The urban ranching movement is becoming more popular every year. As consumers look to avoid growth hormones and genetically modified stock on one hand, and those looking to be more self-sufficient on the other hand, city-dwellers are looking for ways to avoid going to the supermarket. Laws regarding domesticated animals are being rewritten in towns throughout the United States in order to allow city-dwellers to keep and raise their own animals, especially chickens. This is not a major surprise, especially as there is something somewhat nice about having fresh eggs every morning. If you are debating raising your own chickens keep in mind that local regulations may restrict the types of chicken coops, and even the types of chickens, so make sure that you research local laws before moving in the chickens in order to avoid fines and confiscation of the animals. With that in mind, here are three chicken coops to consider.
Chicken Coop Reviews
1. Handcrafted Coop’s Portable Chicken Coop – $399
This chicken coop is based on the British chicken ark design. The chicken coop is designed to hold three regular-sized chickens or five bantams. Its triangular frame allows for two floors and a covered run. It is constructed from Douglas fir in order to take advantage of its insect-repellent properties, keeping the chickens inside lice-free. Its doors allow easy access to both floors and easy cleaning, as well as an egg collector. A Pair of handles allows the owner to move it as as frequently as desired; moving it every two or three days, for example, allows the chickens to essentially mow and fertilize your lawn.
For those looking for an easy-to-build coop that can be easily maintained, this chicken coop is made to order. Overall, there are few problems with this coop; the lock is easy to break, and it may require some airing out once it arrives due to fresh paint, owners have experienced few problems with this coop. It is easy enough to build that even a thirteen-year-old can build it, and it is easily maintained. This makes an ideal chicken coop for someone with limited space and no mechanical skills.
2. Ware Premium+ Penthouse – $199
This chicken coop features a locking door, with a bottom door for access to a playpen or the outside, a slip-proof ramp, and a comfortable nesting box. The roof opens fully, and is covered in waterproof shingles when it is closed. It can be quickly assembled in minutes with just a screwdriver. It easily fits inside, even though you will need to buy a mat for that purpose, and it is advised that you change the hinges to tougher materials. A unique problem is that it seems that most people are buying it for rabbits, but it was made for chickens.
The bottom floor’s lack of clearance may be a problem for cleaning, and it may be a good idea to go over the parts when it first arrives. The instructions are also not the clearest, but the coop is easy enough to assemble that they may not be necessary. Otherwise, it is lightweight making moving it an easy maneuver. As noted, a unique criticism is that it sees more use for other animals, but that may be a plus for those buying several of these planning on raising different animals.
3. WARE Premium + Chick-N-Lodge – $454.99
This lodge features enough room for four chickens, as well as options for additional space. It features two removable roosts, and is easy to construct with minimal instructions and even for those with no mechanical skill and minimal tools. Although this is a great start for those just beginning to raise chickens, those with just a little more experience may wish to try something different. A potential issue is that the wood is lightweight, surprising in a 114-pound kit; this makes reinforcements mandatory. Also, the lock is a problem; replacing them should be a first priority as it is hardly the hardest lock to deal with, and even the chickens may figure it out.
It needs to be emphasized that is a great kit for beginners. Although it may need some modifications and the hardware is going to need to some reinforcement, it does what it is designed to do, which is provide a place for the chickens to roost and to ensure that they have a place out of the wind when they eat. If you allow for that, then this makes a great little coop, especially considering that the area can be increased through additions.