Modified 4-H Rabbit Hutch
As a kid I remember different chicken accomodations but the one that worked the best was taken from a 4-H hand book on rabbitry or rabbiteering (or whatever they call it). All my dad had to do was nail a couple lug boxes at each end for egg laying, put a roost through the hutch, and a ladder. I left home, got married, and made a similar coop for our chickens (over thirty years ago).
So now my boys (8 & 9) wanted chickens and the coop I'm finishing is based on the "hutch" principle. I've noticed lots of coops in BYC look a lot like it and I'm definitely stealing ideas especially for feeding and watering. My wife said we needed to move it around ( a big departure from the chicken pen) so I thought of wheels. An internet search revealed my idea wasn't anything new (How did it ever get the name chicken tractor?).
I told the boys "a couple chicks apiece" and I started framing the coop. Four chicks turned into eight (thanks to Johnny....who died) so the coop is too small. I added a couple more nesting areas which broke up the original simple look of the coop. I've seen eggs on the screen when one of the girls wouldn't or couldn't wait for a nest.
All of the building material was laying around in the back yard. The coop is framed with pressure treated 2x4s, the walls are left over redwood fencing I purchased years ago. The biggest expense was the latches and hinges. I bought a roll of chicken wire for raised bed gardening and there was plenty left over for the run. The wheels are from a dead lawn mower.
Our chicks are about six weeks old which puts them in the "pullet" stage. We'll see how it goes as they grow. Most of the time they have the run of the back yard.
The run is made of ripped pressure treated 2x4s to keep it light. It is a separate piece from the coop. I can open the door and carry it by the top beam.
A view through the wire. The door is a slider and is opened from outside the coop.
The entire front wall is hinged for access / cleaning. The original nests are built in on the right. The add-on nests are to the left. The coop also serves as a brooder so the lights will eventually go away.
The boys and I cut a piece of wood at the river for a roost.
Under construction. There's venting at the top of either end as well as the screened in floor. We live on the North Coast of California so cooling off is never a problem.The plywood at the back of the bottom is where the pvc waterer and feeder will be mounted.
Current set-up for brooding
Screened in bottom matches up to the run
One of the girls on the ladder. Now all we have to do is wait till September for eggs.
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