Finding a new hen house

The place to discuss chicken coops and runs.

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Becky
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Finding a new hen house

Post by Becky » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:07 pm

I'm looking for a new henhouse for our girls. Sadly, I had my first experience with red mite recently and whilst we're now on top of it, and our coop was fine as a starter for our girls I don't think it will withstand weekly pressure washing which I feel the need to do for the foreseeable future (just incase!) and I would like something a little more substantial and sturdy before winter.

We have 4 hybrids, although I would like to add a couple more to the brood in the future.

Our current house is quite basic, here is a pic (from the place we got it, sadly my lawn isn't that neat!):

Image

We bought a 2nd run so the run space is double what's in the pic. Our girls free range from 6/7am to dark with the run door open and are then shut in long after they've taken themselves to their perch so the run is just there for first thing in the morning/last thing at night and somewhere to have their water/feed etc. so it doesn't have to be massive but needs to be big enough for them to be happy in for an hour or two in the morning when they're up before me in the summer.

I'm not sure how much I want to spend, however much it costs really (within reason). Some websites online seem to be £300/400 for what looks more aesthetically pleasing than practical. My main problem is that we are an IV postcode which many places class as highlands and islands of Scotland and charge a sizeable surcharge, which isn't helpful. We're between Aberdeen and Inverness.

I've been looking around at local business which make hen houses but no luck so far so if anybody could make any recommendations theyd be much appreciated :)
Icemaiden
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Icemaiden » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:57 pm

Hi Becky.
Having just spent several evenings scrubbing the outside of my wooden coop prior to creosoting it, I've been looking at the Green Frog plastic coops again. (If my coop still leaks after I've treated it, I'll be asking everyone to chip in towards the cost of a Green Frog chicken loft or lodge for my Christmas prezzie, to save the hens from taking umbrellas to bed!)

I've just checked on their website, & Green Frog offer free delivery even to the Scottish islands. They sound pretty inhospitable to red mite, & blissfully low maintenance (the coops, that is, not the company :lol: ).
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Sue
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Sue » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:59 pm

Even if you did get red mite in a Green Frog it would be very easy to deal with as the whole thing comes apart for cleaning, so nowhere for them to hide!
In life not everyone follows the same road. Especially if their Sat Nav is broken!
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Marigold
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Marigold » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:09 pm

And Sue has got one for sale -pity she's at the other end of the country!
I've got a Green Frog and they are certainly very good houses in every way, and the customer service from the company is excellent as well.
Becky
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Becky » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:01 pm

Oh WOW! I've never come across Green Frog before, they look fab! I would love a Chicken Wagon, however I have a feeling OH would make me sleep in it too if I spent that much :(. I will most certainly do some measuring and comparing tomorrow though as it looks like a very promising option. :D

Edit - I think I want the large lodge more than the hens do! Marigold do you have the auto-opening door, and if so how do you find it? Also, the perches look quite thin compared to ours, which are square a quite chunky, this shouldn't be a problem for them?
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Marigold
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Marigold » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:45 am

My hens live in a secure walk-in run and I never ever shut the pophole, so they can come and go as they please without needing to be shut up at night, and also the coop remains well ventilated under all conditions. So I don't need an auto pophole opener.
The perches are solid and chunky, square section with rounded edges, and slot easily in and out of the ends for removal and cleaning.
How many hens have you got? Unlike many manufacturers you can trust Green Frog's estimate of how many the coops will comfortably hold. I have 4 in a Medium coop at the moment, soon to go up to six LF, and there will be plenty of room. Often they sleep 3 on one perch and one on the other one.
I really like the way the whole back comes off for poo picking, and for getting a roosting hen out if needed at night. At the moment I'm looking after a friends hens in an Omlet Cube, and I have to extract one of them after roosting and put her in another coop (complicated, she has to go in a separate coop until she's laid her egg next morning) and the only access is through the nestbox, very difficult.
You don't need the poo trays, just put bedding on the floor and pick it in the usual way. Or line with newspaper.
After 3years of use, the coop is functionally as good as new, certainly better than a wooden one would be by now.
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dinosaw
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by dinosaw » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:57 am

I had the auto-opening door and it worked very well and was easy to set up . The perches in the green frog are optimum size as they allow the chickens to wrap their feet around the top edge.
Becky
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Becky » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:15 am

Thank you both, we have 4 hybrids just now. I would like the option to go up to 6 in the future but very happy with the 4 for now.

That's put my mind at rest about perches, I think I'll look for a walk in run which would be a suitable size. Although they free range all day I feel like I need somewhere secure for them to be shut into if necessary and during the evening to stay safe.
Becky
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Becky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:44 pm

I went for it and ordered the green frog large lodge. I think I'm more excited about it than the hens will be!

its due to arrive tomorrow, hopefully will be on time as we've taken in a lost hen who we need to integrate. Fingers crossed the new house will be a good distraction for them.

Anything to be wary of when changing hen house?

I won't be moving/taking away their old one until new hen is settled in, just incase they don't accept her and I have to house her separately. Hopefully still having it there won't confuse them.
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Marigold
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Re: Finding a new hen house

Post by Marigold » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:24 pm

It would be best to remove the old house when you set up the new one, or they will still think of it as their home and you won't get them into the new one. You'll probably be met with total amazement if the new house is in a different place, as well as looking different. When I moved my coop from one end of the run to another corner, they couldn't seem to 'see' it and spent a lot of time being very agitated in the place it used to stand! You may need to put them to bed the first night or two, maybe add a low torch light inside a nestbox if they are reluctant to walk up the ramp. This will be a really good time to add the new rescue girl in with the others. As the integration process has already begin quite successfully, this opportunity will have come at a good time for her.
Have fun!
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