In the past 2 years we’ve added 2 kit-style coops to our chicken yard. When I say kit-style I’m referring to the types of coops that you often find in your feed store or that you can order on Amazon. They usually come in a large box and you have to bolt the panels together and do some light construction with directions.
Over these past couple seasons I’ve really learned the value of these coops especially when used as a grow out pen for larger chicken flocks or to use to single out breeding pairs as I’m doing with our Silkies.
If you are just starting out with chickens these coops provide a great starter coop for a small backyard flock. Especially if you’re not keen on building a coop from scratch.
Below are some of the pros and cons that I’ve noticed with these coops.
- You have a functioning coop and run in about 2 hours
- They’re easy to assemble
- They come painted, and usually with a nest box setup
- They’re inexpensive. We’ve tried to add up the cost of building a similar coop and it is definitely cheaper to buy the kits. Especially if you can get them on sale at the end of the season.
- They’re easy to move. We just moved our grow out pen because it was hard for me to get the lawn mower around. Zach and I each grabbed a corner and scooted it over about 10 feet, no problem.
- They usually have lots of door and window type features which allow for ventilation and easy access.
- You can easily expand the run space with a simple box-type construction and some hardware cloth.
- They often say they are suitable for more chickens than I would personally put in.
- They are not always the easiest to clean. This really depends on the design. One of ours is tough to reach some of the nooks and crannies. So pay attention to this before you buy.
- They have a tendency to warp so you may have to reinforce some things as the years go on.
- They often need to be reinforced with additional hardware cloth at the ground level to prevent digging predators.
- The wood tends to be porous so an extra coat of paint doesn’t hurt.
Our smaller kit-coop we use for teenage chicks that are too large to be in the brooder, but too small to be with the full size chickens.
The larger coop I’m using for a breeding pen. I can separate out pairs that I want to breed and collect eggs for incubation.
These coops can also be used for places to rehabilitate injured birds.
To separate overzealous roosters
Or to separate different species. I think these would make excellent quail homes.
Or for a sale pen. As I breed our Buff Orpingtons I often pull birds that I don’t want in my breeding stock and put them up for sale or to be re-homed. This gives me an excellent holding space for these birds until I can find them new homes.
In mild climates they could be used as a roomy-outdoor brooder pen.
Smaller designs can have wheels added and turned into chicken tractors.
Do you have a kit style coop? Let us know what you think of it by leaving a comment below.