Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

The place to discuss chicken coops and runs.

Moderators: Marigold, victorias poultry

Post Reply
rdsaunders
Newcomer / Hatchling
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:43 pm

Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by rdsaunders »

Good evening,

So the plans are in motion for us to introduce chickens to our family and we’re in the process of looking at plastic chicken coops.

We thinking of accommodating 3 ex commercial hens, good layers, 52 weeks old and giving them a new home.

There seems to be three main contenders out there from reading the existing threads and plenty of Google searching. I haven’t seen any recent threads about these coops so thought I’d ask afresh.

- Arkus: http://arkus.co.uk/small-chicken-house/
- Green Frog: Chicken house small https://www.greenfrogdesigns.co.uk/chi ... use-small/
- Solway: Eco hen loft https://www.solwayrecycling.co.uk/shop/ ... o-hen-loft

Out of these three companies, which coop would you go for and why? We don’t think we’ll want to add any other chickens beyond three as we are thinking of giving them 6m square of run, as well as roaming in our garden when we’re outside.

Any help or advice would greatly be appreciated, thanks.

Richard


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Icemaiden
Full Member
Posts: 815
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:05 am

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by Icemaiden »

Hi Richard.
Other forum members will give you different answers, but I can only speak from my experience. I bought a Green Frog coop to replace my old wooden one. I was disappointed with the build quality of the Green Frog coop & would shop elsewhere if I needed another.

The reason why I chose my coop is that it came with rollaway nestbox inserts. If you find another plastic coop with rollaway nest boxes, go for it. It'll help prevent your ex-batts from eating their eggs as they get older.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6854
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by Marigold »

I was very sorry to hear that IceMaiden had such a poor experience with her Green Frog, as I’ve now had mine for ten years and have been very happy with it. If you use the Search box above you’ll find old posts discussing various plastic coops, including this one from me about GF;
viewtopic.php?t=9947. I’m temporarily without hens for the time being, and my GF was easy to dismantle and store, and today I’m going to reassemble it, lovely and clean and easy to put back together, and functionally as good as new after so long. I certainly think plastic coops are the way to go, in many respects.
You might also like to browse the other archive threads about whether to start with exbatts or young hybrids for your first chickens. Yes if you’re lucky, exbatts will still lay well, but you will have lost their first, most productive year, - the farmer would not be getting rid of them if they were still going to be likely to go on laying perfect eggs regularly. Be prepared for some thin shells and blood spots in the eggs. You also need to be aware that they are more inclined to distressing health issues such as prolapse or peritonitis because of the intensive conditions they have probably been kept in. They do have lovely placid natures, being bred to live peacefully in crowded conditions, make great pets, and like all hens are very intelligent and individual, and of course there’s the feel-good factor about rescuing them, but it may not be totally straightforward.
User avatar
dinosaw
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1463
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:03 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by dinosaw »

Hi Richard

All I could say is that Green Frog were very good 10 years ago when I bought mine, which is still going strong. The design has changed since then in terms of the front door and some of the clips they use to hold it together but it does look basically the same.
rdsaunders
Newcomer / Hatchling
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:43 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by rdsaunders »

Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. After a bit more searching around I went for the eco hen loft from solway.

The decision was primarily down to cost. Arkus wanted another £40 for delivery, the green frog was slightly more than I ideally wanted to pay, and with some recent mentions of quality it felt like the best option.

We’ll see, but the journey has begun! Now to finish the run design and to order the timber.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
rdsaunders
Newcomer / Hatchling
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:43 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by rdsaunders »

Marigold wrote: You might also like to browse the other archive threads about whether to start with exbatts or young hybrids for your first chickens. Yes if you’re lucky, exbatts will still lay well, but you will have lost their first, most productive year, - the farmer would not be getting rid of them if they were still going to be likely to go on laying perfect eggs regularly. Be prepared for some thin shells and blood spots in the eggs. You also need to be aware that they are more inclined to distressing health issues such as prolapse or peritonitis because of the intensive conditions they have probably been kept in. They do have lovely placid natures, being bred to live peacefully in crowded conditions, make great pets, and like all hens are very intelligent and individual, and of course there’s the feel-good factor about rescuing them, but it may not be totally straightforward.
This was such a helpful comment. My wife and I are going to have another think about this and has made us think that 3 young hybrids may be better, especially for our first. Our eldest daughter 4 and middle daughter 2 will probably make the decision when we go to visit Welsh poultry though :)

Richard


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6854
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by Marigold »

Hi Richard - another advantage of getting pullets is that you could probably choose three different breeds, which would look attractive and be easier to tell apart than three all-brown exbatts. Also, if you took advice from the breeder you could get three who each laid a different colour egg, ranging from deep brown to blue, greeny blue, buff, and white and shades in between. Very pretty, and also you know which girl has laid that day. With young pullets you will also have the joy of ‘first eggs’ which is REALLY exciting, both for adults and children. And of course in their first year you’ll get the hundreds of eggs you would have missed out on with exbatts. You would also widen your knowledge of various breeds of chickens and might develop preferences for a particular breed when it comes time to replace them.
bigyetiman
Full Member
Posts: 1353
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by bigyetiman »

Hi Richard.
We started with point of lay (POL), as they are easy to look after not being prone to illnesses that older ex batts may develop which Marigold talked about. When you start out it is quite a learning curve and you don't want to be worrying about a sickly or off colour hen. Pullets always seem eager to get to know you as well and you get the fun of watching their personalities develop which they have in bucket loads

You can easily decide to get ex batts at a later date when "morehens disease" strikes you.

We started out with six, three Rhode Island Reds, three of the black speckled type, who were lovely and placid, we succumbed and now have Light Sussex, Marans to add to the mix, had bluebells as well, which has included some rescued from people who had neglected them and had gone to a local rescue centre.
Icemaiden
Full Member
Posts: 815
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:05 am

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by Icemaiden »

Dear Richard,
Again, members of the forum have (like a real family) different opinions! I started out with ex-batts rehomed via the BHWT. I've had three lots of ex-batts & haven't experienced any health issues that I've not also seen in hens that I've bought as point of lay.

Yes, as Marigold rightly says, they'll have given their most productive 12 -14 months to the farm that they've come from, but they'll continue to lay eggs for you & probably lay more regularly than a lot of pure breed hens, given my experience. They'll probably not live beyond 3 -4 years of age, but if like me you don't have the heart to cull them when they stop laying, you know that they'll shuffle off naturally to chicken heaven within a year or so of stopping laying. Other hens (especially pure breeds) can happily live on for years after they stop laying- nice if you see them as family, but less convenient if your coop & run are full of unproductive hens & you have to buy your eggs from Sainsbury's!

To sum up, there's nothing wrong with starting with ex-batts, & the feel-good factor of watching them discover freedom, grass & sunlight on their backs is unforgettable.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Hamsterhead
Newcomer / Hatchling
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:02 pm

Re: Embarking on getting three chickens, plastic coop advice.

Post by Hamsterhead »

Hi Richard just be aware that once you have your three girls you will want more. :lol: I started with four a year ago, sadly three passed to the great coop in the sky which left poor Mrs McCarthy on her own, (fans of Father Brown will know why she is named thus), so I had to get her some company and now my flock is six with plans to get more once I get a bigger or additional coop. They really are good fun to watch so enjoy.
Post Reply

Return to “Chicken Houses, Runs & Equipment”