Are Prefab Coops Weather Worthy?
Coops come in two forms, hand-built and prefab. Hand-built chicken coops are built piece by piece by the owner or hired professional. Prefab coops sold in farm and feed stores come in large boxes and only require a screwdriver and a partner to assemble. Unpainted, equipped with one layer of hardware cloth, basic latches, and made of light wood, prefab coops require a little TLC before they are ready to house residents. To see how I prepare my coops for operation please click here.
One of the most important decisions in starting a new flock is that of housing. With many options available on the market, it can be hard to decide which is best for your flock and budget.
Because of these qualities, they are often looked down upon as inferior and subpar to their hand-built counterparts. It has been my experience over the past decade of owning multiple prefab coops that this is a myth based on fear and misconception.
I currently maintain 7 coops, 5 are prefab coops. My oldest, The Bantam Boutique, has 7 years under its wing, and Henwarts, the youngest, has just passed 4 years of operation.
I built 2 coops by hand, the rest are prefab coops purchased from feed and farm stores in my local area. My experience with these coops has been very positive and serves my flock well. It is my goal with this post and my experience over the past decade to challenge these fears with reason and my documented experience.
Earlier this month, my farm sustain a tornado that caused enough damage to warrant filing a homeowner’s claim to cover the damage and replace needed items. Through this event, I am able to asses the weather worthiness of my prefab “coop-hood”.
The tornado that moved through my area was an F1 with winds exceeding 90+ miles per house. Our damage includes uprooted trees, destroyed wood privacy fence sections, and only 1 of my prefab coops.
Our large willow tree was uprooted and thrown into the fence. The wind attempted to lift the TARDIS and throw but secured to its foundation, this was not achieved. The wind did however push it off the foundation and destroyed the roof.
Our large willow tree was uprooted and thrown into the fence. The wind attempted to lift the TARDIS unsuccessfully off of the foundation. In the process, the roof and structure were damaged.
Many of my neighbors have similar damage, trees uprooted and thrown into cars, sheds, and houses. We were fortunate that we did not sustain any home or vehicle damage or lose any of our flock members. All my girls are accounted for and unharmed, even those residing in the TARDIS at the time of this event.
I want to show that although one of our coops was damaged the forces were extreme. The TARDIS encountered winds above 90+ mph, which damaged property and uprooted trees in my neighborhood. Furthermore, the TARDIS was the only prefab coop that was damaged.
Once winds exceed a critical value, the damage is inevitable, laws of physics take over, and we are just along for the ride as Mother Nature exhibits her power and our inability to control her.
It is through this experience that I can testify to the wind worthiness of a prefab coop that is mounted and maintained. I put all my prefab coops through a mounting process to increase their wind durability and resistance. My process was conceptual until now. Tested and withstanding an assault from a confirmed tornado, I can honestly say that prefab coops are a worthy investment and weather worthy if they are maintained and mounted.
Many try to persuade and discourage chicken keepers from purchasing these coops, unfairly stigmatizing them because they lack the proper experience and knowledge of a properly mounted and maintained prefab coop. When these stipulations are met, prefab chicken coops are worthy homes for a backyard flock.
I have attached a video assessing our property damage including the TARDIS. In the video, I dispel myths about prefab coops and their durability. To watch this video click Here.
All of my coops are covered under my home owners insurance policy. Along with the other property and tree damage we sustained, I have added the TARDIS to our claim. Once finalized, I will purchase another coop to replace the TARDIS and follow my mounting procedures as they have proven affective.
I hope that through this experience I have put your mind at ease regarding prefab coops. Yes, these homes are a worthy investment and make a great home for your girls.
If you have any questions, please post in the comments, and I get back to you promptly.
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As always, thanks for reading. Till next time, keep on crowing!