Building a shed style coop on skids

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ImportTheBest, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. ImportTheBest

    ImportTheBest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction for a video or maybe even have info to pass on.

    I'm self/YouTube-taught when it comes to building things and thankfully the coops and other things that I have built in the past have been very strong and worked well enough. This time around I want to build a chicken coop that I can walk into to clean etc, basically a shed on skids. The coop might never be moved or there may come a time, even a few years from now, when we have to sell and move and I don't want to have to either leave it behind or destroy it trying to remove it! :(

    How do you build skids? The best way to level the base in a not-perfectly-level area? What dimensions for width and height of the skids? What angle is best for the ends of the skids? Anything else to be aware of?

    I've never even owned anything on skids to use as building/ assembly knowledge! I'm planning on the coop being 6x8ft or 5x9ft, or somthing close to that so that it will fit out through our backyard gate should that time come. (Urban area)

    All the YouTube videos I found have not been helpful and even a google search ended with info either far above my head or lacking all details! :barnie

    Anyone want to take me under their wing and help me out?:old
    Thank you!
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are two examples of how you could go about it. The first is a coop plan circa 1940, called the Victory coop. I'd make some revisions. But for your purposes, this shows the skids below. Simply 2 x 4 pressure treated lumber, flat side down, or use 4 x 4's to get it up off the ground a bit. This shed has a wood floor in it.

    [​IMG]
    Second picture below is how I built the skids to make my 8 x 12 Woods coop portable. Basic premise is it was built using 4 x 6 pressure treated timbers, 4" side down. This elevates the coop up off the ground and placed on edge, gives it some structural rigidity. Timbers are used like concrete foundation, framing on top. It needs to be placed on a level site, or else level it where you put it by using solid cement blocks on the low corners to support it. Option B is to use something like RR ties leveled in place like a foundation. Pull the coop into place.

    To move it you simply hook on to the wire loops on the ends and go. I think I used 3 loops of #9 wire. Plenty strong. Ends extend a foot or so from the edge and the front tips are beveled a bit by lopping off a 45 degree edge. This allows them to ride over the terrain like ski tips. Narrow side of building ends need to be up off the ground or else they will dig in like a dozer blade making it nearly impossible to move. An easy way to do the narrow ends is to use the same 4 x 6 timber, but put a 4 x 4 notch in it, set it in place, then bolt it into place. That leaves a 2" gap. I also used bolt on angled brackets on the inside corners to reinforce and brace it. I've only moved it once, but it survived the trip of several hundred feet over some uneven terrain. Skids didn't even mark the grass.

    The apron is then installed to keep predators from digging under the gap. To retain portability of the coop with apron on, they are nailed to the sides and allowed to fold up when the thing is being moved.



    [​IMG]

    Option C for the smaller sized house in the range of 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 is to use the corner framing timbers as posts that go to the ground with a gap of a couple feet or so beneath them. Gap below is used as an enclosed run. This one would have a solid wood floor. To move it, find a bunch of burly guys to help you pick it up and off you go.
     
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  3. ImportTheBest

    ImportTheBest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much, you totally made my day! That was all such great and helpful info, written in such a way that definitely makes sense to me! :yiipchick
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    We have built two run-in sheds for our horses and cattle, each 10' deep x 16' long, on 4"x6" skids, and they work fine. BUT in a high wind (tornado type, straight line) they might blow over. Ours have done this TWICE over the years, each time landing on their roof. Damaged, but not too badly, but not so good as a coop. Some kind of anchoring into the ground would be best, IMO. Mary
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would expect that might happen if the 16' side is open, essentially turning it into an umbrella or parachute. I was worried about that too as I am in a windy location.

    My skid idea was patterned after an 8' x 16' shed style hog house my dad built about 60 years ago. It hasn't moved in the past 50 years. The roof gave out a few years back and it is now rotting in place. But put a new roof on it and it could still be used as a hog house or even chicken house.

    Portable chicken houses on skids were popular even 100 years ago. They called them movable colony houses. Some thought having several of those to be a better idea than one single fixed house.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    That's what happened, and if I were building it for chickens, that south opening would be mostly open, with hardware cloth, so it would behave the same way. Mary
     

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