View Full Version : Searching for Chook Houses
05-12-2006, 06:02 PM
We are about to become the proud parents of two silver laced wyandotte chickens. We have been searching all over the net for good looking hen houses. The UK and US seem to be producing great products.
As yet all we have seen in Australia are basic avery style coops and A-frames. Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with what we've we've seens, we're just looking for something a bit different. We want to encourage our visitors to interract with our chickens so, we want to make our chook house a bit of a feature in our yard.
Does anyone know where we might find some interesting coops? Or would anyone have some contacts in this field?
The thought of building it myself has crossed my mind but with our chicks not far away we are probably better off buying one ready made.
05-12-2006, 07:38 PM
There is a place selling chook tractors in Qld.... maybe not what you are looking for but I came across it the other day...
If you can't find it and are interested I can get the web address for you...
I know what you mean - I have been looking for chook houses as well... my husband is no handy man so I fear I will have to be the one to learn how to use tools!!
05-12-2006, 08:26 PM
I thhink the A frames are too small. Do you want a villa for your chooks? We built a low cost one only paying the mesh (small sized) and with bamboo.
It is not very important how it looks. You should think if you are able to let you chooks out every day or if they are in all the time - in that case the house must be bigger. They need something to lay their eggs something sheltered to sleep and saftey (snakes..) and some shade.
13-12-2006, 01:28 PM
It suddenly hit me... you Aussies don't have coyote or fox creeping around every bush and cranny! We loose two cats a week around here!
At every step I am weighing flexibility of secure areas with the cost of burly fencing, installed to prevent burrowing canines.
Any thoughts on portable housing vs. stationary housing and the relative merits of each? How have you integrated chicken housing with compost or crop production to minimize labor while retaining Nitrogen?
~Paul Cereghino, Puget Sound, USA
13-12-2006, 06:13 PM
Not trying to outdo your 'critters' but we aussies do have to deal with a number of pythons, quolls, dingoes & foxes too.
It is very hard to deter a 6' carpet snake from entering a chookpen.
14-12-2006, 06:50 AM
Don't forget the bloody Goanna's!
14-12-2006, 12:15 PM
Sorry for my lack of attendance, been a bit run off my feet. Thank you kindly for your responses.
Country girl – Thank you. I believe they’re the ones advertised in Gardening Australia magazine http://www.mccallummade.com.au
They do look very sturdy and easy to move around, although for me it’s not so good for long-term housing. Even so, I award them two kudos as they will fit nicely on top of our vegie beds.
I’m with you as far as building it myself is concerned. I’m very crafty and I love making things but I have to admit that I have never built anything (with the exception of our vegie boxes) before. Having said that, as we are after something quite luxurious for them I might have to scrounge around for some building tips and have a go.
Hedwig – do you have any photos of your villa? It would be very interesting to see it. I too find some A-frames a little small
Paul and Floot - We don’t exactly get Dingoes or Goanna down here but we do have trouble with cats and foxes. We are right on the outskirts of Melbourne and thanks to developers like “Delfin, Stocklands, and other such nuisances to the community that are developing these “fantastic new living options” (with no real infrastructure I might add) they’re carving up the surrounding countryside and forcing wildlife into town.
I used to live in London where they have an unbelievable number foxes, “Townie Foxes” they call them. Every night you hear them hanging around your house, tearing apart your rubbish and roaming the streets. They can’t be shooed and their bark sounds like a young child or woman screaming. It’s hard to know if someone is really in trouble or if it’s just another bloody fox. I’ve been seeing a change in the population of foxes in our area. They are becoming more and more comfortable being around people and seem to be moving into town. Just a couple of years ago you’d have been lucky to see them on the back roads or along the Hume Hwy but, now you just have to wait until the streets are quiet and they’re out.
Also as a result of this urban sprawl we are finding more and more snakes around here. We had a couple of copperheads here last year but, my mum who lives in the middle of town recently had a family(?) of Eastern Brown snakes removed from the street. The problem is that people (mostly builders) dump stuff and the snakes come along and make it their home. Surprisingly though, considering the danger they pose to the community the council aren’t really concerned about removing these breeding sites. The dump in the paddock two doors up from us is still there twelve months after I complained last. You know I really have to say that Hume City council would be a strong contender for the worst council in… well, Victoria at least.
I had just a little bit to say there.
Ahhh…Were we talking about chickens?
I haven't had any experience with snakes and chickens together. Can anyone tell me about snakes in or around chicken coops?
14-12-2006, 12:17 PM
Sorry Corny that was your Goanna line :?
29-12-2006, 03:47 AM
Here's a site that has instructions to build your own. The instructions are straightforward.
I mocked it up in Google's 3-D tool to get a feel for the construction.
Richard on Maui
29-12-2006, 06:32 AM
I once had a clutch of baby chickens. I think we had 8 and the mother in a little subpen of the main chookyard/house. One morning I went in to feed them and there were 7. I looked all around for the missing one, and checked the wire and found no holes. Next day there were 6. Still couldn't find where they were getting out or where the predator was getting in. Next day, 5... By now I was getting really pissed off as well as mystified...
I happened to look up as I was leaving the chook house and there was a big old carpet snake (python) coiled up on top of the lintel of the doorway. I went and got the machete, flicked him down to the ground and cut his head off. The bulges of the three missing chickens could still be seen down the 1.2m or so length of snake.
I fully intended to eat it, but first I had some other chores to take care of, so I figured the snake would stay put. But when I returned after feeding the other animals etc he was gone... There was something really confounding about the whole experience. I guessed that some huge bird must have come in and carried him off, however unlikely that might be. I guess the involuntary muscle spasms had rolled him off the track into a ditch where he was hidden by a little footbridge. Found him a week later when he started to really stink. Wasn't too edible at that stage unfortunately. :shock:
29-12-2006, 07:35 AM
Pythons can be a bugger, with eggs and chicks.
I say if you have the money buy a chook house, but I think you're better off (cheaper) making your own.
Use a small grade mesh for the sides and top to keep birds and snakes out.
Run an apron of chicken wire around the base of your chook house to stop foxes from digging their way in. Run the chicken wire out at least 60cm from the base should do the trick.
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