After moving our chickens from tractors to pastures
a few years ago, we started using our remaining chicken tractor as an
isolation coop. It’s very handy to have a spot like this where you
can put a sick hen so she doesn’t get picked on, or a broody hen so no
one tries to lay in her nest. And, of course, if you’re raising
broilers, it’s much easier to snag them off their roosts the night
before and put them in a small isolation coop for ease of grabbing the
next morning. So when we put our tractor back to work, Mark realized he was going to have to build a new isolation coop.
I won’t give you
measurements for this project since Mark tends to build out of odds and
ends (meaning the cost stays very low). Hopefully a series of
photos will give you the gist, while also encouraging you to follow his
Step 1 was to make a
foundation rectangle out of two by fours. Mark also added a little
perch to one side to let the chickens get up off the ground.
Next, he turned the foundation upright to make it easy to attach smaller boards to frame in the sides.
Part of a tarp made a great back wall.
And some scrap tin filled
in one side. Notice how Mark uses scraps of wood on the inside to
ensure the screws have plenty to bite into.
Mark wanted to make
sure the chickens had sufficient fresh air, so he used hardware cloth
on the front. (The coop is still turned on its side in this
Next he framed a lid out
of small lumber and used a couple of hinges to make it easy to
open. (The coop is now sitting back on its base.)
A piece of scrap tin formed a waterproof roof.
A couple of handles on
the sides makes it very easy for the two of us to move the coop from
spot to spot. We plan to store it in the barn when it’s not being
used so the isolation coop will last a very long time.
And here’s the coop in action! You’ll notice the Avian Aqua Miser Original
in the corner — we still prefer Mark’s first chicken waterer design
for this kind of application since it’s easy to hang and won’t get
bumped when six confused chickens mill about.
I hope this photo tour gives you some ideas to help build your own isolation coop!