Prefabricated chicken coops make it easy for people to start raising backyard chickens. I bought a Precision Old Red Barn II chicken coop, see how it went together and how well it performs for my backyard flock.
This post contains affiliate links: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items; in most (but not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep blogging to help you start homesteading and it doesn’t cost you a penny extra!
See Disclosure, Terms and Conditions for more information. Thank you for supporting Misfit Gardening.
This is not a sponsored post. This post is to review the Precision Old Red Barn II prefabricated chicken coop to provide information of prospective backyard chicken owners and urban homesteaders. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Benefits of Prefabricated Chicken Coops
Buying a chicken coop from the store has many advantages over building one. They are readily available in big box stores, farm supply stores, wholesale clubs and online. There is a wide range of chicken coops available for a wide variety of budgets and number of chickens.
Perhaps you are not that familiar or comfortable with woodworking. Maybe you don’t have the time to build a coop from scratch or maybe you don’t have many tools or space to build a coop from scratch.
Many prefabricated or store bought chicken coops are painted or stained already which save you time to get started with your chicken raising adventures. Take a look at these coops on Amazon below:
You can also get natural, unpainted coops which you can paint or stain yourself to show off your creativity.
A good rule of thumb when looking to buy a chicken coop is to buy one which is rated for more birds than you plan to get. This isn’t so you can expand your chicken keeping enterprises but to give your birds more room to move.
Keeping your coop uncramped for birds which are confined will help reduce problems such as feather pecking in your flock.
Downside of Store Bought Chicken Coops
Prefabricated store bought coops have the reputation of being flimsy, easily broken, not predator proof, difficult to winterize, too small and in need of improvement.
You can tackle some of these problems by changing latches to be more secure or change to padlocks. This can stop raccoons or other predators from opening the doors. Visit One Acre Farm for more ways to predator proof your chicken coop.
Many people choose to make modifications to the coop to maximize space with pipe feeders and pipe waterers or to reinforce and strengthen the coop.
All of these prefabricated coops need painting or staining every year to prevent the wood from rotting.
Precision Old Red Barn Chicken Coop Review
I purchased the Precision Old Red Barn II Coop to house the new flock. We have the following chicken breeds in the coop:
- Barred Rock
They are all under 12 weeks old so we have 8 chicks in there currently.
The manufacturer advises on the box that the coop is suitable for 5 – 7 birds depending on breed and size. The bigger the bird, the fewer birds can be kept in the coop. Smaller breeds like Bantams could have 7 birds housed in this coop.
The 3 leghorns in my flock will be culled in late December/early January as our meat birds, providing more room for the remaining 5 birds.
I chose the Precision Old Red Barn II Coop because it would house the number of birds I have, it matched the color scheme of other buildings on my homestead and the coop can be expanded with a run called the Precision Old Red Barn II Pen Extension.
I put the coop together myself with minimal need for a second person. The coop was built in a couple of hours using only a drill with a cross head screw bit. I spent time insulating the coop whilst I was building it so it was ready for the winter. If I wasn’t needing to insulate, I could have built it much faster.
I only needed help from someone to hold up part of the run section at the front which wasn’t square and to hold the first roofing piece in place whilst I screwed it in.
I used this BLACK+DECKER rechargeable drill kit to completely build the coop. The torque on the drill was set to 6 for all of the silver screws. The black headed screws for attaching the ramp and nest box hardware was set to a lower torque to avoid stripping the screws.
Aside from the fact I could put this whole thing together with a cross head screwdriver. The hardware for the coop are placed through card and all identified. Making them easy to find and check that all pieces are present.
The coop was already put together in panel sections complete with latches all I needed to do was follow the instructions and put it together.
There was minor cosmetic damage to the coop when unboxing which was a relief that nothing major or structural was wrong.
Time taken to put the coop together was under 2 hours.
These are less bad, more minor nuisances in building this coop.
The instructions were pretty straightforward to follow, however the roofing pieces on the parts list were difficult to tell between a and b as they looked the same on the instructions.
Sometimes, prefabricated coops are not cut square and this was the case for the run section. I had to hold panels up with wood footings to raise the piece and ensure a square join.
There was some cosmetic damage to the coop. In this picture clearly the hole had been drilled in the wrong place and was patched up:
The hardware cloth was dinged up on this panel right out of the box. Hopefully is is secure between the wood and not an easy way for predators to get in the run:
The built in run has a split in the wood on the middle bracing piece on one of the panels. This will need reinforcing come spring.
The Precision Old Red Barn II Coop is pretty flimsy. We had to move the coop to it’s permanent location before the roof was put on and during the move, the two sections were wobbling and swaying quite alarmingly.
Thoughts on The Built Coop
The latches used for the doors on this coop are shockingly terrible. They fall out or don’t hold. Do yourself a favor and buy more secure door latches. An example of the bad latches is in the photo below:
By contrast, the latch for the window above the nest boxes worked great. You can see there is a substantial gap around the nest box access door and the frame which may be good for ventilation but will be drafty down the sides:
Wool or heavy weight fabric can be used to make some curtains for your coop to cut down the draft. The silver latch to the nest box is complicated but likely to keep predators out.
The windows and run are covered with hardware cloth which is stronger than chicken wire and protects your flock from small predators.
The pull out drawer for easy cleaning is a nice feature. I used a candle to rub wax along the runners for the drawer and the entrance for the drawer to make it slide easier.
A sturdy pull handle attached to the front will help you pull the drawer for cleaning.
On the inside, the removable roosting bars make cleaning them and under them a breeze and I like the roosting bar on the outside in the run too. The bar could be used to hang items to entertain the chickens on like fruit or vegetables.
The height of the roosting bars in the coop housing is pretty low which means that the Precision Old Red Barn II Coop may not be suitable for the deep litter bedding method a dusting of wood shavings covers the coop and roosting bars.
The space in the run is good too but to clean out the poop and treats will mean that you need to carefully move the coop to a new location.
Precision Old Red Barn Chicken Coop Review Thoughts Overall
I love that it matches the color of our handbuilt coop which the layers use and can easily be placed somewhere inconspicuous for urban homesteaders.
The Precision Old Red Barn II Coop will work well for our intention of raising meat birds in it but it isn’t a long term solution. Cornish Cross or heavier meat birds will probably struggle to get up the ramp but our current flock of Leghorns have no problem getting in and out of the coop using the ramp.
It will need a number of improvements to meet our needs as homesteaders but will work well for new chicken owners although I’m not sure the coop is really worth the price tag. I’m glad that I picked up my coop on sale.
The coop will need securing down with pegs that are used to secure garden sheds to the ground to ensure that it won’t blow or get accidentally knocked over by my dogs.
Hardware cloth as a skirt around the base will help reduce the likelihood of nocturnal pests. Whilst I had pet rats for years, I don’t want wild ones in my coop!
Photo Credit: freestocks.org
Some 2x4s bolted across the length will give the coop some strength and enable it to be moved like a chicken tractor around the yard.
It is a really good idea to maximize available floor space in the run area with pipe feeders and pipe waterers to give the birds as much space to move as possible. This is especially important if your birds are confined with no run or extension to maintain healthy birds and reduce boredom and bullying.
Change the latches on the coop to provide better security for your birds and put a handle on the run door and the clean out tray.
Photo Credit: Nathan Wolfe
If you live somewhere that cold, snowy winter happens you need to insulate the coop to protect the chickens from the cold.
If you are starting your homesteading journey in the suburbs like us, you may be interested in more posts about raising chickens in your backyard:
If you liked this post please take a moment to share it using the share buttons below this post or pin the image below to Pinterest and save it for later.