This is a traditional looking coop, house-shaped but with the benefits of some modern thinking. It has a controllable air vent, a benefit in very hot or cold weather. Unusually it has a door at the back and front. It can also be set to work with an automatic door opener – great for late risers!
Space & Capacity
This chicken coop has an internal housing area of just over 7 square feet excluding the nest boxes which includes 3 removable perches giving about 90 inches of perching space. The manufacturer claims it would suit 5 or 6 medium sized fowl which I would agree with. This assumes that the birds have access to outside during the day.
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 pop-hole door at the front is up and down and can be controlled with an automatic door opener. On the opposite side is a sliding door. The panels can be swapped to position the doors and nest boxes exactly as you need.
The coop sits a couple of inches above the ground on legs which are capped with feet to help prevent rot. 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 in two boxes with good clear instructions. Even allowing for a tea-break, it shouldn’t take an hour 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 above the pop-hole. In addition a mesh protected vent is provided above the sliding door. Excellent in really hot weather and in cold weather extremes as well.
Automatic Door Opener
The Devon Hen House on the left is equipped with an automatic, light-sensitive door opener. Let the hens out into the run at dawn and they can free-range when you arise.
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 possible.
The floor is a removable droppings tray which is always a help with keeping the coop fresh, especially in the summer. Access is a little limited but adequate via the doors. The nest boxes can be easily unbolted for deep-clean 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 run which can be fixed permanently to the coop or simply pushed up against it, allows your hens a safe and secure outside area as well as giving you total control of your flock if and when you need it. The run can also be easily extended should you ever decide to increase your flock size or wish to give your hens more room to roam safely.
This is a good looking, simple coop that offers safe, secure housing at a good price. List price, at time of writing, is around £180 with the run adding about £70 but it is often on sale. Full information on the Chicken Coops Direct site.
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