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Our Mobile Coop Project (lots of pics)

  1. slroxie
    Once we decided that our next project would be chicken, we immediately turned our focus on 'where and how' to house them.

    Although we live on a farm in the country, we did not particularly care to construct a permanent coop. We wanted something mobile. Something we could (fairly) easily move around as need, so as to preserve the vegetation within the coop area and to detour odor that would come from any manure build up. We wanted something that would be safe and secure for approximately 10 birds. Our plan was to design a coop that was also portable in the (unlikely) event that we ever decided that we no longer wanted chickens. That way we could sell coop, chickens and all. The proud new owner could just hook it up to their truck and away they go! However, I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

    Therefore, we put on our creative thinking caps and came up with an idea.

    The foundation for our "mobile coop" started with an old--and I do mean old--travel trailer that we had parked in our back pasture. The 45-year old camper had been used many years ago at our hunting lease, however, it had since fallen apart and become inhabitable. So we decided to completely demolish the camper and salvage the frame. There was actually very little other than the frame that could be salvaged for use on the new coop except for the a few pieces of plywood and a long panel door (which would be used to access the nesting/laying boxes). The scrap metal from the camper was sold at the local recycling plant, with the proceeds used to purchase the majority of the building materials needed for the project. Here it is taking shape... (click on the images for larger views)

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    Once my son and I disassembled the camper, we were left with only the bare frame...
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    The frame was then reinforced with 3" c-purlin to create a flat surface to build upon...
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    The frame was then straightened, sanded and primed. Then we welded 3/4" flat-rolled expanded metal onto frame, covering the entire flooring area. The metal was then treated with rust inhibitor, primed, and painted...
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    Upon completion of the base of the mobile coop (frame), it was time to start construction of the house itself. The house was framed on the ground (concrete) to provide added stability during construction...
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    We used pressure treated lumber for only the floor plates and for the window, door and nest box openings. The remainder of the house was constructed using white pine, which was treated with Thompson's WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus. The openings around the window, door and box opening was stained with Behr Premium Transparent Weather Proofing (Cedar Naturaltone)...
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    Once the house was completely framed, we added 4 nesting/laying boxes and 2 roost bars (not pictured). The boxes were covered with plywood to prohibit roosting on top...
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    A view of the nesting/laying boxes from the outside looking in...
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    In the midst of the coop building process, the future residents arrived! We purchased some 'older chicks' from a local supplier. We got 5 Barred Hollands and 5 Production Reds (all pullets and all about 6 weeks old)...
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    The framed house was then hoisted onto the trailer and secured to the frame with lag bolts. Wood siding was then cut and attached. Metal roofing was also installed. In addition, the exterior panel door to the nesting/laying box area was also installed. The house was then caulked and painted with Behr Premium Plus Exterior Enamel in "Witch Hazel" (780D-6)...
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    Upon completion of the house, the run area of the mobile coop was crafted. The frame for the run was constructed from pressured treated lumber and then stained with Behr Premium Plus Transparent Weather Proofing in "Cedar Naturaltone"...
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    Poultry wire was then stretched and attached around and atop the run area using a pneumatic staple gun...
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    Upon completion, the mobile coop was moved to its initial spot and filled with residents. And they seemed to approve!
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    We also constructed a removable ramp to allow the girls to come and go as they please, since they will be "free rangers." The ramp can be easily removed when we move the coop from one spot to the next...
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    The mobile coop measures approximately 7' wide (across the front, house area) X 15' 6" long (not including the trailer hitch) overall...and can be easily moved with our Polaris Ranger. For reference, the house itself is 52" wide X 84" long X 56" tall. And the run area is 53" wide X 102" long X 51" tall.

    The project is 99% complete. We still have plans to add a feed storage area and self-watering station to it. This will be added to the back, right side of the trailer. (You will notice the 2 pieces of angle iron sticking out from the frame. This will be the base for these additions.) When we finalize the plan and finish these additions, I will update with some more photos. Until then...

    Hope you enjoyed learning about our mobile coop project!

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Comments

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  1. slroxie
    @Whittni: Yes, it has made it very easy to move the girls around to different grazing areas.
    @Penny Hen: Thanks!
  2. Penny Hen
    I like it. A lot!
  3. Whittni
    This is cool and would make it easy to change the grazing pastures.

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