Farmers near you? They sell coops. Probably worth having a look at one there before you buy online then you know what you're looking for.
Also, with the cheapy one its not just that the wood is thin it's the fittings. They are shite. Three days in and the catches on ours are already annoying me as they've bent a bit. It won't be long before I'm down at wickes buying a galvanised steel door catch. I'm giving it a few more days and then I'll be contacting cocoon....with a list.

jujubean · 11/02/2012 22:45

I think the nesting box needs to be lower than the perches but awaiting further info from the MN experts :o)

PuraVida · 11/02/2012 22:54

Ooo you're lucky juju, and so are your hens. Your garden sounds great. I think ours will have to quite often spend time in a run so w need at least 3sqm for 3 chooks

I think we will have to go cheap. I'm on maternity leave at the mo so things are a bit tight

Though you're doing a good job of convincing me otherwise

I think there's a scats in the next town. I hadn't thought of looking their so thanks for tha suggestion

OP posts:
jujubean · 11/02/2012 23:02

I looked at a few older threads on here and people seem to have survived with the cheaper options. I think you just need to be prepared that you might have to add extra screws/nails and replace catches and stuff. It's just never going to last 10 years or whatever. SCATS is fab, chicken keepers heaven. Sell massive bags of feed and everything.

VivaLeBeaver · 11/02/2012 23:07

Could you afford £300 for this?

www.smithssectionalbuildings.co.uk/products/the-dingle_hen_ark_8_chicken.php

I've got a smiths dell and it's ten years old and still going strong. Very good quality.

VivaLeBeaver · 11/02/2012 23:10

Then to make a run buy a 4ft wide roll of chicken wire and some tall electric fence posts. The posts push into the ground and you can twist tie the wire in. You can use tent pegs inbetween the fence posts on the ground to secure the bottom of the fence. Takes 5 mins to make a pen.

Or look at smiths mini dell coop but that's a bit more money.

cobwebthegrey · 11/02/2012 23:30

Just a word of warning Juju...Yew is poisonous to chickens!

cobwebthegrey · 11/02/2012 23:33

LOVE that Hen arch, we looked at that but DH said NO as if any part of it breaks over time it's almost impossible to fix if you have no means of bending wood to that shape! NOOOOO!

PuraVida · 12/02/2012 08:17

I can't really gave the arched one. We are poor as church mice at present

The building of a run as you describe it seems an excellent idea vivalebeaver

Does it matter that the arcs are close to the ground? I thought I'd read that it's better to gave them elevated. Can't remember why though ~bamboozled by chicken information>

OP posts:
PuraVida · 12/02/2012 08:18

Duh I see the smiths one is raised. And it's to do with rats

OP posts:
VivaLeBeaver · 12/02/2012 08:55

I think the smiths one would be a much better buy than the cheap ones you've linked to. I know someone who had one of the cheap ones, bought from eBay. It never really fitted together properly, the wood swelled in the rain making the Doors hard to operate.

The pull out cleaning tray was a pita as once there is a fair amount of poo on it it's hard to pull out. The front panel acts as a scraper and as you pull the tray out the poo got pushed off the back of the tray onto the floor. It was leaky and the nesting box got wet inside. Felt isnt ideal on hen coops as you get red mite underneath.

jujubean · 12/02/2012 13:42

Thank god for mumsnet, chickens would be dead within hours if I was left to my own devices. Off to move the coop.

celeriac · 13/02/2012 16:53

I think that the problem with some of the cocoon coops is that they are really very small if you are planning on keeping the chickens enclosed for any length of time.

My parents have got this Coop

However, the chickens literally only sleep in it at night and free range all day long. And yes, they do crap in the nesting boxes as they are on the same level as the perches.

It is better to have the coop on a concrete base if possible, as if you put it on grass it will quickly become a mudbath!

nickelDorritt · 13/02/2012 16:57

generally, the ones on ebay are badly made and of poor quality materials.

can you make one?
it might be cheaper/better
you need 1sqft of coop each bird and 2sqm of run each bird.

use 1cmx1cm wledmesh for the run, for keeping out foxes, and make sure it can't be dug under (putting it on patio slabs is the best plan)
they need some dry soil, so a tub or just dump a big pile of soil in the middle Grin

jujubean · 13/02/2012 22:17

Agree with celeriac, my cocoon coop can alledgedly take 10 birds. Probably if they are budgies, yes, but not 10 chickens. Luckily I have 4.

Re: the pooping in the nest box, perch height business. What do I need to do? Make the nest box lower or the perch higher? Or put a bit of hessian curtain in front of nest box to differentiate? Help.

chezchaos · 14/02/2012 09:29

I don't have chickens but my friend recently bought one of these coops and absolutely loves it:
www.woozlewood.com/product.php?id_product=117

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