Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

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Marigold
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Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by Marigold » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:41 pm

See http://www.durhamhens.co.uk/poultry-sup ... -p99068553
- plastic house, Durham Hens recommend up to 8 hens. Offer only this Friday - Monday.
Has anybody got one of these?
Margaid
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by Margaid » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:17 pm

Interesting, but even though you can leave the roof open during the day in hot weather, ventilation looks totally inadequate to me and one nest box for 8 hens might be the Defra guidance, but what with that, the feeder and drinker it doesn't leave a lot of room. It's also not clear whether delivery is included in the price. I think both the Solway and Green Frog houses are better value for money.
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Marigold
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by Marigold » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:33 pm

Yes, I don't know why you have to have the feeder and drinker inside the house anyway - not what we would recommend on here, i expect.
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rick
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by rick » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:58 pm

I don't really like the look of them either. If it's going to be out of plastic (and there are many good reasons) then there's no point in staying with a design that mimics the form of a wooden coop - the hens don't mind if it looks like a moon pod! This one looks like it followed the design of a wooden coop to please the traditional aesthetic rather than to design for the hens.
My lot have all taken to laying in one nest. They have three nests but after making the third recently a bit bigger than the first two they all now reject the originals to the point of Mo and Bonnie both in one today. Now I'm getting the odd egg on the floor because, presumably, of the demand for the bigger nest (even though they have three and we're fine before.) So two bigger nests for my four laying hens (there's none but chicken logic to this!)
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Marigold
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by Marigold » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:51 am

It has an optional extra 3 metre run, plus another 1 metre optional at extra cost, for 'up to 12 hens' (!!!!) How you would get into the run to clean up, or to catch a hen, takes some imagination. And I don't know why they claim it's the 'most predator-proof coop on the market.' You have to padlock the door to make it secure and the pophole just slides down, apparently with no locking mechanism. If it was up on legs, so the hens could use the space underneath for shelter and shade, it would be better. Interior nestbox (only one, for 8-12 birds) takes up quite a bit of the space. Feeder and drinker inside a coop which is dark enough to encourage laying is quite wrong, inaccessible, some hens would be bullied off them, and anyway you'd need two of each or much larger ones, for 8-12 hens. If you watch the video, you can see the lack of ventilation - leaving the air gap in the roof during the day would let in light right over the nestbox, and rain if there was a sudden shower. Hard on the back, to have to bend down into the space to clean out, and difficult to clean into the corners. Possibility of redmite under the hollow floor and between the overlap along the door flap and the rest of the side panel, also around wooden perch ends. It doesn't say how the perches are removed for checking and cleaning, or indeed how the panels are held together or how easy it is to dismantle the coop.
Nice colour plastic, though, for camouflage in the garden. Personally I don't really like the brightly coloured plastic options, though my green and black Green Frog is very nice.
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chrismahon
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:57 am

No, we haven't got one of those Marigold and wouldn't have one as a gift. I can see little engineering expertise in its design and absolutely no evidence of poultry keeping experience. The list of things terribly wrong with it is extensive- lack of ventilation, what look to be rotating perches, one nest box, terrible access for cleaning, feeder and drinker inside, not weather proof, exaggerated capacity and perhaps others would be revealed in use. How on earth you catch the hens for health checks I don't know, as the run can only be crawled into (on poo) and opening the roof would result in them flying out.

Our Solway is far better.
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Marigold
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by Marigold » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:32 am

chrismahon wrote:How on earth you catch the hens for health checks I don't know, as the run can only be crawled into (on poo) and opening the roof would result in them flying out.

.
Of course, that's the same problem as you get with all ground-level coops with low runs attached. But usually such coops are intended for up to 4 hens - runs are inevitably much too small in relation to coop size, but all the problems would be worse with 8-12 birds.
Also, re the claim that it's extra secure - you're supposed to be able to leave the roof open 'for ventilation during the day' - have they never heard of daytime fox attacks?
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by Margaid » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:25 pm

Well it looks as though the general opinion is that, Offer or not, it isn't a good buy.
From your comment the Solway is still going Chris. I had wondered whether the heat would be a problem for the plastic.
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chrismahon
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:53 pm

The Solway is under the dense shade of a plane tree Margaid, so it only sees sunshine through Winter. The air temperature got to 38C in Summer though and I've noticed that the front has developed gaps between the end and the sides- presumably the plastic softened slightly. That said, it's on the East side which doesn't get much wind anyway and could easily be rectified with a couple of brackets.

Coop design for here is pretty much limited by the West prevailing wind, which can get extreme even in a sheltered location. By a complete fluke all our coops built in England are orientated perfectly for here, with the pop-hole South into the run, the nest boxes North to stay cool in Summer and the access door on the East so cleaning out doesn't result in the bedding blowing away. My back isn't brilliant so it's important that they are at a good height for access- floor heights range from 450mm upwards, with the coop I built for our bantams last year at 600mm. None of them have ever blown over I must add, or even noticeably moved and we haven't needed to anchor any down.
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Re: Offer this weekend on Durham Hens houses

Post by jaxhen » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:03 pm

So many things wrong with the design of that coop and run. Another one here who wouldn't have one as a gift.
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