Key features of the Snap Lock Formex Chicken Coop – Why Buy?
- Easy to clean, just wipe down the surface [or pressure hose]
- Simple to construct
- Good [adjustable] ventilation
- Fantastic double walled coop [cool in summer and snug in winter]
Not convinced by plastic yet? Let me explain why you should be:
Plastic doesn’t warp, bent or rot, it’s that simple! Most wooden chicken coops will degrade quickly. They need sanding, varnishing [very few treatments are animal friendly] and painting. Think of it this way, what else do you purchase brand new that just sits outside in the wind, rain, sun and snow etc. The answer is very little, a chicken coop therefore has a tough life and needs to be robust enough to stand up to the challenge.
The Snap Lock chicken coops are maintenance free meaning no more wasted weekends doing endless DIY to repair it like you would a wooden chicken coop.
Rotting wood actually presents its own challenges in that the mold spores are very dangerous to chickens. As you probably know chickens are very susceptible to respiratory problems, a damp molding coop can make them really sick, putting them totally off laying and sometimes worse. With a Snap Lock coop you will have none of these issues!
Because the Snap Lock coops are maintenance free and made using ultraviolet and impact resistant materials, they last a long time! Like a really long time. Whereas a wooden coop will rot quickly you can expect 10+ years’ service from the Snap Locks.
Total cost of ownership
When you factor in longevity on a side by side ‘versus’ comparison with a wooden coop, well, simply there is no comparison.
A Snap Lock coop will outlast any ‘cheaper’ wooden coop by about 4 times. Meaning you would get through 4 other coops versus just having 1 Snap Lock. Therefore buying the right coop in the first place is key. It also means your chickens will have a home for life. Super important if you want them to lay awesome eggs and loads of them! Not having to move homes every 1 or 2 years will ensure they feel safe, happy and contented. In short it works out cheaper to buy a plastic coop – I know, I’ve bought 4!
Cleaning is so easy!
Probably one of the main reasons why you are looking to purchase a Snap Lock coop and it if it isn’t – it should be is for easy cleaning! Cleaning is the chore that has to be done and that no one looks forward to. So give yourself a helping hand. Cleaning a Snap Lock coop is so quick and so easy thanks to the removable plastic litter tray.
The litter tray, responsible for catching all the poop actually runs along the whole floor. This is great as it means everything will land in there and can then can be removed easily. Being plastic the litter tray can be wiped down with a damp cloth, dried and replaced in minutes!
In fact the whole coop can be pressure hosed down for a deep clean and dried and ready for action again in under 10 minutes. Try doing that with a wooden coop.
I’ll slay a myth here, having a plastic chicken coop like a snap lock doesn’t mean you can’t get red mite. Sorry if that contradicts anyone else’s narrative, I’m just being honest. But it’s not all doom and gloom though as having a plastic chicken coop means it’s 100 times easier to deal with, if you do get red mite!
It again comes back to the Snap Lock coops being so easy to clean. You can eradicate the dreaded red mite in no time, with a pressure hose and some disinfectant. Again it’s so much more simple to do this than with a wooden coop, where the mite hide in cracks and gaps in the wood. With wood it can become a never ending nightmare.
The main threat to the safety of chicks and chickens are predators. With wooden coops there is the chance that predators could bite or crack the wood. Or claw it apart at the joins or using the strength of the wood to lever a side panel or the roof open.
Whilst the Snap Locks aren’t bomb proof military grade chicken coops they do offer the advantage that no animals can bite through double walled high strength plastic. It’s a totally different material to wood providing that unique advantage. It won’t snap, or fray or splinter away, making it impossible for predators to get in.
If you have had a predator get into your coop you know the damages all too well and it’s even worse if you have children as the chickens, like ours, have become family pets. Snap Lock provides an excellent level of protection to predators, with all access points being lockable, so you haven’t got to worry. After all their job is to lay the eggs; your job is to keep them safe!
The above points are just some of the benefits of having a plastic coop but the Snap Lock chicken coops have some cool USPs specific to them. These make them a stand out as a chicken coop manufacturer. Let’s jump straight in:
Having a floor, which not all chicken coops will have, is great for 3 reasons.
Firstly, if you are housing the chicken coop on the ground [and this is kind of an add on to the predator proof point] by having a floor it means nothing that dig under. This is typically how foxes, coyotes etc gain access to a chicken coop.
The second benefit is you can then place the coop up off the ground on say a stand. This is an option you might want to explore and it’s good to at least have the option to do that.
Thirdly the floor is vital to regulate the temperature within the coop. It keeps the cold out it keeps the wind and rain out. Live in a cold area? This coop is perfect for you. Having a floor will insulate the coop so your chickens will stand nice and snug all winter long.
I thought I would bring this point up after discussing temperature as people often get the two muddled and confuse the subjects. Firstly ventilation doesn’t mean a draught. Placing your chickens in a draught will make them get sick. Chickens can catch cold and they will on a cold night left in a draught.
What is ventilation then?
Ventilation is for exchange of temperature but also to remove humidity and the build-up of ammonia. People think of ventilation as being how the coop cools down. Yes that’s true but it’s not the complete picture.
Heat transfer, if you think back to high school physics class is best explained as saying heat travels hot to cold and moisture high to low. So the cooling effect within a chicken coop is actually the removal of hot area that allows cool air in, to replace it. That wouldn’t happen without vents – they are therefore critical!
Moisture will need to be removed from the coop too, plus ammonia. Both of which are by products of chicken poop, so there is no avoiding it and again one of the main reasons why having a plastic, easy to clean litter tray is an advantage.
So having good ventilation will mean the temperature is regulated and the moisture and ammonia levels are managed correctly.
Hopefully you understand why ventilation and having vents on a chicken coop is vital. That the leads me on to answer my next question.
Does the Snap Lock chicken coop have adequate ventilation?
The ventilation is some of the best if not the best I’ve seen on any coop. Its location is brilliant, top of the coop, as heat rises it can escape. Sounds simple and it is, so why then do some other manufacturing mess this up.
The USP which really makes this coop, is the fact that the ventilation is adjustable. That makes this the perfect all weather, summer and winter coop.
Further Benefits of the Snap Lock chicken Coops
Easy to access Nest Boxes
A big tick in everyone’s box. The Snap Lock nest boxes are easy to access, have a lot of space from the hens perspective and again are easy to maintain and clean. Being lockable is also a big bonus.
Another subject areas that’s cloudy, is the roosting space required per chicken. A standard sized adult chicken, so a breed like a Red Ranger or a Leghorn will need between 8-12 inches of roost space. Thats width space too, so it’s the ‘wing to wing’ measurement.
They will bunch up when it’s cold out to keep warm, and do the opposite in the summer too keep nice and cool. [bantams require half that size and larger breeds like Orpingtons or Australorps need 10-16+ inches].
The Snap Lock large coop has x3 36inch roost bars. They state that is the right size for 12 medium sized chickens. Those are the chicken breeds I was describing earlier [Leghorn, Isa Brown]. But on this point I disagree with them. I actually think this coop, on the whole, is best for up to 10 chickens, not 12.
My reasoning is 10 standard [or medium in other words] chickens would require 10 inches of roosting space. That’s 100 inches then, of an available 108 inches [3*36inches].
The ‘spare’ space is because you don’t want chickens who are on the ends of the roost next to the walls to be touching them, or worse squashed against them. So 10 not 12 chickens and again this is from decades of practical chicken keeping on our farm and from actually keeping chickens in this coop.
Did you know chicken breeds like to roost at different heights?
The snap lock roosting bars are laid out in such a way that you have a lower bar, a higher bar and one in the middle. That’s fantastic, as with a mixed flock, chickens will remain so happy in this coop as they can pick where they want to roost based on breed preference, temperature or just general ‘fussiness’. Again the happier the chicken the more eggs they lay, it’s proven!
Small chicks when they are young will probably take the lower roost bar and bantams will probably take the highest one. Bantams love to roost up high which surprises nearly everyone. The roost bars are an awesome addition and are great for all aspects of raising chickens.
Easy to Assemble
Well it wouldn’t be a proper Snap Lock system it is wasn’t easy to fit together. Literally requiring no tools, it takes minutes as opposed to hours to assemble and even a complete DIY noob can build it.
…is there an alternative to Snap Lock?
Don’t like what you’ve just read, or just generally want to know what else is out there – no worries! Other chicken coops of the same style are few and far between however. There aren’t many plastic chicken coops on the market. The brand Omlet have a range of plastic coops, I’ve had 3 of their coops as well and they are very good, so I’d definitely explore this option.
So are Snap Lock Chicken Coops worth the money?
Well you’ve read the review above, you tell me. Honestly there isn’t much better out there if you want a simple to construct, easy to clean, providing nice and safe environment coop for chickens that most importantly they will like to live in – look no further. The only coops rivaling them is hands down the Omlet range. Check out the Omlet range here.