Metal Chicken Coops
Metal Chicken Coops are often overlooked in the Australian market. However, there are many advantages to using metal as the basic building material for your next chicken coop or chicken tractor. The main factors are that metal is extremely durable, has a better resale value, is impervious to mites and other vermin, does not rot and can be washed with a high pressure hose.
Cost of timber vs metal chicken coops
Whilst it is true that timber chicken coops are very cheap it is also true that they do not last very long when exposed to the elements. A shop bought timber chicken coop in a box may cost $200 but is small and has a useful life of 12 to 18 months – just look along the roadside each time there is a council collection and you will see what I mean. On the other hand, metal chicken coops can last for decades. At McCallum Made we are still supplying replacement wheel sets and laying boxes to customers who bought their metal chicken coop over 15 years ago. So if you want durability then metal is the way to go.
Higher resale value
Since metal is more durable it is also true that a metal chicken coop has a much higher resale value than a timber chicken coop. When you have finished with a timber chicken coop then the coop is finished – you might be able to give it away but you are not going to be able to sell it. On the other hand we have seen where a McCallum Made Chicken Tractor was sold at a farm clearance sale in QLD for more than the current price of a new one!
Metal Chicken Coops are impervious to mites
Speak to any chicken keeper and their number one fear is that they get a mite infestation. Mites can be incredibly difficult to eliminate and are a health hazard for your chooks. Mites live in the small nooks and crevices available to them in the timber chicken coop. Naturally a metal chicken coop does not have these places for the mites to inhabit and therefore your metal chicken coop is always going to be free from mites. It is for this reason that McCallum Made only uses metal and plastic components in the fabrication of their chicken coops.
Metal Chicken Coops do not rot
All timber chicken coops will rot when left outside in the elements – the only way around this is to apply chemicals in the form of either paint, varnish or preservatives. A chicken coop made from galvanised metal on the other hand is basically a combination of iron and zinc – so nothing will flake off for the chicken to consume. A rotten timber chicken coop will be difficult to clean, difficult to move and allows vermin access to the coop. A completely unappealing option if you ask me!
So how do you clean a metal chicken coop?
Cleaning a metal chicken coop is insanely easy. As the metal will not retain moisture the easiest way to clean it is with a high pressure hose. If you have a mobile chicken coop (aka chicken tractor) then simply raise the coop up on some bricks at the corners and host it down. An hour in the sun and the chicken coop will be as good as new – and completely dry. If you don’t have a pressure washer then you can do what I do and hire one from Kennards.
Yeah, but this is Australia and metal is too hot.
Not so. When it is 40 degrees outside and sunny, who leaves their dog in a kennel in the sun? No sane person would do that. Likewise if you live in an area where a heat wave is predicted then simply move your metal chicken coop under a tree or to a shady location. Once the coop is in a shady location then it will be the same temperature inside – regardless if your coop is made of timber, plastic or metal.