This stylish coop with integral run has been designed to securely house 4 or 5 medium sized fowl and offer protection from wet and windy weather.
Space & Capacity
This chicken coop has an internal housing area of just over 5 square feet excluding the nest boxes which includes 2 perches giving about 54 inches of perching space. This will cope with up to 5 large fowl.
This assumes that the birds have access to outside during the day which is where the integral run comes into its own.
Design & Construction
Like all their wooden coops it’s made from 12mm tongue & groove boarding with 35 x 25 mm framing. It’s a rot-resistant, treated softwood but will require further treating to maximise life (see below)
The nest boxes are situated on the side and have a separate lid which makes egg collection easy. The perches are situated high relative to the nest boxes as they should be and they are correctly located furthest from the pop-hole in the darkest place in the coop.
The pop-hole door side opening and controlled by a lever that allows it to be opened and closed without opening the door to the integral run.
The coop sits above the ground over an integral run, giving additional ‘free’ space for the birds. Because of the solid sloping roof your birds are protected against near anything the weather might throw at them.
Coops that sit directly on the ground will become damp and this can cause premature rot as well as serious health problems. So raising the the coop is a big plus point to look for.
The coop is delivered flat packed with good clear instructions. Even allowing for a tea-break, it shouldn’t take too long to build. Manufacturing quality is good – holes drilled in the correct place etc.
Often a problem with budget coops is poor quality of manufacture. Chicken Coops Direct have taken a decision that price is important but quality is more so.
Good draft-free ventilation is provided by slits cut high in the body.
Lifespan – How Long Will the Coop Last
All wooden structures will, eventually, rot unless maintained properly. My advice is to treat with 3 good coats of wood preservative prior to construction. OK, this will take a couple of days but it’s well worth it in the long term.
Thereafter, treat the coop annually in the autumn and it will greatly increase the lifespan. Use a quality product like Cuprinol or Ronseal that is pet safe. You can use this as an opportunity to personalize your coop and colour coordinate with other garden furniture, sheds etc.
Things like hinges will benefit from a coating of oil each month or two, 3 in 1 oil or similar is ideal. This will help prevent corrosion.
How long your coop will last you depends on whether you maintain it and how harsh the conditions it is exposed to are. Maintained properly and located in a sheltered spot, I’d expect a minimum life 5 years and 15 years or more is likely.
Any chicken keeper will agree ease of cleaning is very important and in this area the Sussex is a well thought out coop.
The floor is a removable, deep droppings trays which is always a help with keeping the coop fresh, especially in the summer. Better still, the whole coop easily opens out giving good access for cleaning inside.
One neat feature is that the nest boxes can be unbolted for even better access.
Red mite are the nightmare problem all chicken keepers hit at some point. They hide in any tiny cracks or crevices and any survivors of a deep clean breed like crazy becoming a problem again very quickly.
The Sussex comes with an optional add-on run that can be fixed to the coop. This add-on gives 23 square feet of roaming space. It can be easily extended, giving a double run. There are multiple doors in the sides making access to your birds easy.
All the runs come with 1.5 mm gauge protective mesh which is a lot more fox-resistant than the 0.9 mm gauge mesh that is commonly used. Although the run itself is effectively fox proof, if it is to be safely left unattended then a protective anti-digging skirt will need to be provided and the run pegged down firmly.
This is a well thought out, stylish coop that offers safe, secure housing at an economical price. List price, at time of writing, is around £210 but offers can be had. The additional run comes in around £50 for the single and £100 for the double, which is excellent value.
More information and current pricing – see Chicken Coops Direct web site
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