In our latest chicken coop review, we’ll be looking at the Rowlinson Small Chicken Coop, available from Dobies. The Rowlinson Small is a traditional, countryside coop, suitable for up to 4 hens and, like its bigger version, is strongly built and well designed for chickens to live in.
A family-owned, UK manufacturer, Rowlinson has been making timber products for almost 90 years. They understand what makes a good coop and this is clearly shown in the construction of the Small Chicken Coop.
The coop is solidly constructed using timber of a good thickness and certainly won’t start dropping to bits like some cheap coops tend to do. The wood is pressure treated, having preservative pushed deep inside at high pressure to ensure long term resistance to water and rot. As a result, the Rowlinson Small Coop should last you for years, especially if you keep it looked after and give it an annual treatment.
Other protective features include its raised floor, shiplap panelling and steep roof pitch will all help to protect it from the wet weather. Like the larger version, the coop comes in its natural wood finished but can be painted or stained to match any colour scheme in your garden.
Suitability for Chickens
With 1.26 sq metres of floor space, this is a good size coop for 4 chickens; there’s also lots of height for comfortable, off the ground roosting on its broad perches during the night. As hens keep warm and calm by roosting next to each other, this is a very chicken-friendly size.
The nesting box is divided into individual sections enabling three hens to lay their eggs at the same time – which for a four hen coop is more than ample. Collecting the eggs is easily done by lifting the nesting box lid – there’s no need to delve inside the coop.
Chickens can get in and out of the coop via a vertical pophole door and down a wooden ramp. Vertical coop doors are ideal for fitting an electric door opener which can save you the trouble of having to get up early to let the chickens out.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Like many good coops, the Rowlinson Small Coop comes with a handy slide-out tray floor which makes clearing the floor of the hen house a breeze. Simply, pull it our, sweep, hose down and you’re done – (see picture below). Cleverly, the designers have applied the same thinking to the nesting box – as can be seen in the top image, this can be tilted towards you to make cleaning easier too. For access to clean the inside of the coop, there is a rear door.
As a raised coop, it means the Rowlinson Small has a better defence against foxes and other predators. The thickness of the wood means it would be extremely difficult for other animals to claw or chew their way through to gain access, and the vertical pophole means pushing or pulling on the door will have no effect.
However, the coop does not come with an enclosed run so to protect your chickens from predators you should either build or purchase one before letting them loose in your garden – unless you intend to let them roam free.
Building the Rowlinson Small Coop
The coop will arrive flat packed with a set of building instructions. Coops are generally straightforward to build, so if you’ve had Ikea furniture, this is the same kind of thing. if you store the coop outside or in humid conditions for any length of time before building it!The main difference might be that, as it’s made from natural, finished timber there could be some pieces which which have expanded or contracted a little and occasionally warping, there may be a little bit of DIY to do when putting the coop together – this is more likely to be the case
If you store the coop outside or in humid conditions for any length of time before building it there is the potential for the timber to naturally expanded or contract. This occasionally means you need to do a little DIY when putting the coop together. For best results, keep in a cool, dry place (e.g. garage or shed) and build it fairly quickly.
Overall, the Rowlinson Small Chicken Coop is a sturdy chicken house with some great design features. It’s attractive, rural farmyard looks will make a great feature to your garden and make a comfortable home for your chickens to live.
For more information or to purchase you can find the Rowlinson Small Coop here at Dobies.co.uk.