Country Lore: DIY Portable Chicken Coops

Who knew there were so many ways to build functional, cheap, portable chicken coops? You do, now.
By Mara Ziegler and David Hymel
April/May 2009
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This portable chicken coop was made from scrap lumber, a few found materials, and some chicken wire.
PHOTO: MARA ZIEGLER
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Our inventive readers have come up with not one, but two unique portable chicken coops.

Clever Coop Design

After reading many of your chicken and egg articles, my 13-year-old daughter designed this mobile chicken tractor and my husband built it.

Our 11-year-old daughter is a vegetarian, and she has motivated us to begin our chicken venture with the goals of healthier eating and living. Our daughters are responsible for taking care of the black Australorp hens.

The main house is constructed mostly from recycled materials, including a large wooden shipping crate and a piece of metal roofing we found on the side of the road. There are doors for gathering eggs and a door to the “run.” One whole side opens for cleaning. I think it is a very ingenious design!

The tractor and run are moved around our yard with the hope that the hens will eat the grubs, ticks, beetles, etc.

Mara Ziegler
Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

Cheap But Comfy

I invested 20 hours and $60 in materials to build a chicken “tractor,” which comfortably houses four hens.

The A-frame chicken coop is 4 feet wide, 6 feet long and 4 1⁄2 feet tall. The base is made from 2-by-6s, with 2-by-4s for the sides. The door skins, siding, and nesting boxes are three-eighths-inch plywood. Four 4-inch strap hinges hang the doors, and chicken wire finishes the project. For strength, I used wood screws rather than nails to build the coop.

David Hymel
Eatonville, Washington








Post a comment below.

 

AlexJenn
5/27/2013 9:24:54 AM

Thank you for great articles.People actually don't know how great chickens and chicken coops are! And lots of people don't know how to raise chicken and build chicken coop. People need detailed plans and instructions to build functional and good looking chicken coop. Then they also need to know how to raise chicken in proper conditions. These two create perfect balance while deciding to build chicken coop.I can recommend this website to have lots of plans and learn everything about raising chicken.

http://www.makeusknow.com/categories/home&garden/diy-chicken-coop.html


AlexJenn
5/27/2013 9:24:12 AM

Thank you for great articles.People actually don't know how great chickens and chicken coops are! And lots of people don't know how to raise chicken and build chicken coop. People need detailed plans and instructions to build functional and good looking chicken coop. Then they also need to know how to raise chicken in proper conditions. These two create perfect balance while deciding to build chicken coop.I can recommend this website to have lots of plans and learn everything about raising chicken.

http://www.makeusknow.com/categories/home&garden/diy-chicken-coop.html


Darian Johnson
2/25/2012 2:24:19 PM
i just bought six chickens and they currentally are at my Aunts house i need a chicken coop fast could u please send me the building instructions/plains.

a rubinstein
11/4/2011 2:51:22 PM
http://fba672ufnkhtbs32k4gdm90g97.hop.clickbank.net/

Roy Anderson
5/2/2011 4:52:34 PM
To Mara Ziegler, I too am intrested in the plans for this chicken coop. This looks to be just what I am looking for! If plans are available, would you please send them to me at: spaceroy@comcast.net Thank you for taking the time for me...Roy Anderson

Debora
2/14/2011 6:35:33 PM
I have just "won" two Hudan (sp?) chickens, I need a coop FAST. Can you send me instructions on this coop?

Dale
2/12/2011 2:50:24 PM
If you are able to send more pictures and the plans for your coop, I'd really like to get my hands on them too! pratt.dale@sbcglobal.net

Natalie_9
4/30/2010 7:23:57 PM
Can I have plans for the coop above?

Alice_16
1/26/2010 3:30:47 PM
Hi I've just got my first little chickens and am at a loss for how to build them a nice house. I think the design above is amazing and if the plans are available I would really love to have a look so I can have a crack at building my own. If they are my email address is mzwonderland@hotmail.com Many Thanks, Alice :)

kyle lucero_2
7/9/2009 7:08:17 PM
Hi! i just got my 20 black japanese and silver sebright bantams here in southern california. can you send me plans for the above chicken coop? my email is kyle562@yahoo.com...thanks!

Charles Nugent_2
6/29/2009 1:11:01 AM
sorry-- didn't leave contact info: cnugent007@gmail.com thx again...Charles...~:o)

Charles Nugent_2
6/29/2009 1:08:47 AM
This is a coop I think my wife and I can move around. If you have plans or more details of the construction (pictures, drawings, etc.) I will be willing to compensate you for them. Thank you so much for your time and drawn by a 13 yo! She's a genius. Keep up the good work.... Charles & Paula...~:o) new chicken owners!

Jman_5
6/20/2009 11:32:37 AM
After first seeing this article in the Mother Earth News magazine, I decided to try a build my first portable coop. I tried to emulate this one along with another one that was featured (A-frame type). Sort of a hybrid built specifically for my purposes. I've read that it is important to have at least 3 square feet per adult chicken you keep. I used scrap material from a deck I tore down last fall and a few store bought materials. I'm excited to go out and find my first flock to lay for me through the winter fertilizing my garden and filling my table next spring before I plant.

mj_5
6/16/2009 6:06:28 AM
May I have plans for the above chic coop? my email is doghaus123@fuse.net

Victoria Post
5/5/2009 6:19:01 PM
Would it be possible to get the plans for this coop. If so my email address is its_all_about_daisy@windstream.net. Thank you.

Sandra Skinner
5/3/2009 2:23:58 PM
On April 23, 2009 I picked up my 5 Rhode Island Reds. Will start restoring the old chicken coop this week, since the chicks are growing very fast for 11 day old chicks. They have some feathers on thier tails, wings and now on the shoulders. Also, they can fly enough to get out of the box they are in now. My chicks are now using a piece of branch for a roost. I'm keeping a jounal on my chicks and a record of thier grow rate and development. Feels so good to be raising chickens like my grandmom did. Sure miss those good old days. Raising chickens have made me very happy to come home and enjoy life of the old days I remember as a child. When my chickens reach the age of 4 months, start them on Laying Mash since the egg laying age is 5 to 6 months. Looking for my 1st egg this fall.








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