Now that I have decided to purchase a few chickens, well more or less decided, I have to consider the rather more expensive matter of a home for these egg producers. It seems as if there is no limit as to the amount you can or can't spend on a coop for one's feathered friends. Some individuals are able to utilise existing outhouses or construct their own coop. I am not one of them. One of my friends was able to adapt an old dog kennel for his three girls. Bertha, Betty and Beulah seem quite content in the former residence of a deceased canine and have between them provided eighteen eggs most weeks over the past year.
Being intent on keeping my thumbs and therefore not attempting any DIY I must consider the merits and demerits of the hundreds of coops that litter the advertising pages of the chicken press. These range from the very basic ark type to coops which pretend to be Romani caravans. Peter Viggers would love them. Some are constructed of poor quality softwood whilst others have the benefit of hardwood and dovetailed joints. Some are constructed of recycled products and others of moulded plastic. A veritable cornucopia of options.
It is of course not just a coop that has to be considered. A run is also needed unless you want herbaceous borders pecked to death and you are prepared to risk the predatory attacks of Mr. Reynard. A fixed run with concrete foundations would be the most secure but I like the notion of being able to move coop and run around my embryoic orchard and not ending up with a grassless muddy patch. These thoughts taken in conjunction with a desire to have something that is easily cleaned, maintenance free and unlikely to be infested with red mites has caused me to come down on the side of a rather untraditional coop with integral run and skirting marketed by a firm called, "Omlet." The Eglu Cube is the model which I have determined upon.