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Thread: Advice for new chicken coop

  1. #1
    muck lover is offline Tuber
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    Default Advice for new chicken coop

    I am seriously considering getting chickens. Iíve been reading about red mite and my skin is crawling.
    Can anyone advise on the best coop to minimise red mite infestations? Plastic as opposed to wood? Is there a big advantage to plastic? I understand I will be cleaning regularly regardless.
    The plastic coops seem extraordinarily expensive.
    I am thinking four hens, maybe five.

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    I can only speak from my experience and I'm sure we have many different views on what's best - as with everything.
    When I started keeping chooks and had absolutly no idea what i was doing, i had a purpose built wooden shed/coop made, about 6 x 8, maybe bigger, with external nestboxes, so I could lift the lid and remove the eggs. My 6 chooks rattled around in it, it was far too big, and a nightmare to clean out as the floor area was so big.
    If there was a red mite incident, every overlapping joint on the walls had to be treated.

    A year or so back, with chook numbers down to 3, I bought a plastic dog kennel, made a door to fit it, and its made life so much easier. It can be hosed down, dismantled in minutes, easy to scrub and I wouldn't go back to wood now.

    Its not big enough for more than 3 chooks IMO and I don't know anything about "proper" plastic coops - never even seen an eglu - they don't appeal to me at all.

    Photos of mine at https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ml#post1577004

    I bought the largest of these. Plastic Dog Kennel | Great deals at zooplus!

    Its good because the side wall lifts out completely for cleaning, or can be left "ajar" for extra ventilation.
    My door was made from the front window panel of some sort of Hifi/computer and a piece of plastic grid from a wormery.
    Last edited by veggiechicken; 17-02-2018 at 01:00 PM.
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    Must say VC that the Dog kennel is a good idea.... will keep it in mind for a broody.

    Muck Lover...

    Remember that chicken produce most of their dropping at night whilst they roost, so this is where most work will be re cleaning. Best if you can remove the roosts and anything else to leave an empty shed when cleaning.

    It seems to come down to personal choice and what you can lay your hands on.

    Plastic houses are easier to clean because in most cases they can be take apart, power wash down, disinfect etc. The down side is that some people don't like the look and you can't clean them with a blow torch. Dry really fast, so can clean out the shed in an afternoon.

    Wooden Chicken Houses are harder to clean, but if you put lino on the Dropping Tray (under the roost)... Thingy.. Makes it so much easier. Red mite will get into every crook and cranny , so needs to be well made to handle the cleaning. Coal Tar Creosote is one of the best methods to keep red mite at bay, but not on general sale to the public so for both plastic and wood will have to use other products.
    One advantage of wood is that you can use a blow torch to quickly clean most surfaces in an emergency.

    One cheaper option might be to buy a well made - full height garden shed. Put is a couple of nest boxes and perches above. Cut hole for ventilation and jobs a good one.

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    nickdub is online now Early Fruiter
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    I don't keep chickens myself (yet), but I do do a fair bit of DIY woodwork. Have you considering making one out of plywood sheets, with a metal covering for the roof ? It shouldn't be too hard to come up with something with very few joints/corners, and could be designed to come completely to pieces by only undoing 4 or 5 bolts.

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    muck lover is offline Tuber
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    I really must get on with it. I’ve been promising myself chickens for years now and with retirement around the corner I think the time has come.
    I had planned to make a good large run myself and buy the chicken house. Hopefully red mite wont get the better of me. I just hate the thought of them. I do love the idea of eggs and lovely chicken muck though.
    Snoop Puss, Gillykat and 4Shoes like this.

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    Have a think about how many chooks you need - as in, how many eggs do you use. Its easy to get carried away " Just another chook, they're so cute"............I started with 6 and there were two of us. I had enough eggs to supply my Mum, Brother, neighbours. Six was too many for me.
    I work on the premise that each chook will lay 5-6 eggs a week in summer, so 3 hens give me 15-18 eggs. That's plenty for me and still lots to give away.
    Don't forget that each "extra" chook needs feeding, cleaning up after and space to roost and roam.
    Once you've decided how many eggs you need, then plan your coop and run to fit.
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    I currently use about three or four dozen eggs per week. We are eggstremely fond of them in my house. One egg fan due to go away to uni in England next year but the others could still hoover up loads of eggs.
    I can’t think of a way you can cook an egg that I don’t like.
    I think five hens wouldn’t be too many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdub View Post
    I don't keep chickens myself (yet), but I do do a fair bit of DIY woodwork. Have you considering making one out of plywood sheets, with a metal covering for the roof ? It shouldn't be too hard to come up with something with very few joints/corners, and could be designed to come completely to pieces by only undoing 4 or 5 bolts.
    The little blighters get in between the seams...
    The oil based products seeps into the joints and kill them...
    Only problem without proper safety gear, the products also harm people. .

    Silicon ....
    Bead silicon round any batten used to hold house together....
    or Angle brackets.

    Nowhere to hide.


    Quote Originally Posted by muck lover View Post
    I really must get on with it. I’ve been promising myself chickens for years now and with retirement around the corner I think the time has come.
    I had planned to make a good large run myself and buy the chicken house. Hopefully red mite wont get the better of me. I just hate the thought of them. I do love the idea of eggs and lovely chicken muck though.
    Don't let red mite put you off....

    Think of all the other things 1st
    Last edited by 4Shoes; 18-02-2018 at 07:53 AM.

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