Ihave always said "you get what you pay for" with chicken coops after seeing a number of really cheap chicken coops bought from Ebay that fell apart in the first 12 months of use and were far from fox proof, however somebody set me a challenge a few months ago. They said something like this:
So the challenge was laid down before me and I started to look for suppliers of cheap chicken coops that I could recommend...
The 'cheap' Chicken or Duck house cost me about £25 to build, yet is the most sturdy, well-insulated house I have! Normally my advice to people looking to buy a chicken house is to spend a little more on the house as very cheap houses tend to need replacing after a few years.
This chicken or duck house, if you pardon the pun, goes against the grain. You must be thinking by now that this all seems too good to be true, but there is one key ingredient to this house that keeps the cost down, and that is, the frame underneath it which is a surplus wooden packing crate...
I built two of these houses, one for ducks, one for chickens and this is how I did it for a total material cost of under £50 for the two.
There are a number of choices when it comes to bedding for chickens and other poultry. The most obvious requirement is that it should be safe for your birds to use but there are other desirable qualities such as the bedding in use should not compact down but be absorbant.
Ammonia from droppings can be a problem if it becomes too concentrated in the coop at night as it can cause damage to the respiritory system.
Here are the bedding materials we have tried, some have worked well and others not so well in the chicken house.
Buying a Chicken House is a big investment. Get the wrong hen house and you can find yourself repeating the exercise before too long.
After buying a Flyte So Fancy Maggie's Dozen hen house a couple of years ago (pictured right) we thought it was time to go back and ask one of the experts there to give us some tips on buying a henhouse!
Ann Weymouth from Flyte So Fancy has kindly shared some of her knowledge on choosing the right chicken house...
If you are looking for a sturdy but cheap nest box for your chicken house why not try a flat packed nest box? The Faktum Nest box unit from Ikea could be just the thing for your hen house!
OK so it's not sold as a nest box for chickens, it's actually a Factum kitichen wall unit that's 40cm wide by 70cm deep with a shelf fixed half way in between but it's sturdy, 18mm thick and covered with melamine, providing a moisture resistant finish that is easy to clean.
How much shelter should you provide chickens with, in addition to the chicken house?
Chickens can be quite sensible when it starts to rain and most chicken breeds are relatively hardy but you will still need to give them some form of shelter in addition to the hen house so they can shelter from the wind and rain, particularly if they are kept out in the open where there is little natural cover.