Build a coop out of truck cap

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flukefarm, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. flukefarm

    flukefarm New Egg

    Feb 29, 2012
    Hey new to chickens I picked up a aluminum truck cap the other day 5x7 and thought I would use it to make a coop 5x7 by 6ft tall about 2ft off ground. Just woundering what everyone thinks of using a cap or would the metal be a problem heat wise in summer and not hold enough heat in winter up here in Maine.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  2. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Western NC
    As long as you have enough ventilation summer shouldn't be a problem if you have shade, winter with a metal roof may be an issue but I'm not sure how cold and how much snow you usually get. Condensation in your coop means you need more ventilation and chickens create more moisture than you can imagine.
  3. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2008
    I built these a couple years ago to house young birds. Dont have them anymore but you will get the Idea.I built a frame 4 foot and set the cap on.Covered the back and half the sides the front was wire.
  4. matthewk

    matthewk New Egg

    Mar 31, 2012
    We built a chicken coop out of a truck cap. I used as much self made and recycled stuff as I could.

    Bought stuff (about $150) includes some 2x4's, 4 sheets of marine plywood for the walls, a couple PT 4x4's.

    Stuff I had: 2x4's, hinges, rough cut lumber for the nest boxes (not shown in photos, 3 levels of 7 boxes per side), nails and screws, a couple 4x4's for the base (neded 4), some really heavy tarp material for the vapor barrier for the base.

    Recycled stuff: Truck Cap (Craigs List), Paint and Primer (Craigs List), Plywood topped palletts (Craigs List - inside is framed with these, walls are covered inside and out. Warm in the winter).

    Construction took place over two weekends. One we got the base and the basic frame up, and the next we got the nest boxes built. I had a friend come and help me both weekends, and it went quite well.

    You can see the rails that the nest boxes attach to in the first photo.

  5. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    Nice coop Matthewk! It looks very easy to "tend to". Are you going to paint it? If allowed, I vote for gray!
  6. pownalite

    pownalite New Egg

    Jul 14, 2012

    i found a truck cap at the dump for free. it has a screened sliding glass window on each side which i covered with hardware cloth by drilling holes in the cap and safety wired the hardware cloth over the sliding windows. the windows can be slid open by opening the side door and reaching up inside. the plywood was free from a project at a local school that was tearing out bleachers. i made it raised with wide cleanout doors on the two long sides and a small chicken door on each of the small sides. skids are pressure treated 4x4's. 2x2's serve as removeable roosts...they rest in cutouts screwed to each end. i can configure them on either side, or both sides. made a shelf where the rear lift window of the cap is and have a few pre-made nesting boxes from tractor supply. have yet to move it into the area where it will be just inside the woods. also found a couple of chicken waterers at the dump and made a couple of feeders from "cd wedding cake boxes" like someone suggested in the forums. the dollar store sells 8" cake pans that are perfect for placing them in. that's about it for now. still need to make the gangway plank, cut a hole for electric and weatherize the rear lift window better. plan to get some chickens in the spring. hope it works out ok!

    thanks for all the ideas and advice i see at this website!

    carl in vermont


    update and a couple of new photos 11/25/12

    made a gangplank/ramp from a plank, branches and safety wire (rustic look) and also placed a milk crate in the middle of the nesting box area and custom cut another milk crate to fit on either side of the two nesting boxes and block the chickens from getting behind the shelf so i can store vital items there (feed, water, eggs boxes, etc.).

    next, i need to bore a hole for electrical extension cord.





    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  7. mpare

    mpare Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    I think this is a great idea! I love the recycling aspect of it. You may want to put the nest boxes directly on the floor of your coop and not above the roost to keep the chickens from sleeping in and making a mess in the boxes. Chickens like to roost as high as possible (except for silkies, who I have heard like to sleep in a heap on the floor).
  8. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Great ideas here. I love the ingenuity.
  9. pownalite

    pownalite New Egg

    Jul 14, 2012
    hi mpare-

    thank you for your suggestion...i never thought of that! the reason for putting the nest above is, of course, to be able to lift the rear window to gather the eggs. it would be a bummer if that doesn't work out.

    cool...thanks for your input!

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  10. pownalite

    pownalite New Egg

    Jul 14, 2012
    update concerning a watering dish for the winter. i have attached a photo.

    i bought a K&H 96oz heated dog watering bowl on amazon for 20 bucks and a one dollar oil drain pan at the dollar store. the manufacturer put a metal spiral coil around the electrical cord so nothing can "chew" it. i placed the dog bowl inside the oil drain pan and hung it a couple of inches above the floor using an old paint can lid and twine. i found a stainless steel bowl slightly smaller than the inside of the dog bowl and filled it with water and put just enough water in the dog bowl so that the unit operates as a "double boiler" (thus, the heated water in the dog bowl keeps the water in the stainless steel bowl from freezing). this makes changing the water (the water in the stainless steel bowl) easy to change...instead of having to remove the entire hanging bowl unit and refill it. i use a 100ft extension cord to the coop even though the instructions with the dog bowl say not to use an extension cord. my other option would have been to buy a $50. chicken water heater and a $25 metal chicken waterer. i am glad i chose this way of doing it. the extension cord goes to the garage (underground) to a wall outlet that has a ground fault interupter. works fine.

    the unit is hung slightly above the floor of the coop, but i slipped a shallow plastic potting tray under it and adjusted the height so that it rest on the tray to stabilize the unit from being tipped by the chickens. also, when i hung the oil pan, i used one long length of twine and threaded it into the drilled holes so that the entire assembly can be easily "leveled"...or raised and lowered.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013

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