Solway coops and runs

The place to discuss chicken coops and runs.

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Bantams=Banter
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Bantams=Banter » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:38 pm

Icemaiden wrote:Does anyone know anything good or bad about Arkus plastic coops please?

Father Christmas might finally be persuaded to bring me a new coop so long as he doesn't have to bring me any more Christmas or birthday presents for the next three years!

Oh Lorks! I've never seen these before. Yet another choice!! AAARRRRRGGGHHHH....I can't decide!!! :-)07 :-)07 :-)07
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Marigold
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Marigold » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:40 pm

Bantams=Banter wrote:Gosh, I had no idea about that!! But I suppose it makes sense... So would you suggest I kept the set up in one place, disconnected the run once a week, and gave the floor a good disinfect??
It will be OK having the run on a slabbed area, safer from foxes trying to dig in, but it would be better to cover the slabs with some warm soft bedding, such as Aubiose, which the hens can use to sit on and dig around in, and also you can easily poo pick every day as the aubiose is incredibly absorbent and will coat the poos so they are easy to remove. Just keep a poo bucket and some rubber gloves , takes about 5 minutes, and makes superb compost. This will be more effective, of course, if the run has a plastic corrugated roof and a gutter along the down side, so everything stays dry and comfortable. If you don't use any bedding and try to hose down the slabs, you'll get horrible slurry spreading out round the sides and clogging on the mesh which will build up into heaps, stink, and not go away. A layer of Aubiose lasts a long time and you can top it up when it gets a bit thin. Also use it in the nestboxes and on the floor of the coop. It's designed as horse bedding so you may be able to get bales direct from a local stables, which will be much cheaper than buying from chicken retailers such as Flytes of Fancy. You can also get ground sanitising powder called Stalosan which you put down dry under new bedding when disinfection is needed.

Not sure about where you say 'disconnect the run once a week ' - are you planning to have a low run that is fixed to the coop? How could you get in there and catch the hens without kneeling in the poo and damaging your back? If at all possible, go for a free standing coop in a walk-in run, basically a garden room for the hens, with room to stand up in comfortably. If you ever give up hens, you can always use it as a fruit cage!
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Marigold
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Marigold » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:54 pm

As you say foxes are around where you live, you really will need to plan for security. Have a read of this thread, including the links within it to other threads on here.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9903
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Bantams=Banter » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:29 pm

Thank you so much for your advice Marigold!! There's so much to think about...I just want to get it right, the coop and run set ups are an expensive mistake to make...
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Marigold » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:53 am

Yes, that's right - the initial outlay is expensive, so you need to do your research and get it right for your own circumstances. Many people go into chicken keeping by buying a cheap wooden coop which is too small, leaks, and has a tiny attached run which is totally inadequate for the space the chickens need, on the basis of what the manufacturers say about how many hens it will hold. Then, the next year, they have to start over with what they should have got in the first place. If you can afford a new plastic coop, you'll never have to treat it with preservative or use all the anti-redmuite powders etc that are involved with a wooden coop, and if you move house, or decide chickens are not for you, you can easily disassemble it and sell it if need be. And at least the hens themselves are not very expensive to buy or to look after, and will partly pay for their keep in beautiful eggs that you can trust for your family.
How many are you planning to get? Everyone who starts up from scratch has the urge to fill the run, of course. With 100 sq feet of room, about 9 sq. metres, you will have room for 4-5 medium sized hybrids. But bear in mind that they will each lay nearly every day for the first year, ie 2-3 dozen eggs per week, and unless you have very hungry family, friends and neighbours that's a lot of eggs! Also, if you stock to capacity at the start, after three years or so egg production will decline as they will have used up most of their egg cells and you'll then have a run full of pensioners for the next few years, that you won't want to cull because theyr'e pets. So, if you got 3 this year, you'd have plenty of eggs and could concentrate on training them to be tame and companionable, and then in Autumn of the second year you could give in to More Hens Disease get a couple more (you should always introduce a minimum of two at a time as a singleton will be bullied, and do it in the autumn as hens are less territorial then.) Subsequently, as they drop off the perch the other end of their lives, you can get another two whenever you have room, egg production will stay steady and manageable from the younger birds, and the oldies can enjoy their retirement.
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Bantams=Banter » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:38 pm

Yes, I was thinking of having a max of four bantams, but now I'm considering hybrids, I think a max of three for the time being. I've also got to take my children into consideration with regards to the chicken poop mess in the garden. So I think three will be plenty...

For now.... ;)

Just need some help with which are the smaller of the hybrids...??
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Icemaiden
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Icemaiden » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:18 pm

Blue egg laying hybrids such as the Chalkhill Blue are quite small. Leghorns are small too, though not very cuddly. For their affectionate nature, feel-good factor & cuddles I definitely recommend ex-commercial layers from the British Hen Welfare Trust- their first 18 months of egg laying might be behind them but you'll still get a good supply of eggs.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Bantams=Banter » Mon May 21, 2018 12:18 am

Hello all! What did I tell you....? I have almost finished faffing.....

Only kidding, we've had a load going on at ours and acquired two guinea pigs, but now we're almost ready to go ahead and get some bantams.

I've got the walk-in run sorted and I'm still looking at plastic coops. Solway are the leaders in my opinion, but I don't know if any more are new on the market or coming on the market??
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Icemaiden » Mon May 21, 2018 11:04 am

How many eggs are you getting from the guinea pigs? :lol:

For what it's worth, I've not been blown away by our Green Frog coop... I chose it for its rollaway nestboxes, which work well, but parts of the coop are hard to reach for daily poo picking, the door often jams on the bedding & doesn't close at night (a vertical door works much better with an auto door opener than a door that pivots), the back door that you remove each day for poo picking doesn't fit properly & is difficult to put back on, the perches are too high for ex-batts & light Sussex to get up onto & if you ever take the curved roof off for cleaning, heaven help you when you need to put it back on, as it's too thick to bend back into place.

Apart from that, it is easier to clean than our old tongue & groove wooden coop and it doesn't leak in the rain, so it's not all bad!

Keep us posted on your new flock :-)17
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Bantams=Banter
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Re: Solway coops and runs

Post by Bantams=Banter » Mon May 21, 2018 12:30 pm

Icemaiden wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:04 am
How many eggs are you getting from the guinea pigs? :lol:

For what it's worth, I've not been blown away by our Green Frog coop... I chose it for its rollaway nestboxes, which work well, but parts of the coop are hard to reach for daily poo picking, the door often jams on the bedding & doesn't close at night (a vertical door works much better with an auto door opener than a door that pivots), the back door that you remove each day for poo picking doesn't fit properly & is difficult to put back on, the perches are too high for ex-batts & light Sussex to get up onto & if you ever take the curved roof off for cleaning, heaven help you when you need to put it back on, as it's too thick to bend back into place.

Apart from that, it is easier to clean than our old tongue & groove wooden coop and it doesn't leak in the rain, so it's not all bad!

Keep us posted on your new flock :-)17
:D :D :D The guinea pigs are more takers than givers!
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