A few of my clients have purchased “The Saltbox” coop from the My Pet Chicken site.
I had hoped to provide a product review on the site, but there is no space to do so. so I’m posting a review below.
I do not recommend the Saltbox coop and the other products my client purchased with it for a number of reasons.
1. The coop is too small for “3-4 hens” as it is advertised. This coop is not adequate housing for 3-4 hens, with or without a run. This product is poorly categorized and advertised. The following paragraph from the website is misleading:
Designed for up to 4 chickens
With plenty of roosting and nesting space, you can happily house up to four standard-size chickens, or up to six bantams. Keep in mind this coop, like every coop we sell at My Pet Chicken, is NOT intended for full-time confinement. The run is convenient when you can’t let your flock roam freely, but make sure your flock has several hours per day outside.
This coop is too tiny for 1-2 hens, even with a run.
The paragraph that follows recommends it as a broody box or hospital, which is a more accurate description.It also suggests that you’ll get a bigger coop soon.
We love this model for first-timers because it offers inexpensive entree into the hobby. If you’re like most of our customers, you’ll double or triple your flock within a few years, and you’ll end up having to build or buy a larger coop – but you’ll love having this one on hand. Whether you use it to isolate an injured or sick bird, to give a broody hen the space to hatch her own babies, or to transition new juvenile chicks to life “outdoors” while protecting them from your established flock, you’ll always be glad to have it around!
So why spend $400 on this one now? Better to spend a little more or pay someone to make it and get a more permanent solution!
2. The roosting and nesting area is not adequately ventilated. The hens will suffocate or die of heatstroke in the summer if the door is kept closed at night! A good coop needs to have some sort of ventilation/crossbreeze. I was assuming the window could be opened, but it cannot be.
3. The latches on the side doors are not “predator proof,” as advertised. A smart raccoon would figure out how to open these latches. They are well within easy reach of the roof. The kind of latches on the nesting box should be used on all doors to the coop.
4. The predrilled holes for the hardware are not properly placed. Once installed, the latches did not close at all for one of my clients, and the other client has to work at it to get the latch closed on the door to the roost area.
5. The wood splinters easily. My clients had splintering where they inserted the screws, and at the corners of the lift-off nest box lid. A hardwood, rather than a softwood,should have been used.
6. The drop tray is not deep enough to slide out with all the poop and bedding on it. It is far too shallow.It should be 1 1/2 – 2 inches deep to handle chicken litter.
7. There is no room to put the feeding/watering dishes, either hanging or on the ground. The site recommends, and my client purchased, the 11lb plastic feeder. However, if you add that to the enclosed wire area, that reduces the already scarce space. With the feeder and the waterer in this tiny coop, we would be better off raising quail! There is no room for the feeder, waterer, and 2 birds, let alone 4. Also, the frame and wood do not appear adequate to support a hanging feeder. They certainly could not support the hanging waterer.
8. The plastic waterer and feeder barely fit through the door. They have to be tilted sideways to fit through the door.
9. The plastic waterer (3 gal) overflows. This is unlike any other gravity-fed waterer I’ve seen. They usually reach an equilibrium point and stop, but this one continues running over, soaking the ground.
Poor product, misleading advertising! I’d be suspicious of their other coops’ quality and advertising claims, too.