Wooden Hutch-Style Coop
Costing anywhere from $280-$640 (£179-£400) depending on dimensions, the sizeable hutch-style chicken coop is one of the more expensive commercial chicken houses available. As always, you get what you pay for. The more expensive models will give your pet chickens more space, and will also be easier to clean, as it's likely to be at a human height. Which takes us straight to the next disadvantage of one of these models, in that you really need to have the space in your garden or smallholding to locate one.
Small models like the one pictured, are perfect for a couple of chickens, and offer safe and secure housing. These models offer a hutch and run in one unit, giving your chickens a certain amount of room to roam, which is ideal if you are out at work for most of the day. I'm making the assumption that most of you will be keeping and raising chickens for eggs, and letting your chickens out for more of a leg stretch in the garden, is always a good idea when you are home - happy hens lay more eggs (make sure their wings are clipped though!). The size of attached run on the model pictured, definitely isn't sufficient for pet chickens on a day-in day-out basis.
This model offers a ramp to the secure living quarters where your chickens will sleep, and the box to the side is the box where you should be able to collect eggs from everyday.
Make sure to look for a model with extra doors that can be accessed from the exterior, to make cleaning easier. As with the triangular ark style chicken house above, being made of wood, cleaning is a definite issue, and the main disadvantage it has compared to the Eglu.
Please continue to page 2, for the advantages and disadvantages of owning an Eglu chicken house.