This weekend while Lilly’s family was here we decided we better find something to do, and being that we had been thinking about building an outside chicken coop, we figured that would be a good project to work on. After much debate we decided to go with a portable coop that would allow us to move the chickens throughout the yard and pasture, rather than having them mow down a spot right off the building. We consulted numerous sources for ideas, but ended up with a hybrid of a few different ones. Once we decided on our basic design, Lilly’s dad, brother, and myself went to work.
The basic design we went with was a 8ft. x 4ft. coop that runs on skids. This design gave us the size we were looking for in terms of square footage for the birds, and size that allows us to move it around easily either by hand or by pulling it with the lawn tractor. In addition, part of the design has a brace in the middle that acts like a yoke on a canoe, allowing me to lift from inside and carry the coop on my shoulders. We wanted to make sure it was easy to move, otherwise we figured it would end up sitting in the same place all the time whether it was portable or not.
Lastly we ended up with a set of swing doors on the front and a lowering door in the back. This allows for easy access to the chickens, and the ability to get in from either side once laying boxes are added. As for the materials, we happened to have everything around the farm except for the chicken wire. We went with a heavier type of wire often referred to as cage wire or wire cloth. This type of wire is very strong and is much harder for predators to get through. We figured the extra security and durability was worth the extra cost. The only thing left will be a coat of barn red paint to match the rest of the buildings, but until then the chickens seem to be enjoying the outdoors regardless.