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Lisa C

Should I trade my Mk 1 Cube?

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This topic has been done to death, I know...Sorry!

Background - had a Classic back in the day - 19 years ago! One of the first to get one, loved it.

Moved house and it wasn't suitable for the garden so purchases a Mk1 Cube. I love this hen house! 12 years and still going strong. It has 3mtr run which is fine. I've only ever kept 2/3 hens as its all I want / need for the area's I've had.

Moved house again and have a smaller garden now. I have concreted 4.5 x 2.5mtr area which the Cube has been on quite happily. There is literally 1.5 mtr gap around this. The original idea was to have 2x2 walk in run & 2mtr cube run. However, now I'm in the position to do this I'm not so sure. I love sitting in bed and looking out at the garden & hens but to have the walk in run with cube, I'll have to have the cube facing the other way so not clear to see them doing their thing, it looks like my small garden is even smaller as it cuts the garden eyeline in half and I have to look at the back of the cube - not so pretty. My other option is walk in run with either a Classic or Go Up? I loved the Classic when I had one and probably would have kept it if garden no2 was suitable. As it's on concrete, I'm not overly worried about rats burrowing underneath and 'living in the base' (does this really happen!) but hens living on the ground - seems a bit alien to me now. I've never seen a Go Up but I'm aware the quality isn't as good as the Mk1 Cube or Classic. However, it is off the floor which I love about the Cube. So my question is, keep the cube and 3 meter run, still enough for 3 and abandon the walk in run idea or walk in run with a Classic? Or seriously think about the GoUp? I'm sure they are brilliant, just not what I'm used to.

I don't have enough storage here to keep the Cube (I have seriously thought about this!). Any thoughts?

Edited by Lisa C
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I haven't seen the go up but in 2011 I bought the go and run and very quickly upgraded to a walk in run with the cube just next to it at the side - the Go has been used as emergency chicken housing - guinea pig housing in the summer and just left anywhere in the garden over the winter it has been dragged pulled and climbed on and in by lots of  children (I childmind and when emptythey  think its a great hiding place- the outer plastic is now brittle and has broken in a couple of places where it gets dragged around but for 10 years old I have been really impressed with the condition it is in and the inside is in great condition  - the cube is still in great condition but only moved to clean and my chickens spend all the time out in the run only using it to lay when they were younger or if really cold to sleep in. 

I would always go walk in run makes life so much easier but when we move the cube is going and we will hopefullt get a walk in run with the go up on the outside.


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Don’t do it! Quality of the plastic from the demise of the Mk1 cube onwards is not as robust.  There are reports of cracked plastic in the Go appearing already, I would keep the Mk 1 cube, but if pushed would go for a preloved Classic.  I have two cubes, 13 and 16 years old and still in great condition.  Both worth as much, if not more than I paid originally.  

 A WIR is great, and is definitely easier to clean.   But if you get the Omlet one, you need to factor in the extra cost required to make it rodent and small bird proof.  Whilst you can put fruit netting over it to prevent small bird ingress, to prevent rodents you need to go to the expense of covering over with 1/2 inch 16g weight weldmesh.  I covered the top half for a cost of over £100 ( over £200 with labour I had to pay), but should have done the lot as a blue tit got in via the lower bars before the last lockdown.   I know baby rats can still get in too. In retrospect, I should have gone for a custom made WIR.  A friend has just bought one from Jim Vyse Arks which was cheaper and looks very good. 

Edited by Patricia W
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If you really want a WIR and it won’t work with your Cube, how about getting a WIR and a Classic and then putting the classic up on a table or something. If you’re never going to want more than 3 hens it kind of is wasting space on unnecessary housing that could be better used as run. If your Cube is in good condition you could probably sell it for almost enough money to buy a new Classic.

For the first couple of years of chicken keeping I had a Go, and it was fine, but if I ever have to use it for any of my gang now (I now have a third hand mark 1 Cube) they really aren’t keen because they don’t want to sleep at ground level.

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Not sure on the new Classic quality build, but I still have both my old ones, one 2nd hand and one was new, even though I don't have any birds at the moment.  I am working on the 'just in case' as opposed to the 'just in time' principle!  If I was in your situation I would buy a 2nd hand Classic, mine must be 15 years old and is still in daily use, just not by me!  And then I'd buy a custom made WIR.  I did have a Cube, but I have to admit preferring the Classic, somehow I was never 100% happy with the Cube, even though it was better than my wooden housing.

Edited by Daphne
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