Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The chickens love their Windsor chicken coop

We use to keep chickens years ago when we lived in the farm, and nothing beats a free range egg. The farm chickens were as free range as they come, open the stable door in the morning and they wandered across the fields, in and out the barns, not to mention in the cow sheds eating the food. They would wander back before dark and we shut the door on them. The eggs tasted amazing and I have to say it was hard going back to shop bought eggs. 

the first eggs 

Well  as all my regular followers will know I got some chickens a few weeks back, have been wanting them since we moved in here but as I live in a housing scheme quite so free range is not practical, so I had to be a bit more conventional and get a chicken coop. 

So I went on line and looked at what was available, and decided on the 


  • 250cm (L)x 75xm (D) x 103cm (H) overall dims incl nest box and roof overhangs both side
  • nest box with 2 compartments
  • fox proof galvanised (rust free) locks
  • 2 perches
  • opening roof for easy cleaning
  • removable galvanised 5cm extra deep tray
  • rear ventilation holes with closing sliding door
  • 1.4m extension run can be added (optional)
  • depending on the size* of the birds you can use it for 5-8 birds
  • 33% bigger living area then model Buckingham

So upon delivery we took the package out the back door and opened it. Spread everything out and sorted it to make assembly quicker and easier. We rounded up the tools required and set to work. 

Our first thought on the instructions is they were very poor. All the diagrams and writing were squashed onto one A4 sheet of paper. The sheet looked like it had been photocopied many times and was poor quality and difficult to read and follow 

the instructions 

The nuts, bolts and screws that came were easy to identify as each was in a bag clearly marked with the corresponding letter. We discovered upon completion one of the fixing packets was missing. We phoned the company and they sent us them out in the post.

the well marked fixings in individual packets. 

The assembly starts with the four sides that make up the living compartment, this was a fairly straight forward assembly job as there was only one way it could possibly go together.

the view from two different sides. 
It took us a while to attach the pulling handle that opens the door, the diagram for this stage was very difficult to make out.

Next off is the nesting box. This proved more difficult as the diagram was very small and not overly clear, but through trial and error we managed to get it to assembled correctly, I am enclosing a few pictures in case you decide to buy one to assist with your assembly.

side view of nest box

front view 

middle of nest box

RHS of nest box as it attaches to coop 

Now the nest box is ready to be attached to the living compartment. It attached easily with screws.

and now the roof goes onto the nesting box and then the other roof on the living quarters. The roof sections come covered in roofing felt and just require to be screwed to the correct sections. Then the roof went onto the living quarters that finished this section

Next up was the assembly of the run this job needed two people too get it together easier. One person was needed to hold the two pieces together while the second one adds the fixings. Next the roof is screwed on to the run, this stiffens the whole fixture up.

The run can then be attached to the living quarters. We had to improvise here as our fittings were missing.

The completed hutch with the doors open.

The living quarters have two roosting bars above the tray so the girls have somewhere to sit.  The bottom tray slides out for ease of cleaning. The coop is a good height inside with plenty of standing room for the girls.

The doorway is a good size for the girls to get in and out.

The living quarters are accessed by a ramp. We had to add slightly longer screws to attach this as it came off in the first week of being used. There is sufficient room for a feeding bowl under the living quarters, this helps to keep the food dry.

All in all the hutch took the two of us two hours and twenty minutes to assemble, but a lot of this time was taken up by trying to work out what we should be doing at each stage of assembly as the diagrams were difficult to follow.

The hutch appears to be well made, it fitted together easily the side panels are well constructed The girls have been in it for four weeks, and we have found it easy to clear. It is water tight and they seem happy enough as all four of them are laying. There is easily enough room inside, but we do let them out for a run two or three times a day.

they get behind the bins

and eat my lettuce leaves

they find their way into the shed

and enjoy scratching around in the muck

I received a discount on the coop from eggshellonline in return for a review. but my review remains honest and unbiased.


  1. I'm just contemplating buying one of these - we are absolute beginners to the world of chickens and your post is enormously helpful. I've looked at other reviews and they all say the instructions are hopeless. Best wishes Pauline

  2. Hope your having a great time with your hens. They look nice and healthy. This looks pretty good, similar to our Oxford coop, however, I thinks ours was a touch easier to put up. (Just a few screws). Hope you've enjoyed the fresh eggs!

    1. This one was not too bad to assemble, it was more poor instructions that was the issue.

  3. We have just bought this coop and are in a dilemma as to whether to get three or four hens for it. Are your four quite happy in the run area, or do they seem cramped at all? They will be able to roam around outside the run when we're there to supervise, but obviously not all the time.

    1. 4 is cramped, 2 would have been a better number I think, but we have added an extra run 4 ft wide by the length of the coop. Time you have a water bowl of some sort and a food dish with the ladder also taking up space they are squashed.


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