Yesterday evening I sold our last "pre-built" hen house over the phone. The gentleman called after seeing our photo ad and had questions about the features our design had to offer. He loved the photos of the coop, and was looking to upgrade from the covered tarp and box he kept his hens in, wanting something more substantial for the winter this year. He was more than satisfied with the answers I gave him, since we not only BUILD the houses - we actually own the hens that LIVE in the prototype. I believe this is important, in order to come up with the best design possible for the health of the birds, and the ease for the poultry owner. Time-tested, not just Time-invested. That's the KEY.
While driving along an old highway this past weekend, we noticed a sign that said "Chicken Coops 4 Sale"; and off to the side of their driveway were a few cute looking coops displayed. They sort of looked like cabins, but made out of rows of furring strips. They were unpainted, as we prefer to sell our hen houses, so you could see the construction clearly from a 'drive-by viewing'. These, to my mind, were more decorative than useful houses for poultry to live in...more like doll houses. One was up on a saw horse, and I would guess it would work well for 2 hens, but there were no nest boxes easily accessible for the coop keeper to collect those eggs. My back could not take that, for egg collection OR for cleaning! I hope they were insulated for our Michigan Winters! Because the houses were not built off the ground, the first heavy snow might all but bury those hens in those little cabin-igloos! I'm sure the asking price was worth the invested time the hobbyist had put into building them, but were they tested over time? I don't know. We were only driving by.
The "hubbs" tells me I'm a great sales person! I like to think so - but in reality, this hen house basically sells itself with the cute design AND the thought process that went into construction. I just explain the features, the "whys" and the "hows comes" of each little thing we've tweaked on it. It makes my "job" so much easier! I know the new owners will adore their new hen house when we deliver it this coming weekend!