NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: What coop?  (Read 5149 times)

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
What coop?
« on: July 27, 2012, 06:06:03 pm »
I've been looking at the Solway Recycling hen coops as shown on the bottom of this page www.solwayrecycling.co.uk/recycled-shop/pig-poultry/hen-arks
The prices seem reasonable for what they are compared to some others I've found and some of the wooden coop prices. Has anyone any experience of them, two things come to mind, they appear to be held together by some plastic rings, do these leak rain in ?
What happens in Winter, are they as warm as a wooden coop?
They seem to have the advantage when it comes to cleaning and keeping mites at bay.
Any thoughts?
 :bee: :sheep:    :chook:
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.
Voss Electric Fence

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: What coop?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 07:14:38 pm »
We don't use a coop - no mites, no disease, all our chickens are 6/7 years old and healthy - they roost in the trees all year long and we know where they lay because they announce it every day, they change their egg nesting sites occasionally but we always know by their announcements.  You can teach them to roost in trees and make a little ladder to take them up to the lowest branches.  Their chicks learn to follow them up too and they keep them under their wings.  We've never been hit by a fox.  Keep your money and buy more hens.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: What coop?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 07:29:24 pm »
I have wooden coops which I made from an old shed that came from freecycle.  The only stipulation was I had to remove the shed.   I made two coops big enough to house 6-7 birds each with 3 next boxes.
I gave the spare one away on freecyle to someone who wanted it.
No sign of red mites after 2 years.
I just couldnt justify that kind of money for chickens.

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: What coop?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 08:21:41 pm »
Problem is Goosepimple, when I get these chickens home and take them out of a box or whatever, what do I do with them then if I haven't got a coop ?
I don't think there's too many folk on the forum who are making money out of their various ventures. I know the sheep and bees cost me. The pigs are only justifiable on the grounds that they've had a better life and hopefully taste better because of it. Price wise it would be cheaper to just go to my farmer friend, buy one off him and take it straight to the abattoir. Even then I need a trailer to take them and a tow bar on the car to pull it with, in short, no equipment no way to have animals.

Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: What coop?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 09:08:33 pm »
I agree moleskins, geese are the most economical when it comes to weighing it up but they are definitely not for everyone.  Pigs are pricey to keep, but our neighbour at the time was the village butcher.  ;)


Our very first hens years ago went straight up into our low fruit trees as soon as we let them out which surprised us no end and we kind of forced a house upon them.  When we moved to our present place we inherited around 20 hens, all roosting in trees all year round, they looked like huge Christmas puddings up in the trees at evening time.  We got used to it and saw how easy it was, no shutting the house at night, opening in the morning.  We didn't have any cleaning out to do and there were no mite problems to deal with.  We did try putting them in a house when the snow came but they obviously hated it and were very stressed so we gave up and they happily flapped their way down with frosty and snowy backs in winter - I would give them rice crispies with warm milk to 'defrost' them which they were most grateful for.  We gave lots of them away to friends who all kept them the same way.  We now just have 6 as that's enough for us at present but they are very old now and we will get some new stock next year I think. 


They won't roost in coniferous trees, too dense, but nice loose knit trees helped by a ladder made from a plank of wood with quite close regular rungs suits well - you can always pick up your hens and show them how to get up, they get the message pretty quickly - they will most likely look for a high place to roost at evening time anyway.  Hen houses are pricey and I would think twice before parting with cash for them, perhaps advertise for a kids timber wendy house and adapt it - would work just as well.  There is a website called www.freecycle.org where people advertise stuff for you to have free so its recycled, someone may have one for free.  A traditional dog kennel adapted (add legs and roosting bars easy peasy) would be fine too.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: What coop?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 08:25:52 pm »
Plastic is good Moleskins. We have all wooden coops but they only remain viable as long as we can get creosote as nothing else effectively kills red mite. Apparently creosote may soon be banned in the UK. Prices have shot up and it's selling like hotcakes as a result. So plastic is the way to go.
 
Basically they have less inherent insulation and the walls don't 'breath' so can suffer from condensation - but so can plywood. Just use Aubiose bedding in Winter as it's very dry (too dusty in Summer) and wipe the walls down if you see any condensation. With proper ventillation they are no colder for the hens than a wooden coop. They have a few spots where mite can hide but it's easy to strip them down and clean them, which you can't do with a weatherboarded wooden coop as the mite hide in the top of the groove. You can't modify the coops either if you want to change the layout for any reason. They are also very heavy.
 
Green Frog seems to be the best from what I have heard.

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: What coop?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 11:46:15 pm »
Thanks chrismahon the weight issue makes sense, we're none of us getting any younger.

Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

mwncigirl

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: What coop?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 10:41:40 pm »
We are in the midst of a mite infestation. Our wooden coops really are too difficult to effectively get rid of the mites. Unfortunately we can't let our ladies roost in the trees, we have lost about 30 overall to mr fox by allowing this. I am deciding that keeping chickens really doesn't seem cost effective, what with the mite and subsequent loos of eggs/health etc, saying all this, if I was rich, I would go out tomorrow and buy plastic coops  :innocent:
Come find us on Facebook, Williams Poultry  :-)

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: What coop?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 11:30:19 pm »
With the bees we scrape the inside of the hive and go over it with a blow lamp,
would this be effective on mites mwncigirl ? :bee:   :sheep: :chook:
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: What coop?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 08:41:53 am »
If i get an infestation in my wooden coops then thats what I would do moleskins.
I'd be a little careful with the wood/open flame combination :innocent:

mwncigirl

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: What coop?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 03:12:52 pm »
I'm not sure even a blow lamp would get in all the nooks and crannies, I might give it a go though!
Come find us on Facebook, Williams Poultry  :-)

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: What coop?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 05:09:30 pm »
Red diesel does red mite that or parrafin.
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: What coop?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 05:32:06 pm »
We had a bad infestation the year before last, first I power washed it and they were still there, next I power washed with disinfectant and they were still there! I then went in with a blow torch and spent hours crisping  them up and they were still some there and finally I creosoted the whole shed inside and out using a knapsack sprayer and billions came pouring out of the cracks and promptly died, yay. Last year when I saw the signs I just creosoted again, it seems the most effective way to banish the little blighters. I did it in the morning, left it open all day and they went back in at night, it's a big airy pen so you might have to leave a smaller one for longer before putting birds back in.

Maddie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Inverbervie
Re: What coop?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 09:44:04 pm »
It is so difficult looking at coups, runs, fencing etc etc that you can so easily be put of as a newbie. But surely you should learn by experience and knowledge rather than put off at the beginning...

anderso

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • brokenbrough
Re: What coop?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 06:03:31 am »
as with most things it is only after time experience comes, most first timers look to those already doing things to get information. and most people say you need this and this and that before you get any stock - I once stood next to a man in a bee supplies shop and watched him pay over a £1000 for bee hives and equipment. I asked him if he was renewing or extending is colonies and he replied no I don't have any bees yet, I was told at my club I needed this.
 
if you can make your own kit most can be made for a few pounds, our bees live quite happily in hives made in the shed, the ducks live in the upside cut out of a boat, I also use upside down bits of Chinese dragon boats for the hens to use as day shelters, and have just made a wheeled 6x4 hen house for less then £20.
 
our next project is to build a goat and donkey barn/milking area out of pallets and an old caravan.
 
so just go and look at what is out there.....
when the revolution comes it will be a co-op

 

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