Does anyone know of a modular mobile chicken coop/run design out there?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ArtistActivist, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. ArtistActivist

    ArtistActivist New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 25, 2011
    I'm looking for something that I can keep 2-4 hens in, move around a backyard, about the size of a garden bed and has multiple uses.... am I asking for too much?;0D
     
  2. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    6
    91
    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
  3. ArtistActivist

    ArtistActivist New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 25, 2011
    Thank you for the link... I've checked this site out before, lots of chicken tractor designs. I was looking for something that had multiple uses, something that could be used for something other than just keeping chickens inside. Being a woman, I'm wanting something that has more than one use and is modular, meaning it could be used side to side, end to end, or stacked on top of each other. The triangular shape isn't quite right for stacking or side to side. I'd like to have a lettuce table over my chickens, or to be able to use the "basket" to cover the girls while they tear up the sod in a bed, then use the same basket to cover the plants while they get established, while the girls run free. I'd like something that could be used with or without a roosting/nesting section, with the roosting/nesting section being able to be put on an end or stacked on top. I should probably draw what I'm looking for?

    I also see that most of these tractors in the link are made of wood. I don't believe wood holds up as well in the elements, is light enough or water resistant enough for using with a lettuce table. I've been looking at 13% shade cloth for side and end panels, as it is UV resistant and am still checking into materials strong enough to hold the weight of 6" of soil on top. I live in Fresno and we get long runs of triple digit weather, so I'm also wanting to plumb it with misters for the girls and the lettuce table. The idea is to start off with one, and as I can afford it build more... ultimately I'd like to have something like a hamster village for the girls.
     
  4. ArtistActivist

    ArtistActivist New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 25, 2011
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Here's a hampster village with hampsters and here's one with people... same idea but for chickens?
     
  5. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,094
    39
    166
    Jul 30, 2011
    East coast
    We made a chicken tractor...and have been using it for 7 months now. DH made it light weight, because I am the main one to move it. Now, it is 2 levels....a semi enclosed one over an open level...and I cannot move it by myself without great difficulty. It doesn't go very far when I move it by hand, and the only way o move it long distances...(we have 1 acre), is to use the lawn tractor to move it.


    Now, with your multi use ideas, whatever you decide, is the chicken coop going to require being moved very often? Anything extra....plantings, water, etc...will add alot more weight hen you might be able to move.
     
  6. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,094
    39
    166
    Jul 30, 2011
    East coast
    [​IMG]
     
  7. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    6
    91
    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I have a couple of tractors that are aluminium framed to increase the longevity of the structure. Mine come from this company here but they aren't the sort of multipurpose structure you are talking about.

    http://www.royalrooster.com.au/index.php

    In fact their are a few Australian companys that make metal framed coops. None of them are what you are after though. I can post the links if you want to see what they have done.

    I'll be very intersted to see what you end up coming up with. If you want a multipurpose coop then you'll probably have to design it yourself to suit the purposes you want. I'd agree with moxie's chickies (Nice coop btw Moxie). Planting on top will add hugely to the weight. Also if you have multple layers of coop you need to have good access to each to clean out the poop. A modular system is fairly easy. My brothers has the coop and run of the tractor in separate peices and as they are large it makes it easier to move them. They use them virtually always attached though.
     
  8. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,094
    39
    166
    Jul 30, 2011
    East coast
    Thank you cluadicles. My DH designed and built the whole thing. He even designed the wheel mechanisms...and welded them. I appreciate all that he did to keep it light weight. I person could break the roofing with one hand.....but, it is more a visual barrier over an actual physical one. We also coated all the wood with a treatment to keep it from rotting as quick. It has done well for the 8 months in use. We were originally going to build 2 complete ones.....but, turns out the chickens like the open coop (sports coop-topless), attached to either side of the main coop. Gives them plenty of extra space to scratch and play.
    We have ended up with 7 very healthy chickens......no diseases, not lost to predators, no feather plucking or cannibalism. The hens just started laying, and they are all excellent eggs. Bright yolks, firm whites and hard shells.
    We feed the chickens turnips from the garden, a scratch crumble I made myself, the bugs and grass from scratching in the dirt, fresh water, shade and sunshine and fresh air. We only added a temporary tarp when the nights went down to the 20's. The worst that happened was the rooster got some minor frostbite to his comb. It is all healed up now.
     
  9. blueferral

    blueferral Chillin' With My Peeps

    129
    2
    81
    Feb 15, 2012
    Simpsonville, SC
    Did you want this modular coop/tractor/pen/growing table to be mobile? If so, you mentioned 6 inches of soil on top. Have you considered the weight. Average soil weighs 75 lbs per cubic foot. So a 4x8 modular would have 16 cubic feet of soil if it is 6 inches deep. This would weigh about 1200lbs for regular non compacted soil. A bit less for potting soil. This does not include the weight of the biomass. Add in the structure that could support this. I think would be a challenge to move it.

    As for shade cloth for the sides. Do you have predators in your area. Hardware cloth or welded wire side and shade cloth could be more suitable.

    I would guess that something built from 4x4s in 4ft x 4ft x3ft high may work for what your wanting. You will have to get creative with the side panels in order for the modular pieces to come together and allow movement between the modules. I would draw up a few plans and idea before I built anything. Also, with that kind of weight on top, and living things under it, I would ask an engineer friend about weight loads for what you are building the module from.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by