First some history, my brother was given an old camper that he "fixed up" for camping, it had shag carpet and was ugly as sin. As a joke one year while camping at Lake Powell we took a marker and wrote "The baby maker" on the door (his wife had just gave birth to their 3rd child) we all got a huge laugh. Then my neighbor was given an old camper and he turned it into a coop. It wasn't the prettiest thing but it worked pretty good. Last November I was scanning craigslist and found an ad for an old trailer for $300, I thought to myself that would make a good chicken coop but my husband said "no way". December rolled around and I had been laid up after a surgery and had nothing to do but be on the computer and sure enough the trailer was still up on craigslist with the price down to $200. I asked my husband again and he still said no. Unfortunately, a couple nights later an owl broke through the dog run we had been using and killed some of our birds. Between that and the massive amounts of pain killers I was on, my husband wisely did what I told him and he and my dad headed out to South Phoenix with a flat bed trailer and bought the old crappy trailer. When they got back even I doubted myself for a little bit since it was FULL of trash. They unloaded it, and, there it sat for 5 months till one day not wanting to go to work I got a hair to fix up my trailer. I aired up the tires and dragged it into the garage to begin work.
I started by completely stripping the inside which produced some amazing little treasures and some I am pretty sure hazardous trash. The brown fridge thing I save and turned into an incubator.
After all cleaned out
After cleaning it out and using a rough brush to scrape down the peeling paint I used an old bucket of oops paint I had from home depot for a few years that was high gloss.
Unfortunately I did not have enough to do everything so I figured I would grab another can of ops paint that is high gloss and use that. Thankfully I scored when I went to the home depot and they had Martha Stewart paint on clearance so I could make any color I wanted! I got a gallon and repainted over the dark green with yellow.
I loved the yellow so I moved onto the outside while the inside was airing out. The exterior of the trailer was aluminum and a lot of the original paint had worn off over time so I started by thinking I would take it down to the metal and polish it up. After I did a small section I realized I didnt like it so decided instead to paint it white with a yellow stripe and silver on top (ended up not liking that either) This is one of the things I would change. I used spray paint but if I was to do it over would have used a rolled on paint that can go on metal and primed it better. I ended up costing a lot more to spray paint the whole thing. I think I ended up spending $90 on spray paint. Plus it was massive amounts of taping and I got overspray all over the garage.
The floor of the trailer was rotted out in one corner so decided to do my chicken ramp out of the floor of the trailer, hoping besides it being easier to cut through wood than metal would also discourage wild birds enter the coupe and other predators. Because there was a metal frame I hate a very set area that could be used. Thankfully it was large enough for the birds to get in and out. I cut a good solid piece of wood for the ramp and matched it to the hole cut, then I screwed some square pieces of wood onto for traction. I added some hooks to a change then popped a small hole through the side and use a pull system attached to the wire to lower and raise it from the outside of the trailer. It works really well and all together cost me $0 since I used items laying around the garage. I also put down peel and stick tiles to make cleaning the coop easier. They cost $.33 a piece so overall I spent around $20 but was a lot of work since nothing is square and cutting in was very hard. I plan on repainting the inside at the end of winter (good maintenance should prolong the life) and when I do I will put down a solid piece of vinyl so that there are no cracks that stuff can get jammed in.
All that was left was nesting boxes and roosts. One of the items I found in the trailer was old bunk beds that was two poles with a piece of heavy duty canvas stretched between them that mounted on each side of the trailer. I refitted those and moved the brackets so that they where up higher and then cut the poles down so they would fit. The poles are made of a crazy thick metal so that was the only time I had to ask my husband for help since when I tried to cut through them I almost took off my leg. Once they where cut down they go in the brackets and it was the perfect roosts. Where the fridge was I created a divider with what was some old laminated shelves by notching out on each side and sliding them together like an x. They slid right into the hole and then I screwed piece of plywood onto the front to give the box a lip. I had tried to use metal curtain rods (little cheap white ones) as a perch on front but it hold up so instead the girls use the roost, I will eventually put up a better perch system.
After that all that was left was putting straw down and moving the flock in. It took them a couple days to figure out the door but food is a powerful motivator for chickens. All together I have around $350 into the trailer including the cost of the trailer. The largest cost outside of the trailer was the spraypaint. I spent a lot of time doing the work but I really enjoyed it. When It was all done I almost hated putting chickens in it. The wheels are operable so it is nice because I can easily move it around the yard so technically it is also a chicken tractor. We are currently in process of building a new run to add onto the back that has framework that the trailer will sit on to give the chickens more room under the trailer for when it gets hot as they like to roost on the axle in the shade of the trailer. The fact is for how much wood costs this was the most cost effective coop I could have come up with. I just wish I could find another old crappy trailer and start my own chicken trailer park.