Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

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Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby PixieDust » 24 Apr 2014, 18:06

Well, it came to nothing. All but one of the places OH knows have either closed down or become a different business. The only one we actually saw was a coop at SCATS and they only had 2 Arks which were horrendous money. So I have been scouting online instead of studying, and found these:

http://www.pandtpoultry.co.uk/product/categoryid/10/productid/1473

http://www.chickencoopsdirect.com/hen-house.htm

http://www.chickencoopsandhouses.co.uk/cc1250X-2N-IN-STOCK.html

http://www.chickencoopsdirect.com/reduced-coops.htm

http://www.henhouseworld.co.uk/ch103.htm

Now, I know they are probably made in China and they won't last but please understand, Himself is paying and he won't listen. He needs to see it fall apart for him to do something. We would be treating with a good wood preserver and he is talking about creosoting the inside re: red mite. We do not have the space for a second shed. We are on a budget and logically I feel that this is my first outing into the world of chickens and even though I will probably love it, I may not. If, come the end of the life of the house, we are still happy with keeping chickens, then maybe that is the time to look at a more expensive house, depending how a cheap one stands up. I asked about building a house and he says he doesn't have the patience for that, but will lay slabs and build a walk-in run.

I know all about previous posts on here regarding Cocoon houses. However, I like the idea of the opening roof for cleaning. All the others seem like they would be quite difficult to clean and check for mites. Also, how do you creosote the inside of a screwed up hen house? I know some have larger doors in the back.

So, being as these are the bad bunch, which would be the best of them? I think the Brahma house at P&T is better but it's too big for 4 hens and passed our budget.

Thank you in advance. I know it must be frustrating for those who are more experienced, but sometimes, budget is the key.
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby subruss » 24 Apr 2014, 21:55

buy a small shed and fit out as required a much cheaper option and loads more option for your setup :thumbright: a small shed will only take up as much room as a over priced coop and if you don't like chicken keeping you still have a shed :)
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby PixieDust » 24 Apr 2014, 22:41

Thanks for your advice, but he won't have a second shed in the garden.
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby Moriarty » 25 Apr 2014, 07:01

could you ask around or on something like Freecycle, or even go on Ebay and list a chicken coop as 'wanted' (I know there's a way to do this in Ebay, it's a separate classification but cannot remember the logistics). It would be so good to link you up with somebody who is clearing a garden and wants to dispose of a perfectly good coop. FridayAds? Sorry, can't remember all the ad places as I've been out of the UK for a while ...
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby Henwife » 25 Apr 2014, 07:49

If you buy new then you creosote every last bit of the chicken house before you put it together. That way all the joints are done. Sliding muck trays are a snare & delusion. Unless they are cleared daily (and life's too short) they jam up. A removable side is more useful for mucking out. A pent roof is better than a double pitch which panders to aesthetics but does nothing else. Just think square or rectangular box on legs with a sloping roof, as a basic shape and then consider refinements. They're not difficult to make from exterior ply and tanalised roof battens. I made several small ones many years ago with lift off roof, ladder perches, side hinged doors and internal nest box. They are the preferred quarters for my bantams and maintenace has been annual creosoting and replacement roofing felt (which isn't felt but the stuff sold by the roll from screwfix). Cost is always a consideration, and the cheap chinese ones survive well if they're not neglected.
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby Trebord » 25 Apr 2014, 10:12

Hi, my first coop was a cocoon house from ebay. It was just ofer £100. I had it for three years with no issues ( just replaced roof to get rid of the felt) sold it a few months ago for £40.00. Totally agree with he wife re the sliding tray - totally useless but apart from that it was easy to clean. I had 6 hens in what they claimed was a 8 hen house and do think they over estimate capacity. Treated it once a year. It came with a "run" that was more of a "walk" but mine are out and about all day so it was not a problem! Never had any complaints from the hens either. There are much more expensive options available but as you say you can always upgrade at a later stage and sell on the original if you look after it. I often see houses for sale in the local rag in the pet section - might be worth trying there or Preloved, Gumtree etc to see if you can pick up a bargain. Good luck!

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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby drfish » 25 Apr 2014, 10:33

The other problem with sliding trays is the coop ends up taking up twice as much space, to allow it to slide out. Stupid design really. I don't even use it on the one I have that is fitted with a tray. I just use a shovel through the door.

I'd still try and talk the other half into a small shed. You can get 4' x 4' x 6' tools sheds, which will effectively only take up as much room as an average sized coop, floorspace wise, and allow the extra head room for cleaning, and storage.
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby PixieDust » 25 Apr 2014, 11:47

I will broach the subject again but he is a very stubborn cuss!

We are not rushing this so I guess the more I research and the more questions I ask, the better.

If I do get a purpose built one, I shall make sure it has an opening roof and is very well creosoted/wood preserved.

We have the local Cow Pie rally at the beginning of next month and we may be able to find people selling coops there, but maybe not. They usually have chickens there but don't seem to be listed this year.

I would dearly love to just say yes with the shed idea, but I have to wait and see.

Does anyone have pictures of the insides of their sheds so I can see how they need to be kitted out, please?
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby drfish » 25 Apr 2014, 11:55

One of those things I keep meaning to do, but always forget.

But basically, a perch or two, and a couple of nest boxes. And don't forget the all important ventilation. That's about it really.

Mine contains a perch the width of the shed, two removable kids storage boxes which are the nest boxes (and plastic, ergo very easy to clean). Then I have a greenhouse tray under the perch to catch the majority of the poop. Drop doors are a doddle to make, and ventilation can be as simple as a hole cut in the sides covered with weldmesh.
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And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby jillychick » 25 Apr 2014, 12:21

I agree with the good dr fish I converted my shed in January, moving from 2 separate coops to the shed was the best decision I've made. It is so easy, loads more space, dry in wet weather while cleaning out, mine takes me 10 minutes in the mornings to do! I've got grow bag trays under the perches lined with newspaper, just fold it up and Chuck it in the compost. My nest box is an old long rabbit hutch without a front. I use a deep layer of "bliss" rape stems and hemp stems for the floor and nest box, very absorbent keeps chickens feet nice and dry on route to the nest box. Change that about once a month, and poo pick daily. If I'd have done this at the beginning it would have saved the cost of 2 coops pluss me getting soaking wet during a very wet winter and sprng
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby trocse » 25 Apr 2014, 14:14

Like yourself iam new to Chickens, i did not want to spend a great deal on a house for them, but did want something substantial and spacious for them. I looked at all the above sites and more, but couldn't justify the money for the quality of the product in return.

I kept an eye on the local Gumtree, 2-3 times a day, and there were always a few, some better than others, but i managed to get a Forsham Ark with run, feeders, drinkers & bedding for £80, it needed a bit of work, but an afternoon sorted it out & now its ready for the hens.

There is one on local to me just now similar to the first one you linked for only £60 & yesterday there was a typical 12 month old chinese build for £20 ! & another with 7 chickens for £80!!

Dont buy the first one that you see listed unless it's the kind you want, but a week or so of looking will find you a bargain. You could also place a wanted ad.

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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby PixieDust » 25 Apr 2014, 14:15

I can very much see the merits but I did ask him again and he said no. "One shed is enough". Meh, maybe in a few years things will change and we can go from there.

So, back to the cheap Chinese ones; I am quite liking the Dorset house at Chickencoopsdirect. Tis £99 squids because it needs ventilation holes which are no issue to drill. It completely opens out for cleaning and as I said, we WILL treat properly before use and yearly. Plus if we are gonna get a cheap house, we may as well get one with some extra discount. I am not expecting it to be very good, but that said, if he has to make "alterations" to it a lot, then he may change his mind come a new one. Why pay more than we need for a cheapy house? It's cheap and it serves a purpose at this time.

Actually, he may find he does have the patience to make the second one lol.

I honestly do believe investing in something more substantial or slightly more expensive, (loving this one http://www.perthshirepoultry.co.uk/ours ... -Coop.html), but I am constrained by my OH's wishes too. I don't want to appear a pain in the arse for not listening, I am, and I do value your opinions.
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby PixieDust » 25 Apr 2014, 14:16

Thanks trocse will take a look. :grin:
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby MamaOwl » 25 Apr 2014, 14:35

This is what I have: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CHICKEN-COOP- ... 99b563dd03

Although mine was only £89 but I can't find the seller that I got it from.

It opens on the nest boxes, the roof opens up, the side door opens, the floor is a tray which comes out and there is a slidey pop hole... Plus the one I got is mint green and very pretty! lol

I lay three sheets of newspaper under the perches and whipe them out every day and replace, this keeps the coop really clean. Then every weekend I pull the tray out, open all the openings of the coop, empty a watering can of Jeyes all over it and the run, leave it 15 minutes and then give it all a hose down with my X hose that has a 'jet' feature on it...

Once dry I sprinkle and puff redmite powder and diatrom earth all over the place, replace the straw in the nest boxes and newspaper and it's good to go for another week.

The run gets a good sweep every night when the hens go to bed.

I currently have three hens in there who all chose to sleep together on one perch so when my chicks are older (if they are both female) they will fit in too :-)
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Re: Yesterday's scouting mission for coops.

Postby MamaOwl » 25 Apr 2014, 14:37

One thing I will say is there is no way I would leave even one hen in the built in run. It's ok for perhaps keeping them safe if you have to go out and dont want them free ranging but in my opinion the run is far too small.
My daughter gets up every day for 6th form at 5am so she opens the gate and pop-hole for me weekdays and I set an alarm for weekends.
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