Using a movable coop


8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
I have an urban backyard vegetable garden with seven raised beds. I am thinking about adding two or three chickens, for the eggs and the fertilizer.
My plan is to build a combination coop/run and put it on top of one of the beds for a period f time, then move it and turn the manure right into the soil.
I read that chicken manure has to cure for 3 to 8 weeks. So I have two questions. How long should I leave the coop in one place? How long should I wait before planting vegetables after I turn the soil? Also, a a bonus question, is this a workable idea in the first place?

Thanks for any advice,


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 10, 2011
It is a very workable idea, just saw a few pictures of someone's setup yesterday that is exactly like your plan.

I think 2-3 weeks of the pen sitting on the pen would generate enough poo for you. As for the wait time till planting prob closer to the 8 week mark, you don't want to burn your seeds or seedlings with un-composted manure.


9 Years
May 16, 2011
North Pole, Alaska 99705
Very workable but a alturnate ideas.

Would it be fesible to put a removable tray (or several small ones) under your bird's run. with dirt in it, and slide it out when you need fertilized dirt? This would give you a continous poo catch tray plus not stop you from using your gardens and if you don't need it, allows it to sit till you do while being constantly turned by scratching birds. Add poor soil, let it the birds work it and out comes the good stuff. This would also let you do a exchange of dirt year around and even stockpile it if you choose since you have several garden boxes. You will need to moniter the PH but that's easy and if you need to add something (if it's bird safe) you can let the birds mix it.

Or set up a compost pile the birds can access (would suggest sides, otherwise they will spread it everywhere) throw in the bird poo from the coop as well as clippings, old grocery store produce trimmings (it's free here) ect and it would give the birds food and another reason to scratch and help the garden


11 Years
May 23, 2009
A lot depends on how large the raised bed is. You don't want so much manure to build up in one place so that it becomes unhealthy (and smelly) for the chickens to live there before you move your tractor, either. And of course, this is not something you will be doing year 'round, right? Only during the fallow period. You have to have some other plan for your chickens during the growing season.

What I do is compost our chicken manure and then till it into our gardens in the spring before planting.

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