Mobile henhouse/ Eggmobile?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenannie, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Does anyone have a design for the Eggmobile? Or any kind of coop that is movable -- on skids or wheels.
    I've seen pics of them, but need a design if possible.
     
  2. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    827
    1
    151
    Feb 26, 2008
    I'm planning to build a chicken tractor out of an old trampoline frame. I saw a neighbor that had a dog kennel built out of one and realized how simple it would be. All of the framework is there already. You just have to run wire around the outside, attach it to the poles, then you could run a few sticks of one by across the top and attach wire to that to fully enclose. You could put casters on a couple of the poles to make it even easier for one person to move. I'm just going to put some sort of shelter in mine, as of now I just intend to use it to raise my broilers that I plan on getting later in the spring, but you could easily come up with a plan to put a couple of light weight nest boxes in it attached to the frame.

    You see junked trampolines all over the place, atleast I did until I started trying to find one [​IMG] I think I'm going to put an ad on craigslist to see if anyone has one they want to get rid of.
     
  3. Pelican49

    Pelican49 Chillin' With My Peeps

    550
    0
    149
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oklahoma
    If tractors are bottomless, how do you move it without pinching chicken feet? I'm thinking a tractor would be best for broilers, since they're so messy. But just not quite sure how they work when you try to move them.
     
  4. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

    440
    18
    151
    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Quote:That's what I did. I LOVE it. It's huge, provides great shade, and was a piece of cake to make. My chickens only use it during the daytime. I put them back in their permanent coop at night.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. K&H Chicken Farm

    K&H Chicken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    402
    0
    139
    Feb 17, 2008
    Redding CA
    horsewishr : do you kids still use that one? It looks new still! It made me look at ours and think double duty!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Chickenannie, have you seen http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html to give you some more ideas? Again no plans, but really you (or someone you know) would be able to build any of them just from a careful inspection and some common sense [​IMG]

    GwenFarms, look at horsewishr's brilliant trampoline conversion (oh wait, I see she types faster than I do, LOL).

    Pelican, you walk slooowly and if necessary until the chickens learn the system you may need another person with a poky stick to keep the ckickens from getting snowplowed under by the back wall of the tractor [​IMG] Actually it generally works pretty well and easily, you just have to pay attention.

    Pat
     
  7. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

    440
    18
    151
    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Yes, they still use it. BUt they have to put the chickens away first. [​IMG]
     
  8. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    ChickenNannie ~

    Are you asking about Joel Salatin's moveable coop? Judy Pangman (book is Chicken Coops 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock) has some informal sketches and notes about several of his mobile buildings Salatin uses on his farm.
    You might want to google his name and see what pops up. The name of the farm is Polyface Farm.

    There are also quite a few bulletin type articles of his work that I've read. You may be able to find those, also. These are generally put out by small chicken producing groups or some of the government poultry orgs.

    Carla
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Carla Riggs,
    Yes, exactly -- I'm referring to the Joel Salatin style Eggmobile (not his broiler pens -- they're too low to the ground). He does use movable electric netting but it's not cheap, so I'd rather have a wagon/eggmobile type thing that I can free-range the egg layers from and occassionally move to a different pasture spot. One that won't blow away in heavy winds.

    I want something larger than a chicken tractor. The trampoline is a very nice idea... I suppose you could affix egg boxes to it somewhere. Now where do I find a trampoline for free...

    I've checked Salatin's web site and googled his name and farm but there's no designs that I could find. He generally promotes making your own chicken housing out of the junk you can find lying around -- which there's a lot of around my barns. However, I am NO carpenter, can barely nail 2 boards together, so I need a design from other people which is not too complicated! I bought some bendy pvc pipe to make a greenhouse-style hoophouse, but it is too light in windy weather and I don't wanna kill anyone with a flying henhouse. All the BYC folks who have your DHs who build those amazing coops must be so thankful your guy is handy!
     
  10. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    ChickenNannie,

    You may already know these facts, but I'll post them just in case you don't. [​IMG]

    Salatin first used a trailer (with tires) on which he built a 12'x20' hen house. The coop itself extends over the end of the trailer bed. He liked that one, so built the same thing again. They are connected with a very strong hitch, and he moves 700 laying hens in the 2-part EggMobile.

    So first, you need a trailer with decent tires. [​IMG] And then I would just play around with paper/pen to see with what you can dream up. The top several feet of the pen is open all the way around for ventilation and light. This would need to be covered with strong wire to keep the varmints out. Salatin has panels that are attached at the bottom of this window opening with hinges to come out and down. During nasty weather, the panels can be swung back up into position and locked.
    The roof looks flat, however I would think of a shed style; this will be nice if you have to be out in the pouring rain. The rain can be directed away from the people/chicken doors.

    The nesting boxes are lined up on one wall, and are accessible from outside. Salatin provides 48 nest boxes per trailer. That's seven chickens per nest. (Or more if they get the notion in their heads they all want the same nest.) You can stack the nests, just be sure there is a 'roost' in front of the box so the hen can easily step into it. Think of how you want to open the nest box door. It has to be strong enough to handle the constant opening/closing. But not too heavy for you to open. You may want to have this hinged at the bottom, so you don't need to worry about it coming down on a hand. Several access door are better than one heavy door.

    You could put roosts on the other side of the building, with a pull out tray located under the roosts. This would keep the floor of your Eggmobile much cleaner. Feed can go in covered trashcans inside the hen house. Use a can height with which you can easily reach the bottom. Water and feed could be kept in one or two or three areas..... all depends on how many chickens you have.

    There is a good sized chicken door with ramp at one end. Again, according to how many hens you'll have. If you've got 300, it may take them quite a while to leave in the morning single file! [​IMG] You'll need a people door, also. If you put that more in the middle, it will be easier to access either side of the trailer as you need.

    Salatin uses wooden floors with chicken wire over them. You want to have a floor that predators cannot access, just as in any other coop. You could use a deep litter method, but that might get a little pricey, depending on the size of the coop. You might want to look into finding some cheap linoleum.

    Ask this forum what size posts and plywood for your walls you may want to use. Because the trailer is your main support, you perhaps can use a small post. Or not. [​IMG]

    Anyway, these are just some thoughts to get you going. [​IMG] I'll bet with BYC to answer all your questions, you can easily have your own Eggmobile, and more to your own liking.

    You can call it The NannyMobile. [​IMG]

    Carla
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by