Trailer to a Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ktown, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. ktown

    ktown New Egg

    Jan 19, 2014
    Kelowna BC Canada
    Hi everyone. I'm new to the site and would like to thank you for all the great info.
    I've been wanting to raise chickens for some time now and I'm busy gathering information and knowledge first.
    I wanted to be able to move the coop around our orchard. Then I came across a trailer and I took the plunge.
    No regrets yet, the trailer was cheap enough I figured I couldn't lose.

    I have an idea what I'd like to do, but would love suggestions. I won't be getting any chickens until April, so I have a little time.


    Fix the tires, a little sandblasting, paint and install 3 20"x30" windows with sliders I have laying around.
    1 on each side and 1 in the front.
    I was thinking I would cut out a 4' by 1 ' hole in the front and install 4 nesting boxes with outside access.
    That is my 200 lb chicken sitting in front of the trailer. :)


    The inside of the box measures 6' 6" wide 10' long and 6' 6" high.
    My thought is run two 8' long roosts down the left side. Hight of the roosts? Distance from top and side?
    The nest boxes out of the front and a pop door for the chicks on the right.

    That's the rough plan at this point, but I'm open to changes. I have some work ahead :)

    Thoughts? What would you do?
  2. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 21, 2014
    South central Alaska
    That is awesome! If I had enough cleared land I would love to use a trailer like that! My chickens like their highest roost which is about 4 ft off the ground. It is about 4 inches in but made out of 1x4's so they can keep their toes covered and not freeze them. the next one is about 18 in out from that and 18 in lower. The lowest one is just there i guess for the lazy ones that don't want to fly but jump up each board to the top.
  3. NinjaRooster

    NinjaRooster Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 27, 2013
    The Corner
    Welcome to the forum! :welcome:

    Looks like a nice setup, sorry I can't really offer any advice.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Cool Beans!

    I'd put the nests on the tongue end of the trailer (I think that's what you meant by the 'front'), bottom of nests about 8-12 inches above floor - room for bedding depth same at pop door....then put roost about a foot above top of nests. Might want to plan a ramp to the roost as width of trailer leaves little flight room for them to get down. Ramp could be from roost to fender on opposite side. Think about a roost board (poop board) too.

    You'll need to cut some ventilation as far above the roosts as possible on both sides of trailer.
    In your climate and because it's portable, would probably good to make vents with adjustable covers to open and close ventilation depending on weather and prevailing winds.

    What a great project, can't wait to see what you do with it.

    P.S. Might need to protect the orchard tree roots from chicken scratching.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  5. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2012
    Loving, NM
    ktown, that's an excellent idea. I agree with most everything that aart says, especially the nests and ventilation. But for the floor, you may think about cutting out the solid floor and putting in an expanded metal floor. At least under the roosts so that you. That'll take care of lots of the poop and you won't have to clean out the rest of it too awful often.

    Our chickens spend 3/4 of the year in our orchard and there's no reason to worry about the roots. The only time to worry about roots(I think) is when a tree is inside a permanent chicken run. Otherwise, you'll just move your coop around and they'll freerange all over the place.

    This is just me, but I also wouldn't worry about the ramp. The rear of that trailer is low enough that they'll just hop down and barely have to flap their wings at all. It may take one or 2 flaps to get up there though. A slightly larger pop door would suffice though. 2'x2' would be plenty big.

    Something to think about though is when you have to leave them locked up. They could have a hole in the floor to get access under the trailer with some sort of hardwire mesh to keep predators out and chickens in. They can still scratch and eat goodies while still being locked up.

    You have lots of options. Please keep updating.

  6. ktown

    ktown New Egg

    Jan 19, 2014
    Kelowna BC Canada
    Thanks for the input. Yes I meant the tongue end for the nests. Thanks Alaska The suggested measurements will be a help.
    Thanks aart, lots of good stuff. I never thought about them getting down from the roost. lol
    I like the expanded metal floor colburg but may be too cold for the winters here?


    I put in 2 of the 3 windows today. I put the side one as high as it would go, but the front one I put lower as I didn't want to cut through all those braces.
    Plus when I check the nests at the front I can look in on the chickens easier from that height.
    Not sure where to put the other one yet. The other front side? or more towards the rear, maybe in the back door?

    Could 12 chickens be happy in there? to many?

    One thing I'm not sure about is venting. how do you know you have the right amount?

    The windows all have a slider. So about a 10" screened opening on each when opened. The trailer also has a 6" roof vent.
    Should I add more? Even though I'm in Canada it's much milder here than the east. The last month has been averaging highs around 38 and lows around 27 at night.
    Although we typically get a cold snap or two that get down to 5 for about a week. On the other end of the extreme we see a couple months of high 90's in the summer.

  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Unless it's in the shade, and maybe even if it is, metal enclosures can get mighty hot, like oven hot.
    I'd put as many openings as possible between the braces on the upper sides.....and some covered roof vents.

    I didn't think of them getting down from the roost either, until I got them in there and saw a few crashes, my coop is 6 feet wide also.
    So had to quick put up a ramp to a 'pedestal' (about 18" high) and another ramp off the pedestal up to the nest bar.
  8. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    The problem with using a metal trailer is excess condensation in the winter and heat in the summer.

    Watch these videos for some ideas
    And yes I am building one very similar to their 150 model

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