Nomadic chicken coop design

Wild coopWhile we’re pondering
new chicken coops
, I
thought I’d bring back to the table the idea of having a moving
auxiliary coop.  Although
chicks did a pretty good job rustling up insects under the fruit trees
last spring
, it’s
hard to get them hatched and feathered enough to be outside before the
Oriental fruit moths begin to fly.  Which led me to wish I had a
coop I could toss our layers inside so they could visit
around the
fruit trees in February and early March and do the job even
better.  This year, especially, such a coop would be awfully handy
since we’ll need to tear down the existing main coop if we’re going to
build a new one, and our layers will need a temporary home during the
construction period.

I got bogged down,
though, in trying to design a coop that’s very easy to move once a week
or so, is pretty enough to suit Mark, and won’t make manure management
into a nightmare.  The structure won’t need to be very big since
the chickens will have a temporary pasture at each stop with plenty of
room, and I won’t be expecting anyone to live in the nomadic coop
during very cold weather.  Really, all it needs is a door that can
close, perches for a dozen birds, a couple of nest boxes, and perhaps
the ability to section off a smaller area so it can also be used for

Round coopAesthetically, the coop
pictured at the top of this post wins my favor, but I know it wouldn’t
be very ergonomic to work with, and would be way too heavy to
move.  The one on the left is relatively simple, and yet quite
attractive, perhaps because of the paint and round design.  (By
the way, click on any image in this post to be taken back to the

Coop wheel

I’m also drawn to the
idea of big wagon- or bicycle-type wheels like the ones above, perhaps
because I recall how tough it was to scoot tractors across rough
terrain with small wheels or none.  On the other hand, I also
remember how annoying it was to have chickens sneaking out underneath
when the walls don’t precisely hit the ground, and I don’t think I want
to clean a coop with a floor.  So I’m a bit stumped on movement,
unless perhaps the wheels fold down and a floor gets inserted for the
move period.

Have you seen any
coop/tractor hybrids that you think would fit the bill?  Any other
factors we should be considering (other than whether our wiley layers
will fly over our temporary fences — we’ll just have to figure that
out when we come to it)?

Our automatic chicken waterer will keep chicken care easy
even in a portable coop.

Latest Comments

  1. Phil February 5, 2013
  2. anna February 11, 2013
  3. March 1, 2013
  4. anna March 1, 2013

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