1. Thelonious

    Thelonious In the Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 17, 2013
    I have 6 hens in a coop. It's a decent size but recently they've tried to run out when I open the door to feed and water. So it'd be great if I could get them out in the yard, but I don't want to build anything permanent around the coop and I don't want to let them out free range (scared that they'll run off, also have a ton of hawks in the area). Any ideas for something like a tractor coop, without the coop or wheels? Just a big cage they can run around in basically. I have some ideas but if there's anything less expensive than what I have in mind, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. jesirose

    jesirose Songster

    371
    23
    128
    Mar 14, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    How would you move it without the wheels? You can get lawn mower wheels for like $6-10 each, you'd only need 2.

    It's pretty easy, just build a box with hardware cloth. If you are going to be supervising them all the time you could use chicken wire, but if you might ever leave them unattended in it, use hardware cloth. (1/2"x1/2" 19 ga)

    Here's some photos of ours. These are 6x6x2 but we are building new taller ones and will re-use these for rabbits instead. One some of ours we put metal sheeting as a roof but it got costly so we switched to using fence boards. Plus that let us have 2 doors on top.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Thelonious

    Thelonious In the Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 17, 2013
    I'd just drag it across the lawn, which wouldn't be hard to do depending on what type of material I was using. But if wheels are that inexpensive then might as well pick some up. Your design is pretty much what I had in mind but with hardware cloth, which is a good idea. So I'll probably go with that, using some scrap wood I have. Thanks for the post
     
  4. jesirose

    jesirose Songster

    371
    23
    128
    Mar 14, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Cool - I don't know if it's visible but we secured the hardware cloth between two pieces of wood on the top and bottom, you can't just use staples. You can either use washers or this sandwich method.

    When we were building ours I picked it up and moved it a lot before the wheels were on and on the concrete it was fine - once it's on grass, if it's not perfectly level it will snag on stuff. We actually are upgrading to better wheels we got on sale, because our pasture is just too uneven. But for your purposes, especially without having the coop part, I can see being able to drag it without them.
     
  5. Thelonious

    Thelonious In the Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 17, 2013
    I think I'm going to go with the wheels. I have to end up dragging some pretty big things out of the way when I mow the lawn, and this just being basically a big frame to keep some chickens in to move around shouldn't be an issue. But whatever makes life easier, and that's what wheels are for. Also going to add some large eye bolts so I can stake it down. The only issue I'm running into is getting them from their main coop/run into the movable run. I'd be doing it daily, and it'd be great if I didn't have to do it one by one (if they don't run in there on their own). But I may have to end up doing that, which is no big deal. I just want them to be able to get out and eat some grass and bugs ;p
     
  6. jesirose

    jesirose Songster

    371
    23
    128
    Mar 14, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Make a door on one side a little smaller than the door to your main run, then drag it up to the door and open it. Shoo them in, close it from inside. Boom! ;)
     
  7. Thelonious

    Thelonious In the Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 17, 2013
    That's what I'm going to do. Hopefully they're smart enough to know where to go >< thanks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: