Cheap Chicken Coops

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:

I have a family to feed and can ONLY justify buying a cheap chicken coop...it's all very well if you can afford better, or you have the DIY skills and can build one, but I can't and I have a limited budget and you don't offer any advice of where to buy cheap chicken coops...

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 Coop Wish List

I put together this Cheap Chicken Coop Wish List:

  • Big enough for 3 to 6 hens - The number of hens most people want to start off with and enough to give enough eggs for the average family.
  • Fox Proof - To keep the chickens safe.
  • Treated timber - Although a coat of good quality wood preserver or paint should still be applied
  • Reasonable quality – So that they wouldn't fall apart in 12 months!
  • A good reputation – Customer service is always important.
  • Around £200 as a maximum cost  – We're doing this on a budget!

The biggest challenge for any prospective chicken owner is keeping the hens safe and although this article is about finding cheap chicken coops, I thought it was important to mention the chicken run which is often part of a chicken house unless you use plan on creating poultry fencing around an area of the garden. So, how do you let chickens forage as well as keep them safe? Well, I have come up with two scenarios to answer this question which I have detailed below:

1. Fairly fox free neighbourhood:

The run is going to be pretty small on any cheap chicken coop (if they have a run at all) but if there aren't many foxes in your local area and you don't see them during the daytime and you ensure your birds are locked up at dusk, you could let the birds out into your garden for some free range during the day. Some people do this when they are around to keep an eye open (when they get home from work for example and the chickens will go back in of their own accord at dusk).

The one problem with doing this is that even larger chicken runs turn to mud very quickly in the time the hens are shut away. I decided the best course of action was to put slabs down and then wood chips (not bark) that could be used for scratching and changed when they became messy. You can scatter mixed corn into this (but not too much, as I discussed in this article on feeding chickens) to give your chickens some fun, foraging for it whilst you are away and cannot let them out.

2. Fox problem neighbourhood:

There is only one thing to do to prevent heartache if you regularly see foxes around: Keep your chickens in a fox proof poultry pen all of the time. But if you don't fancy building a large fox proof run in your garden or using an electric fence (and this article is all about providing a cheap coop so it's unlikely you will want to spend as much again on a run), then consider either moving the coop and run around the garden to provide your hens with fresh pasture, or keep them in and use wood chips as a substrate for them and ensure you supply fresh greens to them daily and hang greens such as cabages for them to jump at to get some excercise. Although this is my least preferred option, I would also suggest that when you're in the garden, you still let them out to get some 'real' foraging.  

Anyway, getting back on track, the key to finding the best price I thought was to find a company who had good buying power, a large company or organisation that could ship enough of these products that they could buy in bulk and discount them and this was what I came up with:

Supplier #1 - Chicken Coops Direct

These guys were new to the market 3 years ago and I have watched them grow steadily. Their feedback has been consistently good and they have an easy to use website with many large, clear pictures of each coop. Looking at what they offer and their prices, they ticked all the boxes.

What they say is:

Over the last 3 years we have continuously improved our chicken coops based on the feedback from over 2750 customers. We have taken great care to describe our coops as accurately and honestly as possible, supplying you with real images, clear product descriptions and accurate coop specifications.

Here are some of their chicken coops (Prices are correct 19th May):

The Sussex (£189)

sussex-coop

The Sussex is their best selling coop. It has a covered run built in which is useful during bad weather. They have increased the run size and upgraded the galvanised wire to 1.5mm thick. A generously sized nest box and droppings tray are included and there is easy access for cleaning.

 

For more photos and information, on their website Click here

The Kent (£179)

kent-run

The Kent can have a run attached with a door on the side and a lifting lid that allows you to put feeders / drinkers in easily.

 

For more photos and information, on their website Click here

The Devon (£159)

Cheap-Chicken-Coop-Devon

The Devon has an optional run and there is also a double run option but without the run, it is certainly a very cheap chicken coop indeed!

This is the best coop we found in this review.

 

For more photos and information, on their website Click here

Supplier #2 - Taylors Garden Buildings

Taylors Garden Buildings were established in 1953 and specialise in bespoke garden buildings including garden sheds, summerhouses, log cabins and chicken coops.

Taylors Chicken Coop (£191.89)

Taylors-Cheap-Chicken-Coop

The Taylors Large Chicken Coop is almost 2 Meters long. This cheap chicken coop is made from treated timber. It has a roof that is covered in felt. They offer free delivery to many areas.

For more photos and information, on their website Click here

Tip: Type 'Chickens' into their Seach Box to see all of their cheap chicken coops.

Supplier #3 - Petplanet

Petplanet offer just about everything for pets and they have this rather attractive little chicken coop with run available.

The Apex Chicken Coop (£129.99 on offer)

Chicken-coop-Apex

Made from a deep yellow Fir Wood with a small covered run, the Apex Chicken Coop makes a decorative addition to any yard or garden. There is a removable tray for cleaning and the coop can be locked. 

For more photos and information, visit PetPlanet

Conclusion

It's still true that you get what you pay for so do bear this in mind, although not everyone can justify spending more than £200 on a chicken coop. The cheap chicken coops I have found meet and in many places exceed the Cheap Chicken Coop requirements of our wish list but the best all-round value I felt was the Devon Coop at £159 from Chickencoopsdirect it is also the largest coop out of those we looked at.

 

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