Happy Hen

Mamma 2012
Big Mamma, Dominique hen

Groceries from Costco comes with a bonus every week… clean nest boxes.  This is Big Mamma enjoying the clean sheets in her new Kirkland nest box.

Costco Chicken Coop, a Review

costco chicken coop

As a rule, I find Costco merchandise topnotch, but not this time. Costco has failed chicken keeping 101… in so many ways.

A Phoenix Costco has jumped on the urban chicken keeping bandwagon, selling this coop for $279.  That’s a lot of money for this poorly designed flimsy wood structure with cheap hardware.

Size matters in Phoenix! This coop will house 2 chickens, but it will also bake them alive in our excessive heat by dinner time.

Why it Fails my Approval

• Next boxes haven’t a lip on the edge, bedding kicked out results in broken eggs.
• All the doors are really small making access difficult.
• Roofing material is a poor choice, especially for Phoenix.
• Roost is narrow and too low.
• Hardware is cheap & used sparingly, doors will likely warp.

rooster_pecking

So back to the drawing board friends, and happy coop hunting… elsewhere.

Better Than a Chicken Coop

Vinyl Shed with a Floor, Windows and Doors, Costco, $600

It’s easy to find a suitable chicken coop, but for the money they always seem too small. If you do find one that’s roomy enough, the price is rather spendy, at least for what it is. Certainly can’t use a store bought chicken coop and not worry about it being wind proof, or rain proof. You’ll be spending a lot of time and more money draping tarps over it, or worse, nailing boards to a  flimsy framework . I think if you’ve spent any time on-line looking for a chicken coop, you’ve already seen everything  you really want is well over $300.  That will only accommodate about 4-6 birds and not exactly with enough room to spread their wings so to speak.

This shed from Costco is ideal, if you build a shelf on three sides about half way up for nest boxes you have created the perfect set-up. There’s ample space for feeders and a water source, so you have less to worry about in inclement weather.  This shed provides a safe haven from predators when you close it up at night, and there’s no need to worry about ventilation because they have windows!

If your worried about how they hold up, don’t.  Folks have been using them as tack rooms on ranches for years here in Phoenix. They’re pretty tough considering they bake out in the sun where temperatures reach 115+ degrees.

Another point to consider is this shed will be far more useful over the years, a chicken coop is what it is – and probably not for very long.  So what are you waiting for?  Build a fence around it and you’re in business!