Trailer Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bil, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Bil

    Bil Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Cottage Grove, OR
    I've taken a lot from reading the forums over the last few months, so thought I would share the design and construction of my coop.

    A little background. I am a city boy that just bought a farm, and we are now raising alpacas. I have always wanted chickens and now that we can, I'm going to get going on having some. I know nothing about chickens (except what I have read over that last few months) but I am learning.

    What I want is a movable coop that I can have out in my pastures with my alpacas. Chickens help break up the alpaca "beans" and eat the worms (bad kind) so my alpacas will be healthier (so the theory goes).

    I have an old trailer that I will be converting in to a small movable coop.

    Here is what I am starting with:


    Ok, as you can see, not a lot to work with. I have 4 walls (sort of) and 2 pieces of translucent roofing. I'll need at least 2 more pieces, maybe 3. The total dimensions are 8'x4'. The walls will be around 2' tall. Not huge, but I don't plan on having many chickens. We're thinking to start off with 4-6 Buff Orpingtons.

    Here are my plans (I like playing with Google Sketch-Up, so that is why they are in 3d.)

    This first one will be from the back of the trailer. This is where I will have the door. It will lower and unfold so they have a ramp up to the door. In the back there will be a door so I can get in easily to access the feed & water. There will be on roost across the front of the coop. It will be made of rounded over 2x4.


    This side will have the nests over the tongue of the trailer. I am thinking I can easily get 3 nests in, and will maybe only 6 chickens that should be more than enough. The door on the nests on the outside will open down so there will be a "table" for my daughters to use to set the basket while they are collecting the eggs. You can also see I'll be adding sliding windows that will latch for some airflow. The inside of the windows will be covered with chicken wire.


    The roof will be slanted down toward the back (towards the feed/water door) and will stick out over the window about 2 feet to give some shade/rain protection outside. The roof will also be built like a shoe box top. It will just sit down on the walls, so when we need to, we can take it off to get in. The back (with the door) will come also out so I will be able to clean out the coop easily. I am also looking for some cheap linoleum for the bottom to help with cleaning.

    So please, any suggestions, critiques, etc. you can see, let me know. I'm new, so I know I need to learn. Any help would be appreciated! [​IMG]

  2. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    This is a great idea!
  3. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    One thing we learned it to make the coop big enough for us to easily get into. We found generally the only waste we have to deal with is under the roost once they stat laying. So our new coop's have a hatch so cleaning under the roost is easier. The hatch is o n the oppsite side of the coop from the door we use.


    Instead of nesting boxes we sometimes use small horse feed pans with straw in them. The take up floor space but the coop if for night times, food and water, and nesting. The rest of the time the girls are out side.


    This small coop houses 5 hens, we could have more but these were raised as a group, We also added another nesting pan. Because once in a while the hens don't like to wait until the other are off the nest. Although usually they all used the same nest.

    The main problem we have had is that we can have high winds during storm. one actually moved the chicken tractor 6 inches to the side. This coop was chained the the concrete so it didn't blow over, but it was moved a little.
  4. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    hi pdpatch,

    If the chickens stay outside mostly, then the coop will be a lot cleaner.... but I should not actually shut the door?

    Cause they have to be able to get in to lay an egg anytime during the day, correct?
  5. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    looks like a good plan to me good luck and [​IMG]
  6. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Chicabee, I keep my food and water in the coop because it's the only real shade anywhere in their main run area, plus then they have access early in the morning before I get out there. I never shut the coop during the day and wouldn't even if I kept the feed and water outside because of the egg issue, even if it wasn't shady and therefor cooler inside than out half the time. The coop does put out a shadow through the day, but the geese and ducks get to enjoy it in their pen in the afternoons.

    All my chickens free range after about three pm if someone is home to let them out of their pen. The water birds free range all day.

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